Wednesday, June 08, 2011

One Word: Amazing.

Sorting through papers...
"How was your time in Budapest?" This is the question that so many people have been asking and one which I find tough to answer. To sum up my time in Budapest in one sitting seems impossible. So instead of summing it all up and giving a play by play of every day, I smile and answer with one simple word: amazing. Amazing.

Every morning I wake up and glance to the left of my bed where many "Thank you for teaching me, Ms. Turnbull" cards are hanging. Even when I'm staring at them I find it hard to believe I was actually there in Hungary teaching the children who wrote those cards! It's like a wonderful dream.

When the whole adventure began, Dr. Drexler had picked me and another girl up from Covenant College to drive us to the airport. We stopped by a local Christian school to pick up his wife, and as we were sitting in the car Dr. Drexler turned to look at both of us, "This is it you guys. This is the last chance. If you absolutely don't want to come on this trip say so now and I'll drop you back off." The other girl and I chuckled and said that of course we didn't want to not go on this trip. (Double negative, I know I'm sorry).  But inside I was doing all I could to restrain myself from begging to go back to Covenant. What was I doing sitting in a car waiting to head on a plane to Hungary!? This was going way outside my comfort zone. No family moving to a new country with me, going into a school and teaching, and being away from all I knew for 3 weeks... ah!

But, before I knew it the plane was touching down in Budapest and I was sitting on it, wondering what in the world I was doing.

And now, now the adventure is over. The fear of going outside my comfort zone is past, and I just sit here writing this blog post and thanking God for providing for me to go overseas and for allowing me that amazing opportunity to be in the International Christian School of Budapest. Through my time in ICSB God confirmed something that I have been praying about for a long time.

I have wondered, ever since I declared that education would be my major, if I was actually in the right major. I've prayed for clarification and though God has continually shown me through little things that I should continue in that major, I have still constantly wondered if I would even make a good teacher or if I was simply in this major because I love kids and I had no idea what else I would do with my life.

And then one morning the Third Grade teacher at ICSB gave me complete control of her classroom  while she went to the high school chapel. I stood there wondering what the Third Grade teacher was thinking leaving me in charge of her classroom. (I'm not a real teacher!) But, the morning ran smoothly and when the teacher came back and took over her classroom once more, I sat there thanking God for helping me through the morning, and for showing me that I can do all things through HIM who gives me strength, and that teaching is what He has called me to.

Also during our time at ICSB the Kindergarten teacher had to suddenly leave to go back to the US due to her mom passing away. No substitutes were available for the afternoons and the teachers at ICSB asked me and another girl, Georgia, if we would sub every afternoon in Kindergarten. I wanted to yell from the hallway, "Wait! Stop! What are you thinking?! We're not real teachers!!" But we were all they had. You know, God's plans are a lot better than my plans. I'm reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:24, "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." God called me to Budapest for the month of May, and He knew what I would be doing at ICSB and even though every little thing came as a surprise to me, He knew it all, and His plans are a lot better than mine would or will ever be.

Our first day in Kindergarten was consumed with getting to know the kids. And by the end of the week I was alone with 10 kindergartners because Georgia was on a field trip. Once again God used that day to show me that teaching is where He wanted me. I walked into the classroom that afternoon wondering who would be subbing with me when I quickly found out that I would be subbing alone. Alone? Alone with 10 kindergartners! What were people thinking? I couldn't be in charge of 10 little people! I sat down quickly and prayed for God's help. And help He gave. That afternoon was the best day of Kindergarten by far. The students listened and God just blessed my time in that classroom.

Oh! The stories I could tell... the fun, the errors, the learning... like when I taught a science lesson about the ear and seeing that the kids were not comprehending any of it (sometimes blank stares are very useful) I became a tour guide and we toured around the classroom pretending it was an ear, learning every part of the ear along the way.
Or when one of the students exploded his yogurt container during snack time sending yogurt everywhere, the uncontrollable laughter that followed, and his quick realization that that wasn't a good idea made for a great lesson later on that day.
Or blanking on how to tie a slip knot while in the middle of doing a science experiment with my professor watching me and quickly turning to the class asking for class participation if anyone wanted to tie the slip knot. I was thanking God when one of the students stepped up and tied a slip knot! Class participation... sure (?)... Hannah not knowing how to tie a slip knot, definitely! (But the class never knew that part... :) ).

The stories could continue to be told, and each one would end with the same line, "My time in Budapest was amazing, and God is awesome because it is only by His grace and provision that I could even experience all that I did."

Thank you to all of you who prayed for me while over in Budapest. God definitely used my time at ICSB to confirm that I am in the right major, He also used that time to show me that His plans are perfect, and I should never doubt that. I cannot wait until I am in a classroom everyday for my job. I can't wait to be called Ms. Turnbull again. I can't wait to be surrounded by energetic, wonderful children again.

But, while I am waiting I will continue studying education, thanking God that He has called me to study that and that it is only by His grace that I am in that major and loving every minute of it. All praise belongs to God, the One whose plans are perfect.


Janessa Chupp said...

Hannah, I loved reading this! Let me say again how thrilled I am that you got to go on this trip and how exciting it's been to see already the ways that it has stretched and encouraged you. I also think it's so cool that last year we got to go through our questionings together as we both struggled with whether or not we were in the right majors, and now we're both feeling more confirmed than ever in our callings. I'm more thankful than I can say to have a friend like you with whom to share these things.

amy said...

Oh Hannah! Thank you so much for sharing about your trip. It sounds like you had a wonderful, wonderful time while you away! I'm so glad =) I really enjoyed reading this post and it was encouraging to hear about how God was with you! I hope that you and Damarise are doing well. Blessings to you, my friend!

colorfulkaleidoscope said...

I love how I'm listed as "the other girl"! haha. Miss you lots! I love reading your blog :)


Whatleys' World said...

Very cool, Hannah! :) Glad your time went so well. Those times of leaning on the Lord are some of our hardest but best memories. We will look forward to seeing what God has for YOU!!! :) Enjoy being those scurrying, fingerprint wiper-offer, smurfs!! :)

Sheila said...

Fantastic, thank you so much for sharing about your trip and all that the Lord did there!