Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sightings at Supermal

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 24, meaning there are only 2 more days left until our 2 week break! (It's kind of funny that this holiday at the end of Idl Fitri is longer than the teacher's summer "break".)
Because we know this is the last week until break, the days have seemed longer for Janice, Kiersten, and I at our apartment. Today when Janice and Kiersten arrived home from school, they suggested we go to JCo. In case I haven't explained it before, JCo is a coffee and donuts place original to Indonesia that tastes better and is cheaper than Starbucks. So we decided to go to Supermal, the nearest big mall to us in West. (It's the same mall where my church is located.)
Once at the mall, we first went to the grocery store to pick up some things. (Most malls here have a grocery store and movie theater in addition to the stores and restaurants!) Then we decided to have a "dinner" before eating JCo for dessert. :) While at A&W and JCo, I saw five of my students. Many families like to go to the mall for their entertainment in the evenings, so I was not surprised to see them there.
Just in closure to this post, I don't always eat so American. haha There are just some days when it is a nice treat to eat chicken nuggets and a donut for dinner. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New school year

I can't believe I've been back in Surabaya for almost a month already. Since the school year began, time has been going quickly. This year I have kindergarten classes like last year in addition to playgroup (2 and 3 years old). I have been enjoying the playgroup classes because it is more laid back than kindergarten. I can just sing songs and play games with them.
I have enjoyed getting to know the same students I had last year and some new ones from KG A. I enjoy their comments and stories that they tell me. One of my students that I had last year, always compliments me when I come in. She says, "Miss Janita, your hair is beautiful today." or "Miss Janita, your shirt is pretty." It's so cute. :) This week, I was teaching in one of the KG A classes and I asked for a volunteer to come up front. I called on one of the girls, and she excitedly leaped out of her chair. Unfortunately for her, the string from her shorts was caught in her chair and she ended up dragging her chair with her up front! The teachers and I couldn't help laughing. :)
God has really blessed me since I've been back. I had asked him for more ministry opportunities here in west surabaya and he has really provided those. I have been able to help with an English tutoring class for 5-8 year olds. That will start up next month after the holiday. I also have a chance to help out at an orphanage every week. I am excited about the new opportunities. Please continue to pray that God would lead me and that I can bring glory to Him in everything I do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back in Surabaya!

Well, the last time I wrote I was getting ready to go home and now I'm back already. It was with mixed emotions that I returned to Indonesia. I had such a wonderful time at home that it was hard to come back. Some of the highlights of my trip were visiting New York City, the Baltimore aquarium, going to a baseball game, bowling, and being outside! Of course, the best part was seeing my family and friends. :) The pictures above are from my time in the States. It was weird to be home and see so many Caucasian people and hear English all around me.
The journey back to Surabaya went pretty well. During my layover in Tokyo, I saw a friend from church. It turned out that we were on the same flights from Tokyo until Surabaya! It was nice to travel with someone. We also met a girl who is teaching in Jakarta. We were able to share stories of living and teaching in Indonesia.
God has been good this past week. Even though I have been missing my family, I have been able to spend time with others at school and church. I have enjoyed seeing the other teachers at school again. They enjoyed the Hershey's candy I brought back as "oleh-oleh" from America.
Classes start again tomorrow, so I'm sure things will stay busy at school. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement! God bless!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

one year reflections

Well, it's been a year ago today that I arrived in Indonesia!! Can you believe it? I can't! This past weekend I have been looking at my pictures from the past year and trying to pick out a summary of my year to show all of you when I am at home. It has reminded me of what I have experienced this year and what God has done for me. When I first arrived, I felt like God had abadoned me, but He has reminded me that He was with me all along. He is always enough!
Even today, He showed me answers to prayer. I have just moved to West Surabaya into a new apartment (the school wants us to be near the campus where we teach). My roommate, Janice, is staying in East for the weekend with our old housemates. So I had to go to church by myself this morning. Although it is the same church, it is a different branch here in the west, and I was feeling nervous last night to go by myself. So I asked God to give me someone to sit with, someone to eat lunch with, and a ride home. And God answered all 3 requests! He really is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to His children.
At first when I found out we were going to move to west (and be separated from some of our roommates), I was very upset. But I know that God provided this place for me here. Even though it is small, everything is new and clean! (unlike Country heritage...) I have been enjoying being closer to school and being able to see other teachers and friends outside of school because they also live in West. On Tuesday night (the day I moved), I was able to attend my students' birthday party. (The picture above is of that.) Yesterday, I met some teachers at school and went shopping for things that I want to bring home (they call it oleh-oleh here; souvenirs). :)
Well, that's all for now. I can't wait to come home in 10 days and fill in the rest of the details in person!! God bless you all!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm going home... :)

Hello everyone! I just realized that this is the first time to write in May... Sorry about that.
I am currently organizing/packing preparing to move to a new apartment near school and then go home next month. I was reading through the letters that you sent with me and in the mail since I've been here. I just wanted to thank all of you for keeping in touch and sending me those letters! I am sorry that I have not been able to write back because the mail system is unreliable here going the other way. But please know that I appreciate each letter. I also can tell that you have been praying for me this past year. So many times I have been feeling sad or anxious, and God's peace comes on me that passes all understanding. I especially feel your prayers on Saturdays when I go to English club. Almost every time I feel a discouragement or distraction from going, but as soon as I get there, I feel God's peace and joy. He keeps giving me more ideas and wisdom for teaching middle school, which is something I never thought I would be doing. So, thank you so much! God bless you!
This past month has been busy with preparing for graduation at school. I am on the program commitee, so we are helping prepare the kids for the drama they will perform on the graduation day. I also have been helping with/teaching Sunday school this month, along with Sara.
This past Tuesday, we had a day off, which was nice. The pastor's wife invited Sara and I over for dinner along with some other american teachers at another school. It was a great time of talking in English (it's hard sometimes being around so many non-native speakers) and eating American food. She even taught us how to make apple pie! :) Oh, and speaking of baking, recently I also have been baking more. Last week I decided to try making snickerdoodles. I wasn't sure how they would turn out without cream of tartar and no mixer, but they were good. It feels nice to make something American even in a different place.
Well, please continue to pray for my exit visa so I can come home next month with no problem. Please also pray for me to keep my focus on God and His word instead of putting other things before Him. Thank you so much! I can't wait to see all of you very soon!

Friday, April 29, 2011

April events

Hello again! I'll try to summarize the rest of April... It's almost May!
Last time I wrote was right before my birthday. I was so blessed by the people here who remembered my birthday. Sara and I went to the mall on Friday the 15th for ice cream to celebrate. On Saturday I went to English club as usual. Angie surprised me during our class by bringing a snack (crispy tahu) and singing to me. The kids were surprised to find out it was my birthday. I asked them all to take a picture with me. Then when I got to the main room, everyone surprised me with a cake and ice cream with a candle to blow out. It was a great birthday! :)
Last week we had our Kartini's day celebration for school at a nearby mall. Kartini was the one I guess who pushed for girls to be able to attend school. Since it was a national holiday, all the kids wore batik, the national fabric.
Last Friday i went to my friends house to dye Easter eggs. (Thanks mom for thinking to send the dye!) It was such a nice treat to still be able to keep that Easter tradition. Even if the brown eggs here don't color the same way as white ones. Haha!
Today we had our Easter celebration at school. The theme was "Jesus is my Superhero!" It was a good time to remember again what Jesus did for us, for me. As the words to one of our songs that we sang said, "The nail marks on your hands and feet are marks of love, the love of God." I pray that you also will remember His love for you!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bugs and Floods

Happy april everyone! Is there any spring weather where you are? If so, please enjoy it for me. :( It is still as hot as ever here. It has also been raining almost every day. In fact, the week before last we had our house flood two times. There is a balcony right outside my room and apparently the drain to let the water out when it rains is very small. Well, it got clogged with debrief from the house and so the water overflowed into our house. Thankfully we know about the problem now so we can clean the balcony so it doesn't happen again.
That same week, I was sitting in my room and heard a rustling sound. At first I just thought it was a lizard in the garbage can again. Then it started buzzing. I looked behind me and there was a huge wasp at the window. I screamed and ran downstairs. Thankfully Janice is braver than I am so she opened the window and let him out. Before you laugh at me, let me just say that this wasp was huge. It was like the size of a small bird!!
Anyways, things have been going o.k. I am getting more and more excited to go home in June! But GOd has been good here, teaching me to trust Him and that He is loving me through everything. I was blessed yesterday to get a birthday package from my family. Thank you guys! :) One of the things I am excited about getting in it is easter egg dye. I invited some of my American friends over next sunday to dye easter eggs together!
If God brings it to mind, please pray for me that I would have perseverance in teaching and living here and always choose joy! :) Thank you! God bless you!