This has been a long week for Steve!  The kids are wonderfully sweet and eager to learn – a real joy to teach – but the periherals are endless. He has put in a minimum of twelve hours everyday just trying to stay on top of the reporting procedures in the Byzantine world of bureaucracy that characterizes Asian schools. The end result of sitting for hours at a desk and neglecting walking and swimming, is an almost permanent back spasm. 

The Staff Room is one open space that houses upwards of fifty teachers, each assigned a cubicle which is in fact a study carol such as you would find in a library back home.  The place is filthy, with papers, books and student assignments piled everywhere.  Teachers are treated like a commodity, like copy paper or water supplies, and as a result the teaching staff is pretty transitory. There is no way of knowing if that pile is recent marking or fifteen years old. And we won’t even talk about the bathrooms!

The bright spot in the week was that Steve met for the first time with two other men who are working together to set up a Saturday night discussion group for college students.  They have been offered a space to meet off campus with snacks provided by our church.  With five colleges in one block of the city, there are students everywhere and they love a good debate. Steve is praying that this will be the start of a much needed outreach into his students’ spiritual lives.