A Time to Dance!

A Time to Dance!

Honesty check: We are entering the last two months of our school year, and as a whole this year hasn’t been too easy.

A very long story made very short: As many of you know, the goal of our English program here in Chile is to support already existing Chilean English programs and teachers by serving as assistants in local schools. Due to circumstances outside of my control, my role as an assistant has morphed into being the head English teacher for the majority of this year.

As a good Lutheran would say: What Does This Mean? 

Well… it has meant many highs and lows and many many emotions.

When we originally accepted our positions here in Chile, I knew that my job as an assistant teacher would be a tough transition for me. While I was 100% confident in my decision to quit my full-time teaching job, I knew that I would greatly miss it and that the role of being an assistant would really challenge me.

I was right! Changing my mindset from one of head teacher to one of supporting another teacher has been quite the humbling adventure. However, I knew that this was a journey that I wanted to be on. In fact, it was the original reason I wanted to move to Chile in the first place! To shift the focus from serving in my classroom to a greater focus on serving Him.

Well, not too many weeks into my new assistant position was I suddenly tossed into the classroom alone. Mental Shock! I had been praying and focusing on changing my mindset and here I was, head teacher again, working in classrooms of 30 kids with very very limited Spanish skills. This was exactly what I had NOT signed up for!

For the past year and a half, this has been my reality at school. Sometimes I am able to work with a Chilean teacher and other times (especially in more recent months) I have been left alone with my students and an entirely different school system than what I have been used to in the states.

Humbling? Challenging? Scary? Mentally Exhausting? YES, all of the above!

However, in the ups and downs of this school year, God has been giving me exactly what I asked and prayed for in the very beginning. An opportunity to realize and trust that while my work life has not been in my control, He has and forever will be in control. No matter what comes my way at work, I can still have great joy in serving with the family of believers here and in sharing Jesus with my students, faculty, and parents.

And so … as I brace myself for the last two months of school … I realize and am thankful for the many circumstances and lessons that are going to be coming my way.

Like Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  

Recently, we had a beautiful opportunity to DANCE under the heavens at a wedding for one of our church members. It was a blast helping the family prepare for and celebrate Jose and Gabi. This wedding was a wonderful reminder for me personal that life goes on whether my job is perfect or not. (=

The wedding took place at the groom’s family home. We spent the entire day before the wedding cleaning out a space in the family welding business located on the same property. 
Freshly-picked flowers from grandma’s garden. 
Beautiful homemade decorations
The wedding party officially registering the marriage with a civil clerk. 
Joy and so much love!
The space was quickly converted into a banquet hall after the ceremony. Here the father of the groom is giving a toast to the newlyweds. 
Time for some MEAT! Check out the groom serving his guests. 
A delicious meal prepared by the family. 
As the banquet hall was being cleaned up and converted into a dance hall, we had a blast with a goofy photo-booth. Here’s the bride and groom holding a sign that is the Chilean saying for “And they lived happily ever after.” 
The dancing king and queen of the night
Groom and his family
Even Pastor and Ellen got in on the fun!
The grandmas sat in the corner giggling during the photo booth sessions. We had a blast sneaking up on them and forcing them to pose for a pic!
First dance
Mother and Father of the groom: a wonderful example of Christian Marriage! 
Dancing is more fun with props
Enjoying the beautiful day
Enjoying fun with good friends
Cake followed by dancing well into the night. 
Congratulations to the beautiful couple. May God bless you now and forever! 

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