Every group of incoming new teachers has unique personalities, quirks, and giftings. We never know what to expect. Some years are better than others. However, this particular group of new teachers is one with whom I have been very impressed. What a neat group of people!
Marco has been with the U.S. public education system for 17 years. Jared is a dancer. Daryle and Kim left behind grandchildren. Stefan and Sarah are newly married. Christina is coming to teach Spanish. Josh’s family is originally from Hong Kong and he’s coming back to some of his roots. Polly is a musician. Allie is a doctor. Rachel was an art student. Tammy is a new mom of a 4-month-old. Dale was a school principal and Valerie taught physical education. Gabby is starting her sophomore year of high school. Martha and Will raised their family in Taiwan. Tama and Jeremy’s story is one of real faith. Pama and LeAnne, two women from completely different stages of life, are some of the dearest people I’ve ever met. Lauren just graduated from college. Justin is going to Tibet. All these people have come to this place to be used in some pretty special ways, starting in the English classroom. Some have felt the drive to China for many years, others are here out of a quiet obedience in something they don’t quite understand yet. Most of them don’t know exactly what life is going to look like these next years. They just have faith in the One who does. They have sacrificed much for something Greater. And I am honored to be serving alongside with them.
We look forward with anticipation for this year even though we know there will be big times of transition and wading through unfamiliar territory. The One who “sees the end from the beginning” goes before us.
We have 444 people living in China. 333 are adults. 111 are children. (Last week we had another baby born, so we move on from our neat little illustration :)). We have 50 teaching teams all throughout China, quite a few full-time language students, and various staff serving in different roles. May we continue to journey together and with others alongside us as we pursue a Calling greater than any one of us. May we be found faithful.
Here’s to the start of another year in China!