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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

On a mission to teach

On a June morning in Yilan, Taiwan, sophomore Audrey Lee paused for a breath. Feeling nervous about her new responsibilities, she asked God to prepare her for what was next and encourage her to be brave.

Lee has traveled on eight volunteer missions to China, Taiwan and Mexico with her church, Chinese for Christ in San Jose. Every year at a summer camp, she  teaches children English and about the Bible. During her a week in Taiwan, she took on more responsibility as the primary English teacher for students in the sixth- to eighth-grade class rather than tutoring students one-on-one as she had done before.

“It was a different experience,” Lee said. “I had to make my own lesson plans and come up with fun interactive games to hold the attention of the students.”

Lee taught from her own English curriculum in between praise and worship learning activities.

Despite her larger role, Lee didn’t feel alone teaching the class of 12. She said her team of adult volunteers and God facilitated her work, making the mission successful. Her students’ willingness to learn also made teaching rewarding.

“They soaked up everything I tried to teach and participated a lot, which made teaching easier since I had such a responsive class,” Lee said.

Her tasks have increased in difficulty throughout the years. When she was younger, her main job was to hand out papers and socialize with students, which she enjoyed more than this summer’s duties.

“When you bond with the kids, they are more willing to tell you things to pray about, things they are worried about and their problems and issues. It was a more honest friendship,” Lee said. “When I’m their teacher and they’re obligated to respect me, it’s a more shallow relationship.”

Nonetheless, Lee still felt close with her students, recalling a moment during her class’s last-day performance where her students performed the  song “He Knows My Name.” When one of her students temporarily forgot her part, Lee silently encouraged her to continue, and the girl soon remembered and continued singing.

“This made me super proud because she was brave and powered through it,” Lee said.

Lee hopes to cultivate even more of the deep relationships on future missions, especially as she is able to contact the kids through Facebook.

“I liked teaching, but I hope I get to become super close with more kids, like on my past missions,” she said. “It creates lifelong friendships.”

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