As I was driving home tonight, I was thinking about how fresh everything was and how the earth seemed to come alive. It's been months since I've fully seen the mountain and the trees, once again so bushy and green...the exotic rainforest/jungle reappearing.
This as a result of recent rain soaking deep into the dry, colorless soil and bringing it all back to life.
That's how I've felt sometimes over this past year. Dry. Spiritually, emotionally, physically. Dry.
And it's in those dry moments when God suddenly "rains" blessing, reminding me of His sovereignty and goodness. He fills me up, erases my doubt, putting spring back into my step and restoring life to me once again. For everything there is a season.
April has flown by and I only guess May will too. It's been a great month including a break from teaching for 2 weeks. I took the much needed time off to go to coffee shops and read, watch ridiculous amounts of TV shows (Downton Abbey, anyone?) that I've missed out on all year. It was too hot to be outside...107 F at times, and of course there are my endless teacher duties. Going outside meant swimming in the reservoir to cool off. A visit to Burma rattled my heart a bit. See previous blog.
Break meant finding time to do things I usually have no time to do. This meant I was able to visit the Thai preschool center my roommate works at and go on a field trip with the 3 yr. old group to a nearby old air base hanger! What cuties the little Thai are! I loved spending the day with those tykes. It was hilarious to see their interactions with the old planes, fascination with running around underneath them and waving at planes from the international airport as they took off.
Early Easter morning some friends and I drove up a mountain to a waterfall and watched the sunrise (so polluted it was more like the first light appearing through the smoke). It was a beautiful, reflective time of reading scripture, the Resurrection story and singing songs. We happened to be near a Thai church's Easter morning service in a small pagoda overlooking the waterfall and as the first rays of light came, they began to sing "In Christ Alone" in Thai. So wonderful. They also had an Easter egg hunt where they offered us hard-boiled eggs.
Songkran is a huge National holiday and water festival that lasts 4 days. I spent those 4 days in Burma (in the midst of their water festival-Thingyan). Before Songkran there are ceremonies where the younger generation pours water over the elders hands and bless them. To observe this tradition, my students in their Thai class held a ceremony for my teammate and I, pouring scented water and oils over our hands and each thanking us for being their teachers. It was incredibly humbling and sweet to experience this from each of my students. "Thank you for investing in us, loving us, caring for us and blessing us. Thank you for the sacrifices you make for us" one student said. Those words will stick with me and moved me to tears. It's an honor and privilege.
My students participated in the annual GIS Book Character Day. SO much fun. There was every book character from lego man (?), to Wilbur the pig. Their teacher went as an old timely American favorite, Miss Rumphius...planting seeds of kindness (hopefully) wherever she goes :)
Students are also in the middle of their end-of-year standardized test, which has proved to be helpful in showing growth. I am so very proud of them! It's amazing to think I have one more month with this group. Trying to treasure each day I have with them!
1. April break was all around great
2. An impactful, meaningful trip to Burma
1. Ending the school-year on a good note, preparing for another round of transition for a trip home the end of May and returning to GIS in July...encountering numerous changes.
2. I need sleep. Struggling with the worst insomnia I've had in a year.
3. Spiritual and physical protection.
Thanks all for your continued encouragement, support and prayers! Your partnership means more than you know and has blessed me, therefore blessing those I come in contact with daily!
Sara Gurule c/o