by Alexandra Rutkowski
Warning: This is long. And tedious. It’s a lot of time covered. But I’m probably the only one really reading this. Which isn’t bad. This is mainly for me to look back and remember things later on.
It’s been a stretching week. The hardest I can remember in a while. It’s definitely the most challenging trip I’ve ever been on and it’s tested me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. And this past week, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to establish a connection with my students. It was rough. Incredibly discouraging and draining. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through it. I felt a strong spiritual attack and with everything going on, I began to doubt whether God even called me to minister here. But I know He has. By the end of the week, I connected with the few girls in my class and it was amazing. But I had one experience, call it a divine appointment, which confirmed that. It shattered my heart. I felt the Spirit impress something specific upon my heart over and over again. That one encounter with my student was worth it. Though it was small, I feel like that may have been a reason God brought me here. I know this student will face great opposition, but will accomplish much for the Kingdom. Praise God.
A few things:
- This week, my girls looked at my eyes and said, “Teacher! What’s on your eye?” Over and over again they asked, and I didn’t get what they were asking. Finally I understood. Eyelids. They don’t have eyelids. They kept staring at mine! “Teacher? Do any more in America have them?” “Yes, all of us.” “What!? No way. Ewwww!!”
- My students were taking a long exam and there was no AC. So, I went around and tried to fan about 60 students with my thick book. I miscalculated and whacked one kid in his face. My bad, haha.
- When people are sick, they wear doctor’s masks over their mouth/nose wherever they go. It’s so weird. I was confused for a long time.
- Gift-giving is huge here in the classroom. I have a few things to remember my students by, which is precious to me.
- Last minute, but on Saturday we went to the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, Korea. It was HUGE. It was legit. Wow. The latest technology, 42 or so countries each had their own pavilion/exhibition. It was stunning. We waited in the world’s largest line for “Korea’s largest aquarium” which was advertised with a beluga whale and massive exhibit. Over 100 degrees out for several hours… for… the world’s… worst aquarium. Haha, I’m pretty sure I’m longer than that whale! Oh advertising. Getting to Yeosu and back was definitely an experience. Riding the KTX train for several hours each way, and sitting on the floor or the steps or falling asleep in the corner of the floor. I felt like a hobo! It was kinda awesome. It was so crowded, guys were laying on top of each other. I left a giant imprint on the wall because I had coconut oil on instead of sunscreen, and it got all over the wall, leaving my outline. Gross? Yes. But awesome? Oh yeah.
- Kelly and I “prepared” to sing a song last minute (because everything in Korea works last minute) for three Sunday services of this mega church in Iksan. It looks like an airport when you walk in, it’s so huge! But by “prepare,” we mean that we picked the song and listened to it on Youtube and the only time we got to sing it with a guitarist for the first time was at the actual service. No practice. It went well though! Televised. Yes.
- This month has been record temperature in Korea. It’s the hottest it’s been in 50-something years. New record. I can attest to that. It’s definitely an oven here. I shouldn’t have packed so many sweaters.
- We heard from the principal at the first high school (extremely difficult and seemingly hopeless week at times) that the kids loved all of us and we left a greater impact on them than any other group that’s come before us. Praise God. It’s about sharing the love of the Father.
- The people are so broken here. They need Christ. I love all my students… I just want them to know the greatness of the love of God. I wish I could explain. My life has to be my testimony.
- That’s a lot of information. I think I should probably stop.
God, keep teaching me. Thank You for keeping Your promises. You are faithful and good. Thank you.