سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
^Two of the most epic songs ever. Particularly the first one. Just so you know. Though the second one is beautiful, too. What makes these songs so important, you ask? Well, they were two worship songs that were sung at CYIA 2011 in my area!! Yup. Pretty awesome. CYIA started on the 8th, and I just got home a few hours ago. The time practically flew by. Okay, it literally flew by.
Okay, so cool stories behind these photos. The top one is myself with two of three Chinese students who came to CYIA this year! I couldn't nab Jacob, or I would have gotten one with him, too. He and Joan (the one on the right in the top pic) are getting married! Yes, all three of them were native Chinese, which is crazily coincidental. Sort of. It's really because my God is just that awesome.
Anyway. Linda and I (the Chinese girl I'm with in the bottom pic) were teammates for the 5-Day Club we did, which was pretty epic. She helped me with some Chinese, and made me feel really special and smart. :D So, let me tell you about our club!
On Monday we showed up and it was pretty obvious that most of them did not want to be there. Basically, the daycare we were at was forcing them to attend. They came in with their minds up - our program was going to be stupid and they weren't going to enjoy it. Needless to say, the first day was pretty bad. One boy in particular - his name was Ethan - was really bad, and dragged a couple of the other boys along with him in his misbehavior. By the end of club, I was at the end of my rope and ready to...well, slap a couple children. Thankfully, my teammate is more level-headed than I, and managed to get me calmed down.
The next day, there was quite an improvement, maybe because they expected us. We revised a couple of the things we had done wrong the day before and made it better. They enjoyed themselves, and asked if we were coming back the next day. Ethan, however, still stubbornly refused to be impressed. The third day I taught the Bible lesson and a girl came back for counseling. Well, two girls. The first one had a very sad home life and I was practically crying as she told me what she wanted me to pray for. I prayed with her, and then the other little girl came back.
She wanted me to tell her how to believe in Jesus. Now, mind you, this girl had been asking me all throughout club if it was time for the missionary story. She really, really wanted to hear this missions story. So she deliberately left missions time - and, in consequence, hearing the missions story for that day - to come talk to me about this. I took her through the wordless book and the Bible verses, telling her how Jesus Christ came to forgive her of her sins, and how she could receive this wonderful, unbelievable gift. At the end, she prayed to receive Jesus Christ. Before this week, I had never taken a kid all the way through to the end of the wordless book, mostly because most of those I'd done it with hadn't been ready. Christabelle was different, and she received Jesus Christ!
The next day, my teammate Linda did the Bible lesson, and Ethan (who behaved rather badly this day, too, until after this episode), went back for counseling, dragging another of the little boys along with him while I taught the missionary story. He also prayed that day, and we saw quite an improvement in his behavior. The next day, which was sadly our last (and was also today...it feels like ages ago), he was quiet. He didn't complain when I chose somebody else to come up and help me. He played nicely. And he didn't act as if being there was a great burden. He lingered behind to talk to us, and gave Linda a hug, I believe.
Jesus works miracles.
So yes. In between all that there was much studying and some drama and lots and lots of classroom time where we were told many things at a fast rate. But CYIA is amazing. And I hope I'll get to go back next year, even if it's only for a little bit. :D
On another note, in 11 days I depart for LA (to visit Cassie!!!) and then two days after that, I leave for China!! Am I excited? Oh yes. :D