Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year 2009

Last year Noelle and I were granted the ability and opportunity to many great things. However, I am reminded of Mother Teresa's quote, "There are no great things to be done, only small things with great love".

Noelle and I just returned from Indonesia with Verne and Rahel Ward (Verne and I housed together in college). We were their with 11 multi-cultural students to talk about adjustment back into home culture. We met, we played, we shared and we experienced much love. It was good to meet together and read through 2 Timothy together. Timothy was someone that the students were able to relate too.

Some of the greatest things that the students learned from this trip were
- To fan into flame the gifts that God has given you
- Life is difficult and you are not alone, it is important to ask for help
- I'm not alone in the struggles of identity and culture shock

It is important that we as adults learn from kids. They are very gracious to other and to them self, they enjoy having a good time and see good times as more important than meetings and they are willing to do what is asked of them, simply because we expect them to follow through (we often just get mad because it did not happen right away, or it wasn't perfect, but generally they do it and we often don't acknowledge their work).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Homecoming in Hong Kong

It took me a little by surprise to enter my hotel lobby and have a colleague tell me they had met someone from Nampa who knew me. I was taken aback, but managed to say George Zickefoose? Ryan Roberts? She said, "nope, a Waller".

My immediate thought went to my former professor and pastor, Gary, but then I remembered what conference I was at, International Children's Educators Conference, and thought it would make more since if Dennis, the educator rather than Gary, the pastor, was at the conference. 30 minutes later I was at the conference registration table grabbing 28
name tags and welcome bags only to turn around and see Dennis and Linda Waller. I first met them at NNU while I was a student there in the Social Science Education Department.

However, they were not the only
NNU people I was to reunite with. Ryan and George, mentioned earlier, administrators at Taejon Christian International School were also there. So there we were at International Christian School of Hong Kong 6 NNU alumni or faculty reunited (Noelle, Sam, George, Ryan, Dennis and Linda).

That alone would be a homecoming or sorts, but no, life had to get much more interesting. On the first day of the conference I lined up for lunch, which by the way was not the best meal I ever had (but they were cooking for 900 people so I guess I understand), and as I turned to see how long the line was behind me, I screamed, ok maybe screamed is a little exaggerated, but I did yell "Mr. Culp". that's right Mr. Culp, my high school chemistry teacher was standing right behind me. He had obviously participated in No Shave November as he was sporting a stylish beard, but I hugged him anyway, nothing wrong with two bearded men hugging when they haven't seen each other or heard from each other in 4 years is there?

Any way, Jeff (Mr. Culp) and I ate lunch with some faculty from ICS Singapore when Jeff preceded to tell them how great a student I was (oh, how quickly we forget) and I preceded to tell them how great a teacher he was (this is absolutely true).

It was pretty fantastic.

For now I will go, but plan to write again soon.

In Him,

Sam for us