Around the World for 30 Days

My Life on the Other Side of the Globe

Hello, everyone!

Wow! It is hard to believe that a month has already passed since I first set foot on Chinese soil. Thank you all for your prayers amid this whirlwind of transitions!

Although I came here to teach, this past month has been a crash course all its own. Every day a new lesson appears—from buying plants and full-body mirrors on the street to getting along with very opinionated people to discovering the joys of IKEA to using a laminating machine. (Yes, I hear the gasps of all you teachers out there. I had never used a laminator before. Shocking, huh? I think I have found a new favorite office tool.)

The school year is in full swing, and I find myself understanding a little more of my job every day. When I arrived, I was shocked to find that not only are most of my students not believers but that they are also mostly Chinese. In addition, I learned that the ESL/ENL program here encompasses content-area classes. This is not quite the ENL program I had been expecting, but it has been a wonderful surprise. I teach humanities and literature for three levels of middle-school ENL students. Every day is different, and I love it!

My life at school does not stop in the classroom, however. One of the other new staff here has roped me into assistant-coaching the middle school girls’ soccer team on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (Jean De Souza, you would be proud of me!) On Fridays, I also help lead a middle school girls’ Bib. study group.

Answers to your prayers:

  • A safe trip to China!
  • A wonderful roommate. Kayla and I get along splendidly. In fact, we sometimes scare each other with how much alike we are. On most days, we get into the elevator on the way to school and realize that we almost wore the same clothing. Other times, we make the same comments at the same time. Thankfully, we are both easygoing and not easily upset or offended—at least so far. This is such a wonderful answer to prayer! Please continue to pray for a wonderful, supportive relationship between us.

Over this next month, please pray for:

  • Wisdom in organizing the content for my classes, especially humanities class. Students have so many questions in humanities class, and, though I would like to follow the chronological order of the Book, I also want to make sure to answer their questions. Please pray especially for a student who has begun reading on his own outside of class (without any prompting from me); he is curious about it all but finds what he has read confusing.
  • My trip to Shanghai from September 16-23. In order to get a work visa and residence permit, I need to be certified as an “expert” teacher by the Chinese government. Next week, I will travel with another teacher to Shanghai to take an “expert certification” course.
  • The new staff who arrived with me. We have all been going through many transitions, and, although we have been handling them well for the most part, settling in has taken a lot of energy. Please pray for refreshment and strength.

Although I am an English teacher, I often find little time to write. My roommate, however, is an avid blogger and often posts photos and stories from our lives. If you would like to keep a little more up-to-date on our daily lives in this strange new land and see an abundance of pictures, you can read her delightful posts here:

Again, thank you so much for your prayers! I love you all!

In Christ’s love,

Sarah Leichty