4th year anniversary!
This is God's grace to me manifested! ♥
The first day I started teaching English online was August 13, 2011.
It feels like only a few months ago since I started. hihi. ;)
I'm not really a teacher, so staying in the same job for 4years (and to continue enjoying it) is absolutely just God's grace to me!
There are some downsides in home-based teaching too, but I would focus on the benefits (at least in my case):
1. Cross-cultural ministry
My mission field every workday, opportunities for evangelism & intercession, sharing God's Word, and helping them move one step closer to God, etc.
2. Flexible time
I can easily juggle schedules for ministry & discipleships, also for dates & fellowships with beloved people in my life. (I used to abuse this by saying "yes" to all possible other schedules outside work because I really can, but the Lord is teaching me proper balance, praise Him!)
I can wear pajamas as my best office attire/ can easily lie down when I feel tired after some lessons (hihi)/ can eat anytime I don't have lessons/ can sometimes work even without brushing my teeth first (I didn't have to admit this, right? hahaha!)/ I don't have to travel to a workplace when raining, and not.
4. Learn culture
I can learn soooo much about...
--yukata, hanabi, hanami, gogatsu byou, nengajo, giri choco, burakku kigyo, geisha, maiko-san, seiji no hi, yurukyara ichi-go-san, shinkansen, nominication, bon odori, omotenashi, cram schools, golden week, otoshidama, kabuki, rakugo, kayabuki, etc.
--yukimi daifuku!!, taiyaki, kushikatsu, okinomiyaki, tonkotsu ramen, yakitori, yakiniku, misokatsu, wagashi, onigiri, kakigori, kanimiso, shoyu ramen, osechi, kamaboko, kaiten zushi, oden, chirashi zushi, kurikinton, kazunoko, etc.
*geography/ prefectural spots:
I don't think it's a good thing, but here's a secret, I know Japan's geography much more than my own country's, especially the location of prefectures/ regions.
--little desert in Totori, Itsukushima shrine in Hiroshima, Shirakawago in Gifu, Beppu hot springs Oita, Aokigahara Jukai in Yamanashi, Sakurajimasan in Kagoshima, Furano lavender farm in Hokkaido, Skytree in Asakusa-Tokyo, etc.
--Edo Era, Meiji Era, Samurai, shogun, Kyoto being the old capital of Japan, tenno purposes, etc.
*social issues/ politics
--population decline - aging society, increase in number of career women, Abenomics, pending TPP, low voting percentage during elections, Senkaku islands dispute with Ch*na, hikikomori, otaku, problems on energy sources, 8% consumption tax, etc.
*distinct people groups
--Ainu people in Hokkaido, and Ryukyu people in Kyushu;
Just a little Nihongo! I use expressions helpful in my lessons, especially for beginners, since I don't want them to feel anxious and nervous about the lesson.
There are just soooo many things I learn! I didn't mention the common ones above anymore. :)
[Please forgive wrong Romaji spellings, if there are any.]
5. Promote Philippines' tourism
I learned more about our tourist spots, food, culture, way of living since some of my other students are asking about it too;
Seeing our culture in my students' eyes, I also had a fresh perspective of our culture in a way that makes me see our own as unique & interesting.
Trust me, I'm a Philippines-tourism-secret-indirect-ambassadress!! *wink, wink, wink, and another wink!* (^_~)
6. Opportunity for friendships
I love my students and although not all of them are close to me, some are close enough for me to know what's going on in their lives. In fact, I've known some since my first year of teaching. For some, I already know their family members in a whole lot of different circumstances.
Some ask for advice (and some, actually follow them), thank God!;
I praise God to have opportunities to influence lives not basing on my own opinions but basing on God's design in His Word... ♥
Ha! I almost forgot this.
Wow, really... in a lot of ways! Thank You, Lord! :)
There are so many instances that my heart gets revealed in both negative and positive ways. This doesn't only happen during the lesson proper, but even in the background.
Like, how I respond when there is a sudden internet connection cut or a sudden blackout.
Or maybe when a student is quite provocative.
Or when a student praises me as a tutor.
Or when there is opportunity to share truth about God.
Or when I make a mistake as a tutor.
There are even instances when I want to let out an irritated tone of voice, but after a quick reminder from the Holy Spirit to exhibit a life set apart for the Lord, I suddenly let out a sweet one. (Hahaha! I laugh at myself!)
You know how we respond, not only in words/actions, but inside our hearts? That's important to Him... .. He sees that.
God is just THE master Teacher. ♥
There are even circumstances too many to count that the timing of God is just perfect!
His help? It's ever-present!
His guidance, never fails!
His wisdom, He freely gives!
His provision, sufficient for my needs!
When I lack the provision from my job, God never failed to provide outside of my job... His reminders that my job is not my provider is always so timely.
I've grown more in my practical knowledge of the Lord in my four years of teaching.
And for that? I am grateful to my Shepherd.
Nothing is wasted in the four years of teaching ministry. I thank the Lord for the testings I've passed, and those that I've failed too. He just changes me more and more. All are just precious parts of my journey.
Dear reader, see God in your workplaces, know Him through His Word and see Him every moment! Don't think that He can only speak during devotion and prayer times. He is everywhere and He is always instructing us. This God, although high and exalted and majestic in all His ways, is also a personal God. Not to everyone! But only to those who, in their hearts, truly believe in Jesus Christ not only as their Savior, but also their Lord (Master), and have turned their backs from their sinful lives, and asked for God's forgiveness.
All that I have am is because of God's grace at work.
For all of these wonderful blessings, I praise my Lord who loved me and gave Himself up for me. His is the honor, His is the glory for all the things He does.
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen."