On the mission field, you really have no idea what to expect. Back in 2013, I bought a Groupon for an online course on teaching English as a second language. At the end of the course, I got a certificate and laughed at the idea that I would ever use it. I mean, standing up in front of a class sounds like pure torture to me, but God has a way of changing things. A couple of weeks ago, when a local Pastor asked us to teach English classes. I have no idea who was speaking when I said “Yes”, but it sure wasn’t me.
So, last week, after many anxiety attacks and a lot of frantic preparation, there I was standing in front of not one, but four classes teaching them English. The first day went great and with my newly made sock puppets, we taught a basic conversation to introduce ourselves.
The next day, we started exploring the classroom and identifying things like your desk, chair and the door. Once we got the words down verbally, I would ask them “What is this?” and wait for them to respond. Of course, their response was “What is this?” instead of the name of the item. So, then I would shrug by shoulders and hold my hands up as if asking “What?” and they copied me exactly and shrugged their shoulders as well.
In another class, I would point to the drawings on the board and before I could ask “What is this?”, they responded with “What is this.” I then realized that they thought my drawing of a desk was actually called a “what is this”.