“Got any shrimps?”

One of the ministries here in Chiang Mai is teaching at a local University. When they first told us about this I volunteered; I teach Sunday school back home and figured that this would be a good way to start ministry here in Thailand.

On our first day of teaching me and two others in my team ventured to the school to observe the classes so we might have an idea of how teaching goes here in Thailand. As students entered the first class we could see the interested gazes at the three “falangs” or foreigners sitting in the back of the room
This wasn't your typical Sunday school setting, there was no raising of hands, no organized methods or assigned seats. We observed an English class, and then a tourism class. For the tourism class we got to introduce ourselves, so we got a few less looks of suspicion.

After observing the morning classes the teacher asked us to come back later that afternoon to teach an English class, “Sure!” my team replied, a little unsure of what that meant.
So we arrived at the school ready to teach English.

 As we got up in front of the class it seemed a bit awkward. The first few minutes the students really didn't know what to think, and neither did we. They weren't really paying attention or focusing, so I knew we had to do something different.

So I quickly looked over what I was going to teach next and created an exercise that would get the students to interact more and get out of their seats. I wrote sentences on the board and had them fill in blanks; they started having fun. By the end of the class the students were interacting and smiling much more. We ended class with a game that had the students racing against each other, it was a huge change in atmosphere and everyone was laughing. Thai students are extremely competitive-FYI. When I think of teaching, I'm reminded of Jesus. I'm really doing something that Jesus did. I look at these students and they're looking back at me.

When I look at the students I see some so full of life and in others there is brokenness. I'm given the chance to pour into their lives. Yes, I'm generally telling them how to pronounce “fog” or how to take someone's order, but I'm also forming relationships. I'm following Jesus' example of love, compassion and prayer.

 I pray that He can use me in this ministry to be the light for these students and that Jesus' love can be shown through me.


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