This past Saturday, about 20 students (out of a class of a little over 40) that graduated in 2005 got back together for dinner. It was the first time since graduation three years ago that I'd seen most of them!
When I came up the stairs and saw them sitting there, I was kinda taken aback. In some ways they'd changed so much and in others not at all. For the most part I think they have transformed into adults--from boys and girls to men and women. That's neat to see happen.
They were my first class to teach in Taiwan and I taught them all for a full two years. They are more than my students. They became my friends and companions . . . some of them I know will be life long friends. These students have blessed my life in many, many ways. I will never have this kind of relationship with another class of students again, of this I am sure. I am SO thankful for them. Praise God for his blessings!
A solemn reality that reunions like this remind me of is that being a great English teacher has no eternal value. Many of them haven't used English much in the past three years and don't feel confident conversing with me in English anymore. That's ok because we can use Chinese, but my point is all my work and effort in English language education doesn't matter. It counts for nothing in the end. The only thing that matters is sharing the Gospel of Christ. It is the only thing I can share with them that will be of eternal value.