Tales from Taiwan #14

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Dear sisters,

The past two weeks I have heard comments from my students like "You are Teacher Joanna, right?!  Your voice sounds so strange!" or "You need to drink more water for your voice!" or my all-time favorite, "Teacher, you sound like a boy!"  

Yes, I am recovering from a bad bout of bronchitis where I lost my voice.  Losing your voice as a teacher is one of the worst things ever.  I'm just thankful for friends who helped give me creative ideas on how to teach classes without speaking!  I am so glad for worksheets, coloring pages and chalkboard exercises that don't require my voice.  Another big blessing is that my students were super understanding and supportive and very well behaved!

As I'm still recovering my health and my voice, it makes me grateful for all the times I have had my voice and take it for granted.  Thankfully I'm improving but in the meantime I kind of sound a little strange!

Through all this, God has been showing me how important words really are.  Reminds me of that verse in Proverbs 18:21 that says "death and life are in the power of the tongue".  This is especially important as someone who works with children on a regular basis.  God has been reminding me that what I say can impact them positively or negatively.  Or when I make a promise, I need to keep it.

For example, last semester one of my students Brian (*name changed) invited my friend and I to his birthday party.  He invited us two months in advance.  Then the date came up and I realized we didn't have a way of contacting him and we didn't know the party time.  So we guessed and went to his village.  When we arrived at Brian's house, all was quiet and I was disappointed that we had evidently missed the party.

However, when Brian came to the door and saw us standing there, he smiled like it was the most natural thing in the world that his two American teachers showed up late for his party.  When I asked Brian if he was surprised we remembered and came, he shook his head and said, "I knew you would come because you said you would.  So I just prayed that you would come and that was all."

Brian's words have stayed with me and recently God brought them to mind again as I've been sick.  Words are powerful!  So as we start another week of students, I'm praying that my speech will be uplifting, encouraging and most importantly, point others to Christ.  I pray the same for you wherever God has you right now.  May He season your speech with His grace!

For Him in Taiwan,


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