Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Happy Birthday, SunWoo!

Everybody has birthdays every year; the alternative is not appealing. Today was the birthday of Ivana, a girl on my basketball team. This entry is from October 15, 2006 about the birthday of another junior high young lady I interacted with.

Each year is unique to a teacher. Even if you are in the same classroom teaching the same lessons with the same desk arrangement, the kids facing you are different. Many of my sophomore students are ones I taught in eighth grade but they seem much more than two years removed from middle school maturity levels, particularly the boys. New students, especially ones who have never taken Bible as a class, face an acclimation period. Many in my classes, predominantly females, write a short note or prayer request on the quiz or memory verse we take each day. It takes the first-time kids awhile to warm up. SunWoo is warming up. Several times this week, she penned a note on her assignment. SunWoo is an amazing student. We have had forty grades thus far in Bible 8 and she has missed only one or two points. Academically, she has become comfortable quickly. Socially, she seems very shy, like many of our newly-transferred foreign students. Friday, she informed me at the bottom of her quiz covering Luke 6:17-36 that Sunday was her fourteenth birthday. My third period class sang Happy Birthday! to her and she was pleased. I then proceeded to tell her of an American custom: on a girl's fourteenth birthday, she is required to buy a Coke for each of her classmates at lunch. The other twenty-plus middle schoolers surrounding her cheered while a look of semi-panic crossed her face. I immediately told her we were kidding, to SunWoo's great relief. Two days before, her note was of a much more serious nature. SunWoo is South Korean and expressed great concern over the nuclear tests being conducted by the North Koreans. Not surprisingly, none of her fellow students expressed any alarm. To them, that is another part of the world that has no bearing on their existence. To SunWoo, it is the most vital current event to her relatives, on both ends of the Korean peninsula. Few in South Korea are sleeping more soundly with the knowledge that the government to their north now possesses nuclear capabilities.

Tonight, we had two men from the leadership training class deliver short sermons to our congregation. Both Mike Marsh and Jorge Villareal based their lessons on the 23rd Psalm and both did an excellent job. Mike's thoughts centered on time in relation to our worries. Most problems which bother us are of the right now variety. We get immersed in the daily struggles of life, most of which we have no control over. But, as believers, we have our shepherd peering over our shoulder, promising us goodness and mercy, even though we will undoubtedly face crises- the presence of my enemies segment seems to be an assurance of that fact. SunWoo has every reason to be disturbed but King David's wonderful song of the sheep protector always calms my jangled nerves. There's just something about being led by still waters. In this world of turmoil, we sure could use a dose of assurance, especially in what some perceive as the valley of the shadow of death. Only the Lord can shine the light to overwhelm any shadow, or in this case, nuclear cloud.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The key to a good life is to keep it simple, yet creating simplicity is such a complex issue."
Master Jin Kwon/ South Korean martial arts expert

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Jon said...

Speaking of rained all day today...