Before I left for Korea, I read a lot of blogs by former and current ETAs. It was really useful and comforting to see the kind of things that they went through, and as I write, this is often on my mind.
I hadn’t even realized we could start our own groups, let alone a Bible study, during orientation until I read another ETA’s post about her orientation Bible study. So this is me trying to pay it FORWRD (a few of you will get this), in hopes of encouraging someone else in the future, or just giving them the idea.
The ETA I’m talking about is Mimi Cagaitan, and this is her blog: http://thefulbrighter.blogspot.kr/
That being said, we had our first Bible study meeting Monday night. It’s only our second week, so I’m excited to see it taking off already. Then again, it feels like I’ve been here for much longer already. After reading Mimi’s blog, I wanted to be proactive, so in my pre-arrival self-introduction on ETAB (our Fulbright ETA forum) I posted that I would be interested in starting a Bible study.
When I got here, for whatever reason, I didn’t get the sense that anyone was interested , but I also have a tendency to mistakenly believe that no one around me is a (practicing) Christian. However, at lunch one day, another ETA asked, are you the person who posted that you wanted to do a bible study? And it took off from there.
At the first meeting there eleven people – more than I had expected. We did introductions and talked about what we were seeking out of this Bible study and our grant year. We also discussed our responses surrounding the Fulbright application process and our acceptance, which surprisingly, I haven’t talked about much with people here. I guess we’ve all “made it” now, but applying/deciding to apply and getting accepted/told you’re an alternate was a tumultuous process for a lot of people. Apparently this year there were severe cutbacks at first, but our director, Ms. Shim, did a lot of work on our behalf to get more schools to join. So many of us were originally alternates.
It was refreshing to be around and fellowship with other Christians, especially having been away from a church for a quite a while now (including time in the States before I left). None of us are quite sure about what we’ll do about church yet. We decided to focus on a different theme each week, and as people have devotion during the week, they can post verses related to that theme on our facebook group. I’m looking forward to getting to know these wonderful, talented people.