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The Great Unpredictable: A REACH Update

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By Kara, Team Indochina

Kara is a part of Team Indochina, reaching out to a southeastern Asian country through teaching, building friendships, and encouraging local believers.

Well, things are starting to fall into place for Team Indoscribable. We each have our own unique schedules and duties at the international school, and it’s been amazing to connect with the hilarious and precious children there. I’ve never felt more like a celebrity than when I walk into the school yard and am suddenly surrounded by excited faces all shouting “Teacher! Teacher!” touching my hair, and asking a hundred strange and completely random questions. My music classes are painfully loud and often completely off key, but seeing the grins as the kids bang away on whatever instruments they can get their hands on, and hearing adaptations of the songs they’re learning as I walk through the school, makes every chaotic moment absolutely worth it!

Twice a week, I do some one-on-one language tutoring with one of my sweet little school girls. I love this job because I get to see the progress she’s making, as well as directly speak with and encourage her. Other tasks I’ve taken on here include organizing boxes of untouched books at the school (if you know me at all, you understand how much joy this brings me!), playing with and getting to know the three little kiddies who live in our apartment building, and teaching English to fifteen college students two nights a week. English teaching is a struggle at times. I’ve definitely had to sacrifice a lot of my pride and standards of perfection in the attempt to find fun and effective ways of communicating. Sometimes the things I plan the most turn out to be an utter failure in the classroom and I find myself completely winging the remaining painful hour, but I’m slowly figuring out that what matters most is just finding some minor way to connect with the students. Even if I feel like I didn’t teach much, the brief conversations and exchanged smiles remind me that I’m really here to love, not to be the perfect teacher.

"'Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.' Those words made me stop and think, 'What am I sowing?'"This past month has been so very different from the previous month, going from feeling like I was doing nothing, to wondering how in the world I’ll stay on top of all the things asked of me. A couple weeks ago I was brought to 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, a passage which encourages generosity – generosity of service and gifts, it never specifically refers to money. “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor” (v. 9). It’s got me thinking a lot about time. Time is really my greatest resource right now, and a few weeks ago I felt some conviction in the way in which I was spending it. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (v. 6). Those words made me stop and think, “What am I sowing?” I’m giving six months to be in this country, to serve, not to sit. It’s not my job to worry about the fruit produced. All I can control is the seeds being sown, and nothing gets sown when you stay stationary, never going out into the field. So I find myself challenged to step further out, give more of my time, and in doing so I’ve discovered an interesting truth. By better living out my dream and passion for being here, I’ve found myself full of more dreams and passions than before. Following one has opened up many more, which is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. However, there’s the reassurance that even when this adventure comes to an end there is still more for me to pursue.

I’m starting to think that “regular” life is completely something of our own making–the result of static complacency. Life will never be “regular” as long as you remain open to being filled with and obediently pursuing the dreams, passions, and opportunities God brings before you. Regular is not a word to describe life purposefully lived; it is not a word that could ever be used to describe the All-Knowing, Awe-Inspiring, Great Unpredictable One. If my life can ever be described as regular, or if I think that after this I am returning to regular, then I have shut out the extraordinary life that has been graciously bought for me. I want to live a life of continual walking into that Great Unpredictable.

Please be thinking of our team as we continue making decisions for how and where we want to be spending our time. We are really thankful for the opportunities opening up before us, but it can be overwhelming to choose what we want to get involved in, what we can handle, and what we have to turn down for the time being. We also ask for persistence and creativity as we continue trying to overcome the communication barrier and find ways to better connect with the people here.

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