So, now that I have told my church and a few other people, I’m putting it out there – I’m coming back to teach for another year. I have been thinking and praying about this decision ever since January, when we all came back from Christmas break. It wasn’t easy. There were many things from home that I was holding onto and wasn’t willing to let go. I kept telling God, “Okay, I’ll come back, but first you have to take care of [a, b, c, d, etc.].” And He did. One by one, He showed me that all the things I was clutching so tightly were already safe in His hands. They didn’t need me. Talk about a blow to pride. But it was also such a relief to figure out that all the people waiting for me at home don’t need me. My church doesn’t need me. My job doesn’t need me. My family doesn’t need me. My friends don’t need me. Sure, they’ll be excited when I come back, because they’ve missed me as much as I’ve missed them (I hope ;p ). But ultimately, they don’t need me. What they truly need is already there with them, and has never left them. The awesome, powerful, loving, triune God. And because He is with and in them, and He is also with and in me, we are together in Spirit although 1,000 miles apart.
That’s great, you say, now we know why you aren’t staying stateside, but why are you going back? My number one answer is the kids. When I drag myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, I must admit that my first thought is usually not, “Good morning, world!” But every morning at 8:00, I get to teach my second graders. I get about 20 hugs (half of them ninja hugs), and then we pray and sing to start off the morning. I’m not gonna lie and say my classroom is perfect, but I love each and every one of those kids – from the ones who call me Mom to the ones who cannot manage attentive silence for more than 10 seconds. My third graders are at times more frustrating than second grade, but I love them, too. And I know they need to be loved. There are so many hurting kids in that grade, and I feel so inadequate to bind up the holes in their hearts. But still I try. It’s the same with 4th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade. I know that my love is so small compared to what they deal with on a daily basis, but still, it’s what I have to give.
To quote the Jim Elliot movie that I showed 9th grade last week, “There’s thousands of people who can [insert job here]. But there’s only a few who are called to missions.” I feel that for now, for one more year, my place is here. After that, who knows? Who knows if the world will even still be here then? Only God. So my next step is His next step. Wherever He leads.
I love it here. I love that my Spanish is such that I’m finally able to *kind of* communicate. I was actually able to carry on a fairly easy conversation with both my landlady and one of the workers in the grocery store. At times, living here breaks my heart. But every time I see the brokenness, I think of the generation I am trying to impact. I think of the work God is doing in their lives, and the revolution of healing that they are capable of. And I don’t want to stop now.