February 3, 2006—

Today was awesome! In the morning we spilt into groups of guys and girls and the girls went to a shopping center where we browsed through stores, hung out at Starbucks, and then had Wisdom Search outside in the courtyard. Following that we joined the guys on the bus and ate lunch on the way to the school where the seminars and the CI are being held. After roll call and prayer, Rowan talked about the power of a positive teacher. The more I thought about what he said, the better it sounded, and I purposed to try to implement some of the principles that night with my children. Rowan also alerted all of the American teachers to the Group Stupid Factor, and though it was funny, I think that we all realized that it was true. You see, each person has some element of stupidity in them and when you get a large group together, you have a high level of stupidity which results in people walking in front of moving vehicles or blocking off an entire walkway.

Kristi did teacher training and then gave us a little over an hour to just go off and spend some time by ourselves and do whatever we needed to do. Some people slept, others prepared lessons or crafts, and I wrote in my journal before going back and reading Psalms 20. At the beginning of this week Rowan read that Psalm to us and he urged us to go back and read it when things were going well and when things weren't going well so I read that Psalm over and over and did some meditating on it.

Students on their way to large group

I taught the first lesson that evening—the web of untruth. I didn't have much time but I think that the children understood what I was trying to teach. There is this one older girl on my team and normally the older children do not want to participate at all, but this girl listened well during small group and would interact during large group so I went out of my way to praise her for her attentiveness and enthusiasm. She just shyly smiled at me and I could tell that my few simple words meant a lot to her.

I had prayed that the Lord would give me His love for the children and I really feel like He has answered my prayer. I have found that I have this deep, strong, and genuine love for all of the children, but especially for the ones on my team. I love the children when they are good and I love them when they are bad. Tonight during a large group a 7 year old boy bit me and normally I would have been irritated, but this time I just felt a love for the little boy swell up in my heart. I know that the love is coming from God.

The children here are so precious. When I see them smile, hear them laugh, watch them cry, feel their little hands grab mine, see their earnest eyes as they excitedly tell me something in Chinese, I know that God has called me here for a reason, for such a time as this. As I help them work on the crafts and teach them lessons I feel such a joy to know that I have the privilege to impact these children. I am still so thrilled that I have the opportunity to be a part of the first team to conduct a CI in China! The spiritual warfare has been very, very strong at times but the Lord is stronger than the enemy and I know that He will triumph over all of the problems and challenges that will come our way.

May all praise, honor, and glory go to your name, oh Lord.

—Emily Eng
ATI Student from NC