This past Wednesday, we had our second round of dinners with Jacob's students. He has five classes. Four groups of sophomores, and one group of adult professionals who are basically auditing it for conversation proficiency. Jacob told me a day or two before that he felt led to help this class shovel snow. All students are required to shovel snow for a certain amount of time. So, that day he told them he wanted to help them, and asked them to text him when they would be out shoveling. After lunch, he headed to office hours, and had not heard from his students. He went out to check, and found them shoveling without him. Much to his students' surprise, he and Ephraim grabbed shovels, and started helping. He had taken Ephraim with him to encourage a servant's heart in him, and have fun doing it.
They succeeded! Ephraim did help, but when someone came along that needed his shovel, he got to run around and play too. After they returned, I headed out to grab items for the party. I was concerned about crossing the street because traffic was so backed up, that I almost backtracked to go somewhere else. I knew, however, that they would not have the items I needed. So I plowed through, dragging my grocery cart behind. I was able to find what I needed except for plastic spoons, so beans and cornbread eaten with chopsticks it would be! I started to head back, and traffic was still the same, but this time my cart was full, with a rice bag, filled to the brim with inside shoes, piled on top of it. There was no stoplight, stop sign, or pedestrian crossing in this area, so when this happens, I usually try to follow someone. Sometimes, you wind up crossing one lane at a time, standing on the line, while cars cross in front of and behind you. This is how it was going, only I had a bulky load with me. At one point I thought I was going to be crushed when a car brazenly pushed through, smashing and scraping my rice bag in the process. I finally made it across, and dragged my cart through the snow till I reached home. Whew! I was in the kitchen when the students arrived, and they were much quieter than the last crew. This time they brought us oranges, bananas, honey melon, pomelo, and dragon fruit. Another girl, M, gave me hand cream, and chocolates for the kids. Some of them took a tour of our apartment and oooohed and awwwwed over our children, while a few of them helped me prepare fried potatoes in the kitchen.
They were a more introverted group. I talked mainly to just a few of them that night, but our conversations were more meaningful. I was able to speak more openly and freely, and they had deeper questions. They were very curious about how we celebrate Christmas. One of them basically said that she knew Americans celebrated it, and that it was fun, but she wasn't sure what it was about. Sadly, this is very common. I got to explain a little, but there were so many other questions too. There was a student named Elijah. I asked him if he knew they story of Elijah.
He said, "No, I don't know the story, but I know about Vampire Diaries." I'm assuming there's a character named Elijah on there. Sad. After he left the kitchen, the topic turned to body image, as it often does in a group of girls. One girl that night, M, did not even eat anything I served. She only ate orages stating that she was concerned about putting on winter weight. Her English was exceptional, the best that I had heard. One girl, C, asked Jacob why we had the Word printed on cards around our house. There were also some humorous moments. C asked me if the people in the big cities and the small towns in America spoke the same language? Did we have different dialects? I had to stifle a giggle, even though the question was a reasonable one. Two of them, M and C, gave me their phone number so that I could call them if I needed help with anything. When it was over, I was thankful to have made some connections, and have some direction.
Showers of Blessing:
Husband with a servant's heart
Ephraim having a great attitude about shoveling snow
New fruit to try (honey melon)
Making new connections