I’m struggling to believe that I’ve been living in Hong Kong for almost two weeks now, and I’m also struggling to adequately document my experiences both here and in my personal journal. So much growth and life changes have happened over the past few days; I don’t even know where to begin. Since the weather here is pretty consistent (which basically means that a rain storm
will hit at some point every day), I’ll share a little bit about a few of the rough moments I’ve experienced here in Hong Kong.
After moving around the USA several times, I’ve experienced my fair share of natural disaster preparations. I’ve lived in various states in the US during hurricane season, snow storms, tornado warnings, flood watches, fierce lightening, and strong ocean currents. However, this summer abroad allows me to add yet another weather phenomena to my growing list: typhoons.
I probably won’t have to actually deal with a real typhoon while I’m here, but we have been prepped for what to do in case a storm like that develops. My life, on the other hand, feels like it’s been hit by a mental typhoon, for adjusting to a new culture is difficult (I feel like I’ve been ripped out of one life and thrust into a new one even though I’ve been anticipating and preparing for this trip for months). Everything around me is different, so I find myself thoroughly enjoying the new experiences while struggling to comprehend this new environment around me. The food is different, and the climate is different. My living space is different, and I am constantly surrounded by new people. I love this life so much, yet I have to continually strive to adjust and adapt as my new set of circumstances swirl and whirl around me.
My team and I have just finished our first week of teaching, and our week was full of sky-high highs and excruciatingly low lows. We were all exhausted by the time Friday evening finally arrived. I love all of my students so much, but I’ve had to deal with continual, focused negativity from one of my kids. That particular student has consistently mocked my attempts to form relationships with other students outside of class time throughout the week, and the student intentionally spoke negatively about me while I was sharing Truth with the rest of the class last Friday. Honestly, it’s been a really, really hard time for me because I wasn’t sure how to best handle the situation, and I couldn’t tell what the other students were thinking each time the kid spoke out against me and my attempts at friendship and sharing Truth. However, I have chosen to pursue joy and strive for peace because I have consistently been given the Strength I need to conquer each day, and I will never stop living out the immense love that my Father has for my students and for me. I told that particular student (in front of the whole class) that my worth and the worth of any person in this world should never be determined or measured by the opinions of man, and I hope that my students will learn that that timeless Truth applies to each of them as well.
As I continue to fight through the mental (and literal) storms raging here in HK (because it rains almost everyday, haha), please continue to speak to the Father and ask that His Light be shined brightly in this city.