Sorry that I haven’t updated my blog since Monday. I sent an email update out, and just got wiped out from that one. 🙂 Today was my first official day as an EFL teacher. You’ll note that I used an F instead of the standard S. That’s because, here in Japan, we teach English as a Foreign Language, and not as their Second language. Why? Well…in America, they would have a regular place to use the English they learn, but here in Japan…this is pretty much their only opportunity (in our classrooms). Only recently have schools begun to teach English in elementary schools, so a lot of the younger students are just parents wanting them to have a head start. The adult students are those who just want conversation with native English speakers, or they might have a set purpose, like a desire to go to a university in the States or to get a job overseas. Whatever the purpose for their coming, our purpose for teaching them English is for the 15 mins Bible Time at the end of class. Even though most Japanese are not open to talk about religion…they are willing to put up with anything for a cheap English class, with native speakers. It’s neat to see how it works. For the kids, and the adults who have minimal English comprehension, a Japanese speaker will come in and lead a 15 minute Bible Study…or Gospel presentation. For the adults who have a pretty good understanding of English and can carry on a conversation with it, we use the Easy Reader Edition of the Bible and ask comprehension questions and then try to engage them in a discussion of the events in that particular story.
For example, my Super Kids 1 class on Tuesdays have very, very basic English understanding. So, Brian goes through a song and Gospel presentation with them. They remember the song and sing along with him, and shout out answers. It’s so sweet. One of the girls, her grandmother comes and sits in the class with her. I doubt she’s a believer, but she bows her head and prays with us, and takes notes. Apparently, her husband came as well, once, and was trying to sneak out some of the free Christian material that’s available to them. 🙂 What pride…but great that despite it, they are still searching and willing to hear and learn more.
The Ladies’ class that night also, has a higher English comprehension, being level 3 students, and so we can go through the Easy Reader Bible. This week, we read about Mary and Martha having Jesus in for a visit. We had a pretty good discussion over it…though Nakayama-san had to do some translating and explanations in Japanese for further understanding. None of the other women are believers in that class, I believe…but they are close.
My Saturday morning Side by Side class is the beginners level…but older generation students. 🙂 One of the men in that class is a church member, Mr Komatsu. He accepted Christ many years ago while he was taking English lessons. As a show of gratitude for God saving him that way, he presents the Bible time for that class. He’s on the church leadership, but the only time I’ve ever really heard him say anything was at my contract-signing and he prayed for the year to come, and my service.
I’m so excited to be in this kind of a ministry…to be able to observe it and take notes, and the possibility of bringing it back home with me. I can see such a need for it in our community at home, I feel like I’m actually learning how it’s supposed to work.
As far as my needs right now…my skin is driving me nuts! I don’t know if my skin has metamorphosized or if it’s just because I live right next to the ocean, but it is so dry! I get so frustrated when I look in the mirror and see how dry it is. It’s just my vanity, but it is still annoying. Please pray that I can get this under control, or that God would correct my attitude about it. It’s not hindering me from serving…but it’s just a little splinter that’s getting bothersome. Thanks!