Ups & downs…
Wow. Where do I start? My first week here in Chile has been one for the books! I’ll try to break down all that I did.
Monday and Thursdays are my days where I go to University of Desarollo with John, sort of my missionary partner, who lives here and is bilingual (praises!). John is in charge of Cru, pretty much a Christian organization on campus and they meet and talk about their faith. Monday morning I met two girls, one a new Christian and the other who has been one for awhile. They asked me to share about myself and I easily felt like I was back at Welcoming Week introducing myself. I shared with them about how I grew up in the church, have a Christian family, went to a Christian university and have mostly Christians as friends. They both gave me a huge smile and told me how awesome that is. I never really realized how awesome it truly was. I suddenly had an ephiphany of how blessed I truly am, and not #blessed, but really and deeply blessed by the Lord. All day I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I had and had never really felt thankful for it. The girls started discussing evangelism and asked me my take on it and to be honest, I knew what it was but never really had done it. It made me sad to think how less passionate I was to share my faith to strangers, where they and John are always wanting to talk about Jesus. Growing up in a Christian enviroment is a blessing but sometimes, we truly lose sight in our purpose for our existence on Earth. I truly hope and pray that after this trip, I will desire to share my faith more. I’m super thankful for my upbringing but I also want to live more for Jesus, instead of myself.
Now, Tuesday consisted of me learning how to use the Metro, or subway, and the Micro, the bus. Pretty much, I learned to always hold onto something or you might eat it. Julian, John and I arrived to Grace College, where I will be teaching music, assisting in English and Christian Culture. I have to say, I was expecting to observe the classes and learn my schedule but I was pretty much thrown in on the first day and expected to teach. With the help of John, he was able to translate to the students and teachers my directions but Wednesday was a totally different story.
Wednesday, I arrived to Grace College with Julian, Jessica and their three adorable kids but things went awry. The ages I was told I was teaching to were 2-3 year olds, pre-k and kindergarten, oh and for 45 minutes… My first class was playgroup, aka the 2-3 year olds. When I walked in I didn’t know I was to be teaching since it was my first time and this time, I didn’t have John to help translate my instructions, plus the teachers didn’t speak English. Now, this hurts my pride, but I blanked on what to do and stumbled through teaching a few songs. After the class, I left feeling like a failure and totally unprepared. I ran into Julian and immedaitely lost it and started crying. I knew that I was there to help but didn’t know I was there to be THE music teacher for the younger kids. Julian reassured me and him and Jessica told me that the school is honestly just happy that I am here and that I am putting more pressure on myself than anyone else. The rest of the day I stuck to Jessica’s side and observed her teaching English. I did teach to kindergarteners, which actually went surprisingly well and I didn’t have a lesson plan prepared. You could say that I was quite drained emotionally and took a hard beating that day. Thankfully, I was reminded that the Lord will continually have my back.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Wednesday ended with a wonderful Bible study at Julian’s and Jessica’s and I felt ready for the next day. Thursday looked pretty similar to Monday, where I went to the University with John, ate some empanadas, which I could eat for every meal, and then went over some evangelism tools.
We then went to the stadium where Chile vs. Ecuador was about to play at Copa America. Copa America is a soccer tournament between countries in Latin America and Chile is hosting it, so it’s a big deal around here! We went to hand out free coffee and pamphlets that have the brackets for the games on them and a small section on the Gospel. Being down there, I was extremely nervous. There were tons and tons of people, people trying to sell you stuff and everyone talking to me in Spanish. I already had some anxiety but then a protest starts happening a block from us. Now, as someone naive to protests, I did some research before I came down here. Protests here can get crazy with the police using tear gas, water and arresting people. Suddenly, the protest was being pushed right towards us by the police. The protest was getting rowdier and rowdier and police were forming a barrier against them , while wearing their protective gear. I was freaking out! Luckily, John told me that he’s looking out for me but if anything happens, just run. Thankfully, the protest was broken up and the rest of the night was smooth sailing.
Friday through Sunday, I mostly rested and even had a chance to go for a run. I wanted to run in a park and found one but it took me about 20-30 minutes to get to the park but this view was totally worth it!
My first week had definitely its’ ups and downs but I learned a lot. I learned about being thankful for what I have, desiring to share my faith more and relying on the Lord’s strength when I am weak. The Lord is good and I am loving learning how to navigate a new city. At this moment, I am sitting in a cafe, blogging, and sipping on my latte. One thing I have learned here in Chile is how to relax and enjoy your suroundings. I could definitely get used to my afternoons looking like this!
This upcoming week will be filled with new adventures and I look forward to sharing my experiences with y’all!