By: Ivone Lamanilao
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15 (KJV)
The first time I saw and talked to her, I didn’t feel comfortable. I didn’t know why!
On my first few weeks of staying here in Korea as an English missionary teacher, I already heard a lot of negative feedbacks. Honestly, I wasn’t trained to teach and how to deal with the students. A month had passed and my supervisor began to complain. It seemed that everything I did was not right in her sight.
There were lots of complaints like; “Teacher, why your voice is so loud? It can trigger a headache for students who aren’t feeling well.” And sometimes she’d say, “Teacher, your voice is so weak. Could you make it louder so the students won’t feel bored?” She would also ask the children, “Jime upso?” (It’s not fun, right?) “Teacher, your test is so hard for the students!” Or, “Teacher, your test is very simple. You don’t need to review the students, just give the test papers right away.” And another weekly test came and she’d complain that I had to give a lesson review because how would the students understand better if I didn’t give a review. “Teacher, your weekly lessons have many mistakes. You know, we Korean teachers don’t like even one mistake. You forgot to put a period!”
I was fed up! With a loud voice, I told her, “Your instructions are very confusing! Everything I do isn’t right! I’m doing my best because this is my responsibility as a missionary teacher. However, I am so tired! You are so confusing!” Her face turned red and she walked out. The students were also noisy, that I couldn’t hold my anger anymore. I hit the table with the stick in my hand. It was broken into three pieces. After all this, there was silence!
I was sad that it happened. I felt sorry for my students and to my supervisor because of my behavior that day. With sincere prayers and forgiveness, God helped me see the reason why I’m here in Korea. I realized that I’m here to serve. As a missionary, I’m learning how to walk humbly and slow to anger. I know that God is faithful and loving enough to lead me each day.
Philippians 2:14-16, say, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”