Thursday, April 24, 2008

university degree FINISHED!!!!

now what....

I started out in 2003 in a Spanish major, only to find that I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I did. A lot of this was due (or perhaps only part) to my professor who seemed to have something against me... or perhaps it was the huge changes of being in a totally new environment, not knowing anybody, and being very unsure of myself. In any case, I switched to linguistics, as I had taken an introductory course and thoroughly enjoyed it. With linguistics, I had the idea of going into Bible translation, or working with unreached peoples in far off places, who didn't even have their language in a written form. What a perfect opportunity to serve and see a part of the world! Imagine being a part of Vision 2025 in a real way!

I finished the three year-degree program, only to find that I had somehow missed one course requirement for the degree! *sigh* I had been so psyched to finish up (and never return ;)) that I decided to take the year off. During that year off, I went on a 2-month mission trip to the Philippines, where I was to get some exposure to translation of the Bible and transcription of the various languages that yet have no written form. This trip opened my eyes to many things that I had never thought of or seen before. Even today, I often will think of the many cultural differences, foods, languages, ways of life, poverty and riches that I experienced in the Philippines. This trip changed my life, changed my thinking, opened my eyes to see the world in a different light, and pointed me into a different direction - ESL/EFL teaching (English as a Second/Foreign Language).

That year I worked and saved, and then the following spring I applied to the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate programme at York, in order that I might complete the requirements in order to graduate with my undergrad & certificate. And now.... here I am! it's done!

I can't believe how fast the time passed - life goes by so quickly. Sometimes when I look back I think how things have turned out so differently than I ever thought they would. We all have dreams, expectations, desires, hopes and plans. Yet we must learn to leave all of those things with our Lord - trust it all to Him, because He is the sovereign One who rules over everything. I still dream, expect, desire, hope for and plan things - but I'm learning to do so now, with the realization that God is in control and that He cares for me, is watching over me, and He loves me.

I don't know what's in store for me this coming year - it could be teaching ESL in Toronto, perhaps waitressing again at the golf club/hotel/italian restaurant, or it could be teaching EFL in Korea - who knows? I trust that the Lord will make His will clear to me as I look to Him. For now, I must first get my other trip out of the way - as many of you know, my cousin Ruth and I will be spending several weeks in Bulgaria to teach English and to encourage the believers there. We're both very excited for this opportunity to go, to be a blessing to the people, to learn about them, and to experience their culture. Keep checking the blog, or ask if you'd like to receive email updates, as we hope to be able to post or / and email about our experiences during the trip.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Defeat? no, this is Victory!

The very triumphs of His foes He used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to subserve His ends, not theirs. They nailed Him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing to world to His feet. They gave Him a cross, not guessing that He would make it a throne.

They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that at that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe to let the King of Glory come in. They thought to root out His doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.

They thought they had God with His back to the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated. They did not know it was God Himself who had dragged them down to that point. He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil, He conquered through it.

(excerpt by James Stewart, a Scottish theologian, which is quoted in Joni Earackson's book: Heaven, Your Real Home)

A Call to Faithfulness, Diligence & Obedience

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything,
To do it as for Thee.
-- George Herbert --

"Not with eye-service, as menpleasers;
but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily,
as to the Lord, and not unto men.
Colossians 3:22-23

Every duty, even the least duty, involves the whole principle of obedience. And little duties make the will dutiful, that is, supple and prompt to obey. Little obediences lead into great. The daily round of duty is full of probation and of discipline; it trains the will, heart, and conscience. We need not to be prophets or apostles. The commonest life may be full of perfection. The duties of home are a discipline for the ministries of heaven.
-- Henry Edward Manning

Daily Strengths for Daily Needs, Mary W. Tileston