During Lunar break, a handful of students and teachers departed for Myanmar with one goal in mind: to bond and make meaningful relationships with the orphans of Myanmar.
After a six hour flight and 10 hour bus ride students prepared themselves for five days of intense relationship building which consisted of playing soccer and Jok-Gu, worship and dancing, making playdough and food, and teaching English.
At first it was difficult for the new Myanmar VASE team members to interact with the orphans “because communication was a problem,” commented first time trip member Kevin Lee. He continued, “Most of them [the children] couldn’t speak English, but as we played games together and worked together, the kids started to open up to us.”
Ms. Forbes, one of the teachers who helped chaperon the trip, felt that language was not a barrier between the orphans and the GSIS students. She exclaimed her favorite part of the trip was “watching all of our boys get attached to the kids. They were constantly with one another throughout the week.”
Before the trip, some of the students were afraid to travel to a developing nation even though they longed to serve and help those in need. This worry soon faded away as the orphans of Myanmar occupied the students minds and heart through developing companionship.
Freshman John Park described his time at the orphanage as helping organize games and teaching English. “I taught them [the orphans] English and Korean and they taught me Burmese and we laughed at each other while trying to understand one another. We got really close and everybody could say hi to each other.”
“During this trip we mostly interacted with the kids the whole day. We could get to know them more, their culture, their games, their studies,” said Yerim Kim.
The English classes ranged from all different age groups and language ability: Pre-Kindergarten to high school. The team separated into different teaching groups. John Park, elaborated on how much he enjoyed the English sessions, “[I liked] playing with the kids when we taught them English. We played together, read together, and ate with them.”
“There Was Lots of laughing, lots of hugging, and love.”
When Mrs. Forbes was asked how the students performed on the trip, she commented, “a lot of our girls did a really good job playing games with them [the orphans] constantly. So [there was] lots of laughing, lots of hugging, and love.”
Myanmar also strengthened the students relationships with one another and God. “I didn’t know the juniors that well, but during the trip, I worked with them. I had a lot of chances to talk with them, be involved in praise team, and spend time together. It helped me get to know them a bit better and actually become friends,” commented Kevin Lee, a sophomore.
As Kevin Lee reflected upon his time in Myanmar he realized how he now feels more comfortable talking about God with his friends and talking about helping those in need, stating “the trip gave me a warmer heart.”
Tom Kim felt like God was in Myanmar. “Through the kids I could really see they were happy that we were there. I could feel that God was working in us and blessing us.”
The members of the Myanmar VASE trip felt this was an invaluable experience and many students look forward to returning there next school year.