I can't sleep and so I've been spending about a half an hour in bed thinking about tomorrow morning (today really) when I will teach Sunday School to the 3rd/4th graders. I am going to try to get them to write cards to one of the girls who we support as a missionary- she's in Nigeria right now but she's going to be spending the bulk of her mission time in China. So I've been thinking "how do I get them to write encouraging words? should I just ask them to draw pictures?"
Because, admittedly, I sell the kids short and forget that 3rd graders are capable of multiplication and much more.
And I've been thinking of all the things that we could talk about, that the missionary might need prayers for- simple things like adjustment to food and language. But also things like courage- can kids understand that it is really scary to talk about your faith? To people who a)see you as an obvious foreigner and b)who don't understand a word you are saying and c)see things from a whole different cultural perspective.
And then I started thinking about how people say "I feel weird when I'm around people who aren't speaking English, because I feel like they are talking about me..."
I was reminded of my first pedicure (about 2 months ago)- my friend and I went to a salon and the asian ladies painting our toenails talked to each other but not to us. We both felt, afterwards, a bit self-conscious- "were they talking about how gross my feet were? I have cankles and dried out heels. Were they laughing at me?"
And then I started thinking about how sometimes (well, a lot of times), Dennis and I do speak in Spanish when we want privacy. We do speak in Spanish when we are talking about someone and we don't want them to hear. It's probably an unethical use of a gift to speak the language, but it's like speaking in code. We don't always talk about people in front of them but we have done it. (We've even said things like "are you seeing what she is wearing?? She's wearing a bikini. In the pharmacy."
So I can't tell my sunday school kids to pray for that but it's on my mind. I hope my missionary friend feels accepted in her new environment.
*Cute anecdote about sunday school: We sing this song "when I grow up I want to be a -----" and you say what you want to be when you grow up (to the Oscar Myer wiener song). I always say "I want to be a mommy". Last week I mentioned my husband and one of the girls said "YOU'RE MARRIED??" And the other little girl said "OFCOURSE SHE'S MARRIED!!! WHY ELSE WOULD SHE SAY SHE WANTS TO BE A MOMMY??!!"