On the Home Stretch

August 3, 2017

The camp at Taejon Christian International School finished with so many wonderful memories and new social media friends! Despite being unsure whether we could handle 7 days and 7 nights with middle schoolers…our team ended up having a blast and a half with our students and wishing the camp wouldn’t end. Each student (sassy attitude and all) shared a bit of their heart with us and served as a humbling reminder of how beautiful youth is. Personally, I was reminded of what a unique time of growth and exploration the middle school years are. Those young students are going through their first refining toward adulthood…and the chaotic mixture between innocence and boundary-pushing creates this stunning mosaic of life.

I taught the advanced English group of students and have never enjoyed teaching so much! As class was more focused on conversational development rather than fundamental vocabulary, I was able to enjoy higher level discussions and more meaningful introductions to biblical principles. My class included 12 girls (all of which looked older than me and had much better style) and 3 boys (each one adorably awkward and kind). In addition to English, I assisted in Science classes and Recreation. I must admit, my competitive spirit was reignited with all those running and team games we played. *blush* My time at TCIS was not only one of great fun but a renewal in my perspective on what makes youth so precious.

Right now I sit in the home of the pastor of Kangbuk Presbyterian Church watching a Korean drama with my teammate Kristine beside me. For this final week in South Korea, our team of 11 has been split into two groups and are leading two separate camps at neighboring churches. Both of our teams have struggled with these final camps as the children are much younger, much rowdier, substantially more basic in their English skills, and all of us are battling the homestretch-tiredness. Each day feels like a week and it is taking its toll. Alas though, all is not lost as our team gets to reunite each evening for dinner and be reenergized in each others’ presence. Tomorrow is our final day of camp and then we stay two more days for last minute explorations and goodbyes. *single tear* While I have enjoyed my time and am thankful for every person I have met (including my team members), my heart is anxious to come home and be with family and friends again. I will write one final closing piece over the next week. However, my real hope is that I will be able to catch at least a few of you and enjoy some mutual sharing of our great summers 😀


  • Reply russell August 3, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Allison, your description of what you are all experiencing erases much of the mystery created by distance. The crucible of Korea seems to have been an interesting and stimulating place for you and your teammates to learn more about yourselves and the joy of authentic service to other people. It is often the case that when people leave the U.S. their friends think of them as having dropped off the face of the earth. Thank you for these writings that serve put such a human face upon the Korea that we are hearing so much about today. All over the world kids just want to be kids and people just want to be loved. Thank all of you for bringing a message of community from us to them.

  • Reply Thama Judy August 4, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Dearest Alli,
    What a beautiful description of your final camp days. We believe God has blessed you in ways you may not see now. This experience will “unfold” with time and you will treasure all of it. I know they will miss you there, but we are so very anxious to see you Monday at LAX!
    Love you my dear girl,

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