After the first few English classes, I can say that many of the kids are adorable, and I really look forward to teaching them.  And others…well, I suspect God intends to use them as a means to teach me patience, perseverance, and grace.  It’s not that much different from the higher grades really, except the adorable ones become the responsible, respectful ones.  You know, the funny thing is that even though I’m not analyzing literary masterpieces with them, or discussing the events leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution, I find my time with these kindergartners somehow more rewarding than that. One of my favorite things is seeing excited smiles on the kids’ faces when I walk into the classroom with my teacher box full of materials.  It seems that being a father has made me much more kid-friendly and much less awkward around them.

The best part of my job is the awesome team with which I work.  This is the first time that I’ve had a job in which I’m surrounded by believers who are encouraging one another in their pursuit of Christ.  We start the day in God’s Word and in prayer, and I almost feel like it’s all too good to be true, except there’s no such thing with God.

As I’m starting my new life as a kindergarten teacher, Anna’s starting hers as a stay-at-home mom.  It hasn’t been without difficulties, and it’s a major transition.  But as Anna establishes her routine, networks with other moms in the community, and sees some of the early fruit of her efforts with Eden, she’s finding that this has been a good decision for her.

KG – the youth group called “Knowing God,” not the kindergarten – also started back up this past Friday.  I was happy to see all the kids, especially my small group.  They’re 11th graders now!  I’m particularly excited about this year because of the leadership’s collective renewed focus on expository preaching and intensive bible study.  I had, over the summer, determined to focus on that in my small group, and I was delighted to hear that the consensus among the other leaders is that we need more bible!

In a couple of weeks, Anna and I will host the first prayer meeting in our house.  I wrestled with the idea of starting something at our place all last year, and after much prayer and confirmation, we decided to move forward.  At present, there are about six of us planning to come together every other Monday to encourage each other from the Word and to bring our petitions to God.  My hope is that God will give us a spirit of prayer and Christ-centered unity, and that He would bring revival in our community.

As you can see, there is quite a bit going on this year, and prayers for God’s grace in each of the above-mentioned areas would be greatly appreciated.  And to those back in the States, please know that we will continue to mention you in our prayers as well.

Finally, I realize that this is only the second post I’ve ever written in somewhat of a newsletter format.  For those of you back home who want updates without all the fluff or all the introspection, here’s your reward for persevering!  But don’t get too excited.  I can’t bring myself to be this cut and dry more than once a year!