Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another week has come, and another week has gone. However, the fun and games are somewhat over, as school begins on Wednesday. In case you were wondering, I am teaching five different classes and five different grades. I am the high school Bible teacher. Actually, I am the High School Bible Department. Therefore, if I wanted to complain to the department head about the curriculum, I need to go no further than the mirror.

It is truly amazing to me to ponder that four years ago, I was in the midst of teaching English as a Foreign Language in Prague. While there, God exploded what I thought I wanted to do with my life and instead, gave me a passion for teaching, high school students, and the Bible. And so, four years later, I’m no longer looking out my window and enjoying the views over the city of Prague; nor am I staring out my little room in the boarding house in West Chicago; but instead, I’m staring out of my apartment in Songtan, Korea, watching the reddish hue of the sunset sky.

Well, that wasn’t why I wanted to write, but it came to mind when I sat down.

One of the things that has struck me since I’ve been here is the community. I’ve involved myself in two organizations since I’ve arrived—International Christian School, which is where I teach, and Mission Baptist Church, which is where I attend church. What I have found at both is fantastic community—unparalleled by any other place I’ve lived.

For instance, when I arrived, my bags decided to hang out in Chicago. While it was funny for a few minutes, when the second day arrived, I was still wearing my cargo pants, my heaviest pair of shoes, a shirt, and I had my blazer.


I have moved via plane twice. Once, I moved in the middle of January. Therefore, it was less a spectacle when I got to security and took off several layers of clothing.

However, flying in July on a one-way ticket with several layers of clothing drew a suspicious eye…and several screenings.



If you ever visit me, attempt with all your life not to fly through Narita Airport in Tokyo. Let me walk you through what I had to do to get on my connecting flight.

Remember, I went through security in O’Hare. I went to the gate. If I was plotting something nefarious, I would have been caught in security. If I forgot my nefarious gadget, I would have had to leave the gate, get the nefarious gadget, go through security, be patted down, strip-searched, have the nefarious gadget found, and get sent to Club Gitmo because of my nefarious activity.


I really like the word nefarious. It’s right up there with rotund.


I then got on the plane, where it would be impossible to receive something from the outside.

We landed in Japan, where they ushered us out of the plane and straight to a security gate. I had to shed all the layers of clothing, hear people sighing behind me as I took 4 bins and 15 minutes to get everything off my person, go through the metal detector, have it beep, spend another minute taking more things off, and finally get through.


Anyway, the whole goal of this journal was to share about the hospitality of my administrator and his family. The second day, we all had breakfast, and they gave me a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to hold me over for that day.

The next day, the bags still hadn’t arrived, so they gave me more shorts, more t-shirts, and underwear.


Those of you who really know me know that I would never ever in a million years wear someone else’s underwear. I get wigged out if someone touches my food.

Well, never say never.

There’s an old saying, “Never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.” I would like to add the Zanger Corollary: “Never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes…or walk 50 feet in their tidy whities.”


This man and his family have bent over backward to make me feel welcomed. It truly is a blessing to be under his wing.

The other thing that has blown me away is that I haven’t had a day yet (and we’re up to day 18 on the Korean peninsula) where all I’ve done is eaten alone. To put it positively, every day here, I’ve had a meal with a group of people, or one other person. That also is a blessing, especially since I’m living alone.

I guess that’s about all. I want to thank you all for reading this, for your prayers, and for your encouragement. Even though I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to respond to all of you, your prayers and encouragement mean more to me than you will ever know. Thanks so much.

Lastly, I have an address to give those of you who want to send me letters, gift boxes :), etc.

Eric Zanger
International Christian School
P.O. Box 24
Pyongtaek 450-600
Republic of Korea

To my dear friends teaching and learning at Wheaton Academy, have a wonderful week of school.

To the rest of you, have great weeks.

See you next time.


Lauren H. said...

Oh, Zanger, you never cease to make me laugh. Though I am jealous of your gorgeous Korean sunsets...ooh, man. That and your "if i need to talk to the Head of the Bible Dept. I go to my mirror"

Made me laugh out loud :-P

Also would you mind defining to me all these big random words?! Nefarious and rotund?? Not gonna lie, kinda random...haha And the whole airport security experience...nice Zanger. Why were you wearing 5 million layers anyway?! HAHAHAHA Sidebar 4 = hilarious, yet ewwwwwwwwww That's awesome though that they are so welcoming to you. What a blessing that is indeed...I'm so happy for you and that your doing well over there! As for me...I just got out of Day 2 of college, and lemme tell ya...AWESOME! Except my feet are just giant is a hell of alot fo walking around campus :-P Other then that, I have a feeling I am going to very much enjoy my college years. yay! And I will for sure float ya some be on the look out! Keep in touch! God Bless!

Blues and Greens said...

cha dah sah!

Ah, community--that MUST be a little sniff of what heaven will be like, eh? Press on my brother even if it is in someone else's underwear.

Anonymous said...

WA Greetings, Eric!
What a great way to stay connected with you via your blog! Dr. Roth wants to keep you connected with us via his weekly WA ePrayer/Praise updates. The eAddress I am using suddenly does not work anymore. Please send us your current/best eAddress when you can.
Korean Blessings on your Head!
Jan Sturm :)