I have almost finished a week filled with a lot of firsts:
–the first time to design and teach a D.Min course (Doctor of Ministry);
–the first time to teach a one-week intensive solo;
–the first time to teach Japanese leaders
–the first time to teach in an academic setting using a translator the whole time.
It has been challenging. I knew it would be, but I think yesterday was the hardest day I’ve ever had as a teacher. I really thought it would never end. Seven hours of lectures is A LOT of time if the day is going poorly and you’re VERY tired of hearing yourself talk…and you have lost confidence that you are at all effective in any way.
I was reminded last night of words I had shared in the class by Mother Teresa – our goal is not to be successful, but to be faithful. There are many things I have learned this week that I would do differently, but that is all part of this being lots of firsts. It was, in a weird way, sort of a good thing to feel like I had fallen flat on my face and could do nothing about it. Last night in the shower I just sang, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” over and over until I really could just trust Him with the outcome of all of this. It’s good to rest completely in Him….to be reminded that we are but very weak vessels.
Today, thankfully, went much better. My translator friend Yuko and I both sensed something different today than yesterday – we wonder now if there were some spiritual issues involved yesterday. We will finish tomorrow around 12:30. I am missing my family so much, but thankful for the opportunity to learn such a great deal in a short amount of time. It’s felt like an honor to teach these pastors who each have such amazing life stories. I cried as I prayed for them this morning, recognizing that I am in a room filled with people who God has specially and uniquely called into fulltime, challenging ministry for his purposes.