Monday, July 28, 2008

English Classes

I (Julie) would like to introduce you to some of my new friends! God has blessed me at APNTS with the opportunity to become certified in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Every semester, college students from Korea Nazarene University come to our campus to study English for 6 weeks. This semester we have 21 students, so they are divided into 2 classes. I am teaching their "Spoken English" class. We work on pronunciation and speaking confidence... really, we just have a lot of fun. :)Not all the students that come are Christians, so it's a great opportunity for our campus to show them the love of Christ. Please pray for them while they are here and for us as we make new friends and minister to them.
I also have the opportunity to teach a class throughout the semester. All APNTS classes are in English, so students have to obtain a certain score on an English exam before they are allowed to register for graduate classes. If they don't get a high enough score, they may take undergraduate English classes in order to improve their score. This is the 3rd semester I've taught "English Development." We also work on pronunciation and speaking confidence. It's so meaningful to get to know our new students and their stories as we study English together. My class this semester is very dedicated to their studies, so I'm afraid they will all pass the English exam at semester and I won't have anyone next semester! ;) Please pray for us as we get to know each other and learn more about Christ and his love througout the semester. Our class this year represents Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Myanmar - we are learning a lot about each other's cultures! :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Family Pictures

Just one more story from our U.S. vacation.... :) One of Julie's friends from high school is an amazing photographer and offered to take our picture while we were visiting. We had SO much fun walking around Breckenridge Park in San Antonio with Sara snapping pictures. It was great to catch up and share this fun time together. There were so many beautiful pictures, but here are some of our favorites. If you live in South Texas, we highly recommend her for any special event! Thanks so much, Sara!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Justin's Dedication

It was also a privilege to have Justin dedicated while we were in the states. Baby dedication is something our church does where the parents commit the child to the Lord and publicly promise to raise their child in God's love and teachings. Brian's parents came down to Texas one weekend, so we were able to do it at the church Julie grew up in with both sets of grandparents. :) Of course some extended family was there also!
Brian's dad performed the dedication and beautifully expressed the importance of prayer in our unique family situation, as we are spread across the globe. It was such a blessing to be able to share this time with our family and a church family that greatly supports us.

Family Pictures

Since our families aren't together very often, both families decreed that family pictures would be taken while we were in the states. :) Here are some of our favorites... of course, everyone had to have special pictures taken with Justin. :)
The Woolery Family
Justin with Grandma Alice and Grandpa Lee
Justin with Uncle Justin and Aunt Kim
The Rathburn Family
Justin with Grandma Jill

Justin with Grandpa Dwayne

Justin with Aunt Jessie

We are so blessed! :)

Vacation and catching up

It's certainly been a while since we last posted a blog! I guess time does fly when you're having fun. :) Since our last post, we enjoyed another 1 1/2 months with friends and family in the states and have been back home in the Philippines for almost a month. Of course, the time in the states went by too quickly, but it was SO wonderful to catch up with friends and family.... Here are a few highlights of the trip:
It snowed in Indiana! Well, they were really only snow flurries, but with our tropical blood, it was a big deal. :)
visiting with Adam in Chicago...

Julie and Justin got to spend some quality time with Aunt Lynette and Uncle Chris in Dallas while Brian went to NMI (Nazarene Missions International) meetings in Singapore.
Justin's first highchair experience!
We had a great time in Denver with Julie's sister, Jessica - hiking in the snow, exploring the city, and hanging out with Jessica's fun friends.
Of course, watching the Spurs in the NBA playoffs was also a highlight of the trip... even though we didn't win, I think Justin fits in with the Rathburn family with his love of the Spurs! :)
One of our highlights in San Antonio with Julie's parents was taking Justin to the river for the first time! He looked pretty cool, but only enjoyed the water for about 5 minutes. :)
Well, there are literally hundreds of more pictures we could share - Grandparents can be quite the paparazzi! After anticipating and planning for so long, it was so hard to believe when our trip was over. We are so thankful for the time we had to see family and friends, and if we didn't get to see you, hopefully we can somewhere in the world, sometime soon! It is very good to be back home, though. We'll be writing more soon of other fun times in the states and of course, updating with more recent Justin pictures! :)

Life is good!