My Chinese is still a bit rocky, but I totally understood the argument that was taking place in the halls of the orphanage on Tuesday – my first full day at the orphanage.
“She can teach art to blind kids. My class wants art too!”
I wanted to burst out laughing at the sweet Chinese teacher who was going to bat for her kids to have art. She and I have become good friends over the year (I taught a different class with her last semester) and now that she has moved classrooms she was advocating for me to move with her.
Only the Father could grant me so much favor and allow doors to open for me to love on the kids at the orphanage. Teaching the three classes last semester was one of the greatest joys of my life….so I am stepping out in faith knowing 8 classes this semester will be even better. But, I must admit (blind kids or not) I am feeling in over my head. One of my new classes is a group of foster kids and their moms as well as community parents and their special needs children. The special education director introduced me to the class with a smile saying, “Tammy speaks awful Chinese but she is great with our kids.” That is a note of confidence to start a class with. I was sweating as I looked into the eyes of the adults in the room. It is one thing to mix up my words with a group of kids….adults make me nervous! I soon forgot my older audience as we started playing with playdough!
The game has changed. I now have an official printout of my class schedule just like the other teachers. I have been invited into the break/office space the other teachers share and I am getting to know ALL of the kids at the Children’s Home. At this rate, I joked with my husband that I will know every special needs child in our city of 2 million people!
You know what I am learning through all of this…again. I really love kids with disabilities! They are the best and I am so thankful that G.d is stretching me to love more fully and deeply. But I can’t do this alone. Double the classes means I need double the creativity and double the energy. I already see how G.d is providing for me to do this work through a supportive husband who is taking over the homeschooling on Tuesdays. I also am more thankful than ever for the supplies that were brought to us this spring/summer and all of the supplies and gifts given to us while we were in the States. The older kids loved making paperbag puppets with googley eyes this week!
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days I could use some extra pr@yers as I strive to love the kids well and ultimately show them a deeper more eternal love.