Saturday, August 6, 2011

This Year's Wish List

Last semester I would lay in my bed, shrouded in a mosquito net with a fan blowing gale-force wind on me. I day-dreamed about my next trip to Dallas. As much as is possible, that day-dream came true these past two months during our summer break.

I have slept. I drank cold Texas beer. I have eaten smokey Texas barbecue. I swam in the deep, rich relationships that are always ready to welcome me back to Texas with open arms. And now it is time to go.

It is time to pack up all our gear and get our minds focused back on our calling. I do not go back and read old blog entries, but I feel like I am repeating myself when I say that I have high hopes for what happens this year. I know that my God is going to do tremendous things that I cannot think of, but I also hope that He does some specific things that I have been praying about. These are my hopes for the next 10 months.
  1. I hope that a spiritual awakening happens at Quisqueya Christian School. You might ask- why does a supposedly Christian school need an awakening? Many of our students do not have a strong concept of having a personal relationship with God. Quite a few have a background with families or schools that were secular or only nominally religious. Specifically, after the earthquake we had a large group of kids transfer in without much religious background. Some people in my Haiti community dislike this because it has changed the culture of the school- these kids can be rougher, more swearing, more cheating. I LOVE THESE KIDS and I love the challenge they present. They are hurting, they are hungry, and I want to walk with them. Also, not to be overly simplistic, but I think there we have a dream that as our students experience life change through Jesus, their families will be positively affected. And their families are in many cases leaders of the Haitian business class which (again, not to be too simplistic) could have a real effect on Haiti as a nation.
  2. I hope to develop into a bad-ass teacher. Seriously, I want to be a holy-history-terror. I want the students to cower in fear for primary-source documents, essays, and pop quizzes. When I am done with them, I want them all to be ready to dominate any college history course thrown at them and be able to, in perfect 5 paragraph format, tell their friends why their opinions are wrong. The best easily-quotable teacher advice I ever received came from the sage Art McMahon, who said that "we should strive now to be the teachers that the students will be grateful for 10 years from now; not be the teachers the students want now."
  3. I hope to be more intentional with my time. Something I hate about myself is that I have the worst time management. I am have great plans (see above) but I do not always do the things that make those plans successful. To me there is a considerable gap between who I want to be and who I am; the things I want to do and the things I do. So I want to be specific about how I spend my time this year. I want to make sure all the things I wrote above come to fruition.
So that, in blogable form, is what I want to see happen this year.

-Ben

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