Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off to Prague I go...

Just the normal sort of weekend trip. Sorta funny, last weekend my colleague, Tomáš, went to Prague. He said it had been a long time since he was last there. We were thinking six months or something crazy like that. Turned out it was more than a year. It almost seems like he said three years. I just can't begin to imagine that since I go to Prague at least every other month. But I suppose it's like anything else. When it's your "normal" life, you tend not to get out that much. As much as I've come to feel quite comfortable living here, it's still not what I would call "normal."
I'm taking the 8:04 train tonight, and should arrive in Prague around 12. This comes after teaching four classes today (that's 8 teaching hours). Makes for a rather long day. Originally I was planning to then head out to the guys' house on my own, but now someone is going to meet me. Really is preferable, although I could have done it on my own.
Tomorrow I'll be doing some observations. I'm not doing critiques of their teaching or anything, just coming along to see how they're doing. Afterward we'll do mid-year reflections. I'm looking forward to this part of the trip. I think it will be nice to chat with them about how things are going. Hopefully this will be a way to get to know them better, and to know how I can be praying and encouraging them as well.
Saturday we have our Spiritual Renewal Retreat. I'm curious to see how it will go this year. I'm really hoping that it will serve to be refreshing. I've been feeling pretty worn out lately, and like my lessons aren't what they should be, and my energy level is low. I think it will be nice to have a chance to worship together in English, and just share in community. It can be really difficult to go to a Czech church. While I do enjoy it, and we do have translators, it still a lot different and a lot harder to focus. And singing in Czech doesn't really work so well for me because I don't understand what I'm saying, and therefore lack the feeling that goes behind the words. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to English speaking fellowship. Last weekend I listened to a podcast from the Vine, my church in Hong Kong, and it was just so wonderful to hear someone I know speaking in English about God. I can't even express the relief I felt, sitting on my bed with my computer and my Bible, feeling like I was at home. (sigh)
I've got my next four weekends booked solid. It's exciting and exhausting and hopefully exactly what I need to get me out of the January slump. Then, when all the rush and craziness is over, it will be time to hand in my decision to ESI about next year. Not a whole lot of time left to make the decision. Once again, like last year, I find myself wishing I could escape to Bethany House on Cheung Chau for a few days to soak of the sun and really reflect and pray. It's difficult to find ways to do that here. Well, I suppose I do have some long train rides in my near future, but it's not the same. I would really appreciate all the prayers I can get over the next few weeks as I try to figure everything out. The deadline for decisions is February 15. Right after that ever so optimistic holiday, Valentine's Day. Gotta say I'm glad they don't really celebrate that one around here. Not a very uplifting time for Sarah.

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