Tuesday, April 15, 2008

China Trip Volume 1

Our new computer is up and running; we think most of the kinks are worked out; so we can finally share a little with you about recent experiences in China.

There were 15 people (not counting Aaron) in our group. An organization called Factor Learning asked us to teach English to students at a university in China. We were given the opportunity to step into classrooms and teach English using some fun and exciting methods. Our team split into three groups: one teaching volleyball, one teaching card games, and one teaching an Indian folk dance called Bhangra. This was an amazing time for our entire group. The schedule changed daily, but we learned to adapt. Our motto was "TIC" or "This Is China". God gave us strength and grace each day. There are many English classes at this university. However, most of the students do not speak English well. They can read and write English, but are at a loss when it comes to conversation.

Danny was in charge of teaching card games, and I (Betsy) taught Bhangra, learned here in Singapore. We hit our first road block before the first class even began. Each group planned a computer presentation for the classes. When Danny went to inspect the rooms, only one room had a projector. Everyone in our group wanted a projector. However, my Bhangra class absolutely needed one. We had pictures, video and music that we couldn't reproduce on our own. So the other groups graciously gave us the room with the projector, "TIC". No sweat. The first class was a big challenge, but lots of fun! Each time we taught, we felt more comfortable and confident.

The organization that brought us to China came to us the first day with a request. Because this time of year is the Easter season, they planned two Easter parties, one Tuesday night and one Thursday night. We were not allowed to mention The Father in any classes, but we had free reign to share any and all American traditions around Easter at the parties. Our hosts assured us they would run the party, and we would only have a small part to play. After each class we invited everyone to the parties. We had a room that could hold 120 people set up for the party. Well, that first night about 100 people came. Our hosts were overwhelmed. They expected at the most 30 people. So, we took over and did our best to teach the fun and the serious sides of Easter. We ended both parties with a drama about Christ's death and resurrection. That first night was a huge success! All of us begged our hosts to find a bigger room. We knew we could easily max out the current room on Thursday. Well, apparently, the process for getting the room we had was such a big thing that our hosts did not think they could go through all the right channels before our next party.

Thursday came and we all held our breath and repeated "TIC". By all indications, there were at least 200 people crammed in the room. Yes, 200. And all were completely silent as we acted out the story of Christ. Most had never heard this account before that night. We know of one person who joined the family as a result of Tuesday's party. What a great God we serve!

There is much more to tell of China, but we will save that for another time. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures we have to share with you now.

Below: Our group of staff and students from ICS sitting on the front steps of the building where we taught our classes.

Danny teaching a version of the card game known as "whist".

The young boy with the green coat is one of our group. He was the youngest, besides Aaron, who came along.

Sam and Danny running games at the Easter party.

James, a student, and Sam portraying Christ's death on the cross.

After our drama of the Easter story, we split into small groups and discussed what the students had seen. It was a great time for our group to make some new friends. Here is Sofia and Nicole with their group.

Sam, Tim, Ben, and Ryan in another group.

Here you can see just how many people we can fit into a small room. I kind of felt like I was in a really big clown car, but still with way too many clowns!

Some of the students got to decorate Easter eggs. They thought my stories about cracking them open and eating colorful hard-boiled eggs were quite funny.

I think the highlight of fun for everyone was the Easter Egg hunt. We hid them in people's clothes, behind file cabinets, and even on the lights.


Marie said...

Great post! Thanks!

Cherie said...

Thanks for this! Very informational and interesting.