Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week four

Week four here at the school has come and gone. I can't believe that I have already been here a month... but it's true! The time has gone so quickly and I have come to love each and every one of these kids God has placed here. I enjoy so much seeing their joy over the smallest things and I have even become used to being called "Maestra" 24/7.

School wasn't canceled even one day last week. I was surprised, but we didn't get a drop of rain after Sunday. Just big, dark, menacing clouds in the distance. With the "storm" also came the cooler weather!! Yeah! I am feeling ever so much better now that I can do most of the work in the house and not feel like I am melting... sigh... such a relief!

This past week I was able to move my class room into the garage. Up to this point it had been too hot to even think about moving inside, but since it had cooled off considerably, I thought it would be a good idea. It isn't the ideal place for a classroom, but I like the seclusion and quiet since it really helps the kids concentrate. I have had to deal with a lot less problems as far as distractions go... my slowest student has actually been able to finish most of his work in class rather than having to bring it home! Quite exciting!

As far as outside of class, this week has been... interesting? ... crazy? ... or maybe something in between. At the beginning of the week one of the kids ran away from his home and David ended up spending most of Monday looking for him. While that was going on, another one of the kids was taken into the doctor to have his foot lanced because he had been walking barefoot in dirty water and a cut on his foot had gotten a bad infection. The doctor ended up coming out to the house in the afternoon and doing it here. Juanito (the one with the infection) was not happy about what was happening... I don't know what the neighbors thought hearing his muffled screams coming through the window...
Later on in the week the splinter that caused all of the trouble finally worked it's way out and now he is on the mend.

On Wednesday we got the results back from a scan that was done on Jesus Melecio's (one of the younger kids) brain. It turns out that he had parasites on his brain. Supposedly it is from eating bad pork. From what I understand it isn't life threatening right now, but they are treating it. Keep this little boy in your prayers!

Lastly, on Friday one of the older kids, Marcos, fell down the stairs and broke his nose... needless to say, he isn't going to be in school tomorrow.

Now that I write it all down it seems like a lot less than what actually happened... but I guess that is really all of it. Wait! I do remember one more thing -- only this one doesn't have anything to do with the school. About four months ago, a friend of mine and myself began thinking about the possiblity of bringing a team of youth from all over the US down on a 9 day mission trip. At first it was just an idea, then it became a "perhaps someday", and shortly after that it became a "what about this January?" and now it has become a reality! It's amazing how it happened -- and I know it was all God. Slowly but surely we were able to get over all of the obstacles -- plus I really began to understand all of the work my parents put into these mission teams that come down ;^) -- and through God's grace everything just seems to have been brought together! As of right now we have about 7 people who are confirmed and coming on the trip. The scheduled day of arrival for the team is Jan. 3rd. I am so excited to see how God can move when you just take the step!
It is a little late, but if anyone is interested in coming down on this trip or in helping out by filling a duffel bag with toys for children to send down with the team, please let me know and I can send more info. I would love to see more people get involved!

Alright, I need to go. The kids are about ready to get up from their nap and I really should be done! Blessings upon you guys! Let me just close with a verse that really got my attention this Sunday.

1 Peter 3:13-15
13Who is there to harm you if you prove
zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed
15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
I remember sitting in the car that very morning when one of the kids came up to me with his Sunday school book in hand and asked me, "Why do you praise God?". What a question! I answered him that it was because I was freed from my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. As I sat it church later that day and remembered what the little boy had said I realized just how important it is to know, and I mean really know, why it is that I live the way I do. For, if I am going to live in such a way that I desire to glorify God no matter what the cost, I had better know what it is I might have to lay my life down for.
Consider these following questions:

What is your defense for the hope that is in you?
Do you live as though you hoped in something bigger than yourself, your dreams and even your family?
If I were to ask you why you lived for God right now, would you be able to give me a firm answer without any shadow of doubt?

Just a challenge for you this week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week three

I have returned with tales from week the third of my stay in Los Mochis. I really haven't done anything extremely out of the ordinary... I know that some of you might think some of what I do as part of my "normal" is actually quite extraordinary -- or maybe just weird, you pick ;) . Anyway, I hope to shed just a little bit of light onto what was my third week as teacher at "Escuela Cristiana Magdelena Rincon" -- try saying that five times fast!

The beginning of the week started out like any other. After a weekend that seemed a lot shorter than it should have been I was ready to face the new day! Monday came and we all headed out to the school for a day of classes. My class went very well. I have begun reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" for about half an hour every other day. I think that the kids enjoy it -- though I haven't yet gotten a good system of getting them to not both one another while I am reading... I'll get there!
As far as the other subjects go, two of my students who were struggling a lot with Math finally seem to have gotten the hang of simple addition and subtraction. I think that I am more excited than they are!! My youngest student who is still at kindergarten level is starting to be able to recognize and write the numbers 1-20. That is going fairly well. He isn't much for doing worksheets, but I do feel like he is beginning to understand. Reading for most of my students is comingslowly but surely. Two of my students are already reading and two others are well on their way. The only one that I am struggling with is 10 years old and doesn't yet know all of her letters and their sounds. I have my work cut out for me with her... keep me in your prayers as I will not only need wisdom in teaching, but also patience and understanding.

On Friday I was able to go home for the weekend to visit my family. I had a great time, though it did seem like it was over before it had begun. I rested, though I didn't really sleep. I guess what I mean is that even though I didn't really spend much time sleeping, I was able to relax and I feel all the better for it. This morning -- Sunday -- I was able to play worship with my family before I had to leave. I enjoyed it ever so much! I had missed playing with them. When we got home we ate lunch and then my Dad, Jessee and I played a game of Scrabble. I was winning almost the whole time, but then at the end my Dad got a super nice word and left me in the dust... that always happens! Ah, well, it's a game! ;) Besides, what are games for but to create good memories?! Well, Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, I love you!!!! (((HUGS)))

I am not sure what to expect this week. Only one day of school was canceled last week due to the rain, but we are thinking that school might have to be canceled this week because of huricane Rick. It appears that we are going to be getting a bit of rain from this one!

I do have something that I would like all of your prayers on. For the past few months I along with one of my friends have been putting together a mission team of youth and from all over the US to come down to Mexico in January of 2010. By God's grace, things seem to be starting to fall into place and we have about three people as of now who seem fairly interested in coming. I don't know how this is going to work out, but I know that God does and I trust Him to be in control! If you would like to get more info just send me an email and I will get back to you! Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Alright, my battery is going to run out -- both literally and figuratively. Prayers that you have a blessed week! Let God COMPLETE a work in your life this week!

Phil. 1:6
"I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in
you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week two

I sit here listening to the pitter patter of the rain on the street while I type and listen to a sermon by Paul Washer... I am not usually this good at multi-tasking! There's no school today because of the rain. Until we can get the leaks fixed and the walkways covered our classrooms will continue to become lakes every time it rains ;) !

This past week has been great. I am starting to fall into step here at the school. Michelle and David have been very patient with me as I ask question after question... but their patience has proven true and now I feel a little bit more like I belong here and less like "the outsider who just arrived last week". The kids all call me Maestra (teacher) and refer to me in the formal "Usted" form... kind of funny sounding. The children are all loud and rather full of energy, but I love them to more for it... yet I have really come to appreciate naptime! And I never understood when I was little and Mom would tell me that naptime was more for her sake than for ours! :P

On Thursday we started a new study at our youth group. It's called "The One True God" by Paul Washer. I feel like it is going to yield a lot of fruit! I am extremely excited!! Also we are wanting to start up a worship group at the youth group. I have been asked if I would be interested, but I'm not sure if I will be able to fit it into my schedule... it depends on whether or not the others will be able to practice on Saturday.

This Saturday we had a general cleaning at the church. We were finally able to put up the chalkboards and organize the office. Now we have more of an idea of where to find books and supplies for our classes... I love it! it is so much easier! After that I went over to a friend's house here in Mochis. We had a nice time just talking and -- for me -- resting. I enjoyed the quiet for those few hours!

On Sunday after church all the brethren went over to the school for the church's monthly fellowship lunch -- David and Michelle volunteered the use of the building. The lunch went pretty much all day. I was exausted by the end of the day, but it was nice to be "not a teacher" for an afternoon ;) .

As I listen to Paul Washer -- which I am still doing at this moment -- I am in such complete agreement with what he says. Some people call him judgemental and narrow-minded but all I see is a man who loves God and wants all that he does to glorify his Lord. That to me is true Christianity and that's why he is my favorite preacher!

Our Lord God Thou hast made the heavens and the earth with Thine great power! He is great and mighty and worthy of being praised!

Alright, I need to go now! Prayers that your week is blessed and that you remember whom you serve every moment of the day! Examine yourself!

Joshua 24:15
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week One

Hey!! I am here again! I hve had a very blessed week. I did try and find time to post during the week, but it never seemed to happen. I think that I will just try and write once a week and then if I have time I can write more... we'll see how that works!

As I said, this last week was great. I was able to make it through one week of teaching and now I have a better idea of what to expect. I have 5 students as of right now and a sixth who might be coming in a week or so. The main objective for these children this school year is that they learn to read and work simple math. I have my work cut out for me, but I am excited... in a strange sort of way!

Oh, I did have this really awesome Youtube video that I wanted to share with you all. It's by a man named Nick Vijucic. Here's the link:

Petra (the other young woman who works at the school) and I got on the computer to watch a fifteen minute video and ended up spending more than an hour watching video after video of this amazing guy. God really has done as awesome work through him. It is such an example of how God uses our weaknesses for His glory!

As far as other things that I have been up to: on Thursday I went to youth group and we had a lot of fun following clues around the mall. At the end of each clue there was a Bible question from the book of Jonah. Once we found all the clues we had to sit down and answer the questions... they we anything but easy! After about 2 hours we headed back to the church where the youth pastor gave all the answers to the questions and we got to see who won. As it was my team and another team tied for first and then two of the others tied for second. The hardest thing about answering the Bible questions was that most of them were in-depth and required more than just reading over the book. I think that what helped me was that I had done several studies on the book of Jonah. Winning aside ;) , I really enjoyed it and I feel like I learned a lot about Jonah and the compassion of God... awesome!

Anyway, I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed week!

Ephesians 6:10-11
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; put on the full armor
of God that you might be able to stand against the whiles of the Devil."