Spiritual Warfare and PE

What happened today in gym class will forever be imprinted in my memory. I’m still in shock thinking about the situation.

At GES, this is the first year we have began to have Korean students enrolled at our school. From the beginning of the year, there were many problems right off the bat. I have two Korean students in my 7th grade PE and History classes, so I’ve tried to build good, trusting relationships with Airy and June. At the beginning of the school year, we had several problems with Airy in classes. There were a couple situations with her male English and male Science teachers, so we began to pray for her, as it was clear there was something going on deeper down that we might not ever know about.

She had episodes where she would throw herself on the ground, scream and cry, and just throw fits and yell loudly in Korean. Of course we would try to be understanding, but it’s hard when there’s a serious lack of communication in the entire situation, on both parties.  GES is GLOBAL ENGLISH school, we are NOT an International School, so most of our students are Thai.  But, the reality was and is that she was thousands of miles away from home, and away from her parents, so it’s no wonder she acts the way she does.

Airy left Thailand for over a month, and none of us really knew what was going on with her. Every time I spoke with June, or the other Korean students, I told them to tell her I missed her, and hoped she was well. (There are about 6-8 others who are all somehow related to each other).

Anyway, Airy showed up at classes again about 3 weeks ago, but she seemed more relaxed that before. Of course, I could never count on her to attend History, or even PE. Last week, she just up and left PE because she “felt bad”, and didn’t think to tell me, her teacher. She’s always very defiant with me, and never ever seems to think the rules apply to her in any way, shape, or form. I have to confess I definitely lack a compassionate heart and understanding for her right now.

Every Thursday from 2:10-3:10 Grade 7 PE class joins Grade 5 PE class for usually a game of Dodge Ball or something Dodge Ball related. So today was a bit different because it started raining pretty hard just around 2 PM, so both Miss Shaela and I gathered in the Gym for PE.  Today we decided to start out with some “team building ” activities where they would be forced to work together and decide how to acomplish the goal we set before them.

Anyway, things were seemingly going really well.  Airy was her typical self, not wanting to participate in any of our activities, so I worked with her a bit on understanding what we were asking.  Not more than a few minutes later, I walked over and came to see that she was literally STRANGLING one of our new students in Grade 5, Tanna, and shouting “SAY YOU’RE SORRY!” over and over again.  I was just in shock, and finally asked her over and over again to let go of him.  Tanna just stood there looking like he was about to cry because he just had NO idea what was going on.

Miss Shaela took charge of the situation and invited Tanna to come outside of the gym with her, and also asked Airy to come with her.  Airy made it clear that she was not going to go outside.  By this time there was a crowd of students listening and watching as the situation unfolded.  

I then began to distract all the students as Miss Shaela continued to help solve the problem.  They finally walked out of the gym, and I continued acting like it wasn’t a big deal, so that none of the kids would be worried about the situation.  I then had all the kids sit in a circle, and as we were settling into our spots, Airy bursts into the gym yelling histarically in Korean and walking up to several students specifically and acting as if she was going to physicially hit them.  June then started yelling at her, and then at all the students warning them to be careful.

I tried to ask June what she was saying, but he acted pretty upset as well, and bursted out of the gym (I didn’t know at the time, but he had gone upstairs to get some of the other Korean girls- her cousins, to help in the situation).  At this point Shaela and I were in shock, but knew there was a chance that harm could come to our students.  Shaela had to hold Airy physically with all her strength to force her out of the gym, and all the while Airy was still shouting in Korean.  On the way out of the gym, the entire rack of shoes was knocked over, and Airy had begun to PUNCH Shaela with all her might.  (Mind you, Airy is pretty small, and I don’t think this was her actual physical strength at this point).

It left the students in shock.  Me as well.  We called our Administrator, and the other girls also came downstairs.  Airy had just completely lost it, and was still throwing a fit outside in the rain.  Shaela came back to the gym fighting tears as it was just a shocking experience overall.

I know there is some demonic presence in her life, and it’s hard for all of us teachers to know what to do.  Lisa, who is a missionary here in Thailand, has really helped in the situation, really has encouraged us to continue to pray for her, and be understanding.

It’s a good wake up to remember that we are in a battle here on earth, and people do live with demonic presences in their lives and hearts.  Obviously it’s a difficult situation to witness, but I know something good will come out of all of this.  

Ephesians 6:11-13

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

pictures and short update

Tomorrow is the big Talent Show I’ve been organizing.. which is why if you’ve tried to call or email, you may not have gotten a response.  I’ve been so stressed about it, but after our practice today, I’m feeling much better about everything.  Basically I’m the “Director” in charge of EVERYTHING, but the nice things is that the students themselves have prepared the acts, so I don’t have to worry about that!  I’ll post pictures when it’s all said and done!

To get away from the stress, a few of us went to see “Mamma Mia!” last night… it was AWESOME!  Okay, if you hate musicals, you may not enjoy it as much, but by the end of the movie I was ready to DANCE!  It was so cute, and reminded me of all the songs my parents used to sing to us back in the day :).  

OH, and in Nonthaburi, and every other city near the river are preparing for a potential flood! September will be one of the rainiest months in Thailand, as well as into October, and apparently some of the cities north of us have had some flooding, so everyone is gearing up, and stocking up on food.  We all have been buying water, and non-perishable food items to keep in our rooms upstairs, and as soon as it looks like it will flood, we’ll have to move all our furniture upstairs, and then be trapped in our house if it in fact DOES flood.  Of course, if we know in advance, we would evacuate up north to Chiang Mai, but it’s difficult to predict when or if it in fact will flood.  BUT, if we are trapped, I have lots of nuts, small soy milk boxes, peanut butter, and cereal.  Such a great selection, I KNOW!  🙂

Good news, we have 43 days until October break!  I can’t wait!  I’ll be flying to Cambodia, then taking an overnight train to Vietnam with several friends.  Should be a great relaxing break, and I’m excited to sight see around the both countries!  (I’m not sure if I already talked about October break, but it’s quite possible I did, because we are all looking forward to it!!)

Anyway, I’m praying a lot about what the future will bring, even though I know I have plenty of time to decide.  All the schools in Thailand are beginning to expect much more out of foreigners who want to come to teach, so if I do stay, I will for sure need to begin pursuing a teaching certificate, or MAT degree this January.  Decisions, decisions.  

Here’s a video I’ve made with my pictures up until this point.. for your viewing pleasure:

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, letters and emails!  May God bless you all!