Category Archives: Blessings

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Prelude to a new semester

It’s time to return to Korea for a new semester.  Hubby and I are completing our packing today.  We had the pleasure of returning to the U.S. for a couple of months, and we are thankful for the opportunity to visit family in other states.

As much as I love teaching in Korea, I still feel a bit of sadness just before we leave to go back to campus.  I’m very close to my kids.  My favorite six-year old (my daughter’s son) is my heart and buddy.  My kids are young adults and can take of themselves quite well, thank you, but I guess a mom is always a mom.  Thank goodness for Skype!

Hubby and I will fly out of the U.S. tomorrow afternoon.  After our 13-hour flight, we’ll land in Korea the following evening — in time to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

I’ve been listening to some music from R & B artist Anthony Hamilton to keep my spirits up.  Also heartwarming:  at church we received prayers, as well as a donation to help with our travel expenses.  Another church member, a sweet spirit, handed us a cash gift and shared her own experiences of visiting Korea in 1983.  We are blessed with a wonderful cadre of family and friends who have prayed for us and with us, and who have been totally supportive of our mission.

While I’m a bit sad about leaving the comforts of home, I’m also happy because I know we will reconnect with our lovely friends in Korea.  I’m also looking forward to meeting new students and faculty.  I also look forward to getting little reassuring notes and words of wisdom from my brother-in-law, who toiled for years as a career missionary.

As it was in the beginning of this journey, the big lure for me is still working in the classroom.  For me, it’s a natural high.

Unexpected blessings

This semester will soon come to an end.  Hubby and I are planning our final classes and preparing final exams.  We enjoy teaching, but we’re beat!  I’ve graded a ton of papers.  I expect my students to improve their English-speaking skills AND learn how to write a good sentence.

Today I was fighting fatigue and grading papers when one student’s paper brought a smile to my face.  My class recently studied how to use adverbs.  I assigned follow-up homework:  Write a poem using adverbs.  You can imagine the groans I received!

I believe that pupils will rise to your expectations if you give them a chance, and my kids did not disappoint.  One of my students, Josh, submitted this poem:

The Lord in the Morning


Waking up in the morning.

Alarm clock sings loudly.

My soul sings to the Lord peacefully.

The sun rises.

I whisper my love to God sweetly.

Having a shower.

I confess my sins to the Lord.

He washes my sins clearly.

Taking clothes.

The spirit comes to me slowly.

Every day …

I could sing of your love forever.

— Josh Kim

Sometimes we teachers wonder if we’re getting through to our students, especially those of us teaching English as a second language.  Josh’s poem is a burst of sunshine and an unexpected blessing.