God has used my vocation as a language teacher to open several doors here in Porto Alegre, even as other doors have closed or proved to have rusty hinges (we're still greasing those up!).
At the beginning of 2016, of course, I began working at a local school as part of my tent-making, which also includes private students. My reputation is building and my "stable" of private students is growing as I get recommendations.
Two of my private students are psychologists with pretty advanced English, and they have both provided me with some fascinating conversations over the past few months. Last week I talked with one of them in depth about the book of Genesis, like seriously in-depth, going Freud, Rene Girard, human sacrifice, Cain and Abel, the roots of civilization, scapegoats, Jacques Ellul, this was the real deal. Please pray that more opportunities like this (well, kind of like this, they don't always need to be so...esoteric...ツ) spring up with my several students.
What's been most exciting about my English teaching have been the opportunities the Lord has provided through it to minister overtly. I offered a four-day seminar on "Theological English" that was a big hit (probably 'cause I spent a whole hour on the word "will"), which I hope to reprise some time in the coming months. Now, when I say "big hit", I mean that it was blessed in its execution, being of great profit to the three students who attended the sessions regularly. Having had an opportunity to teach the mini-course, I hope to be able to connect it to a local church for the next go-round.
With the goal of connecting my teaching to local churches, I was able to teach a session at a local church's English ministry a couple of weeks back. We used the six days of Creation to talk about ordinal numbers, and sang songs like I'm In The Lord's Army and Creation Song.
Although the bulk of my/our work continues to be in Bible study and discipleship, it is my hope to develop language teaching into a primary focus of our work here. For those of you who have followed us from the beginning, this is a shift away from sports. (Sports are the shut and rusty doors from the first paragraph of this post.)
As always, please pray for wisdom and diligence, especially in time management, which is quickly becoming a priority in how I minister.
Gigantic. No, seriously. 6'9". It's all people can talk about when they meet me, so I just got it out of the way. By the grace of Jesus bringing this immense frame to bear on building his Kingdom. Reversing this much weight takes a long time.