Monday, December 28, 2009

December update--

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m dashing off a quick note before I finish frantically packing in preparation for leaving for Tennessee bright and early tomorrow morning. My mom’s family is gathering to celebrate the 100th birthday of my great grandpa Baker, and we are all looking forward to seeing each other, fellowshipping, and honoring the amazing, godly man that we are lucky enough to be related to. I fly out of Nashville on the 31st, so I have to be all ready to go before going to bed tonight.

God has been so good to me in these last crazy weeks—He has provided for needs, smoothed out problems, and encouraged me time and time again. I was able to enjoy a wonderful, relaxing Christmas with my family as well as getting to meet with friends for a final visit before I head out. I am so blessed by the people in my life—that you all for being such wonderful friends and supporters.

I will probably be able to update my blog and send out an “I made it!” e-mail near the end of the first week of January. The days between my arrival at Sakeji and the start of term are going to be rather frantic and full I imagine, but I’ll do my best to keep you posted with my settling in. To think—in a week I’ll be there! About that time I’ll be getting my Sakeji e-mail set up and making it my primary e-mail. Remember, I would love to hear from each and every one of you! Few things warm the heart when you’re away as news from home... Also, if you have my cell phone number, after the 31st if you call it you will find yourself talking to my charming father. I’m going to see about getting a Skype account set up and perhaps setting up times when I’ll be available to chat. Of course internet time will not be unlimited (satellite), but considering how just a few years ago snail mail was the only way to communicate, I’m very thankful indeed for the wonders of modern technology! A final note—if you want a copy of my prayer card, shoot me an e-mail and specify if you want a digital or a hard copy and I’ll work on getting that out to you.

Well, those suitcases aren’t packing themselves, so I had better get back to work. I look forward to this New Year full of adventures, challenges, and opportunities to grow in the Lord. I wish you all the very best of new years, and look forward to hear how He is working in your lives.

Yours in Christ,

Lina E. Burklin

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not dead yet...

Despite my long radio silence, I am not dead and in fact am in the thick of trying to pack up my life so I'll be ready to board that plane on December 31st. Its strange how many things you accumulate as you journey through life--examining my things gives me an interesting glimpse into the person I was, the person I am now, and the stages in between. At this point I just want to BE there and have an end of all packing, sorting, and deciding what stays, goes, and comes later. However, this is but another season in my greater journey, so I guess I'll continue to lean on my merciful Father as I wade through it and do my best with the tasks that are currently given to me.

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas--my last Christmas at home. Thank goodness that soon the goodbyes will stop and the hello's begin! Its hard to believe that after so long, my dream is finally about to start.

P.S. I'm a full blown, certified teacher now! Praise the Lord, it is only through His almighty hand that I have not given up, died, or sworn off teaching forever. Truly He is faithful!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A huge sigh of relief...

...yet there is so much left to do!

Last night was La Posada--Trinity's Christmas program for EC through 3rd grade. I accompanied for it and was very nervous about it, but all went well and it was a lovely service. I'm so proud of my kids! There are COLLEGE students who couldn't have carried out that complex a sequence of events! While there is huge relief that La Posada isn't hanging over my head anymore, there is also the sadness of knowing that I will quite likely never see any of those kids again until (hopefully!) I'll meet most of them in heaven.

One of the fifth graders who I have been helping teach piano to gave me this:
Isn't it beautiful? I'll be sure to pack that extra carefully because of course its going with me!

This is a gingerperson that one of my second graders did. The funny part is that she made it to look like me! See the bangs and the braid?
When I asked her what the big "E" was for, she said, "Oh, I just wanted to name her Elisabeth." The interesting thing is that is my middle name! I had never told the kids that--to them I'm just Miss B-.

Here are a few pictures I took of the 2 year old class--I only remembered my camera one day (I know, I know, I'll do better at Sakeji!) and two year olds tend to move erratically so most of them are rather blurry, but here they are doing a rhythm stick activity-
And then several pictures of them moving to the music-



I can't believe its almost time for me to leave! I've been doing a lot of sorting and shuffling things around as well as starting to put things in my bins and making some hard decisions. Please pray that I make wise choices in what to bring, that I have the energy to keep going till the job is done, and that all the little details that still need to be taken care of are resolved. Ha, I WOULD choose to go overseas the first time I moved... 14 more days until Christmas!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A milestone!

Today was my official last day of student teaching. Now I just have to be at rehearsals Monday through Thursday next week for La Posada, and then the big event itself Thursday night. I'm going to deeply miss that school and those kids--they have made this whole stressful, crazy fall worth every minute. I'm going to miss their smiles, their funny sayings, their singing, and the sweet hugs. I'm so glad God gave me this confirmation in my calling--what greater way is there to spend a lifetime than pouring into children?

My mentor teacher sent me this in an e-mail and it so perfectly captured what life has been like these past two weeks that I decided to share it here:

'Twas the days before Christmas,
And all through the school,
The teachers were trying to just keep their cool.

The hallways were hung
With Christmas art
(Some made in November to get a head start!)

The children were bouncing
Off ceilings and walls,
And seemed to forget
how to walk in the halls.

When out of the teachers' lounge
With "holiday shirts"and "jingle bell jewels,"
The teachers looked festive
Enforcing the rules.

Suddenly, from down the hallway
There came such a chatter,
The principals went in
To see what was the matter.

The teachers were hiding
And trying to refuel,
On coffee and cookies
And treats from the Yule.

When what to their wondering
Ears do they hear,
But the ringing of school bells
-It's the children they fear!

More rapid than reindeer
The little ones came,
And the teachers all shouted
And called them by name;

Walk, Vincent! Walk, Tanner!
Walk, Tyler and Sammy!
Sit, Jamie! Sit, Laura!
Sit, Tara and Tammy!

To your desks in the room!
To your spots in the line!
Now walk to them! Walk to them!
No running this time!

So straight to their place
The children they went.
With fear of detention
Where they could be sent.

With manuals of lessons
Cradled in arms,
The teachers began
To use all their charms.

But the lessons presented
All fell on deaf ears.
The children were thinking
Of Santa's reindeer!

With a toss of their hands
They put manuals aside,
Went straight to the cupboards
Where videos hide.

Any laying their finger
On the TV remote
They sat back to write
Their last Christmas note.

But you could hear them exclaim
At the end of the day-
Have a wonderful, happy and

I love the walking part--it is SO TRUE.
Have a great weekend all!