Thursday, August 27, 2009

New beginnings

After a very active summer, school has resumed once more. This year, instead of the youngest students in the school, I have the younger middle ones. My class consists of four fifth graders and four sixth graders. On the first day, the students entered with the dazed look of "I haven't gotten up this early for months!" Don't worry kids, I hadn't either.

Most of the day we went over rules and procedures, so by the time school let out, I was really tired of the sound of my own voice. Happily, that is all over now, and on this second day, the kids are hard at work on their language arts assignments.

At first look, it seems that when I split the class, my sixth graders will be able to do most of their work independently. That is very helpful, because in fifth grade I have two boys who do not speak English very well and two other boys who need quite a bit of supervising to make sure they complete their work.

Along with his brother, mother, and alternating helpers from the church, Abraham and I continue to go every Sunday afternoon to the mission in Huejotzingo. One of the men, named Don Ezekiel, who has begun attending needs your prayers. He has been in pain for two years and until a few weeks ago, the doctors could not figure out what was wrong. Recently however, they took a scan that revealed nodules in his intestine. The doctors were able to prescribe medicine that helps with the pain, but the nodules cannot be removed without expensive surgery, and they are life-threatening. We do not know if Don Ezekiel has accepted Jesus as his savior, although he has some church background and is definitely interested in learning more.

Another person in Huejotzingo who needs your prayers is Flor. Although she is only fourteen years old, she is seven months pregnant. Her baby is due mid-September. She is living with her parents, two older brothers, and three younger siblings. Please pray for her health, wisdom, and future as she will soon be raising her own child.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two VBS weeks

These past few weeks have been very busy. Abraham and I moved from the house we were living in while the owners were in the States to the apartments at Puebla Christian School for a brief stay. Lord willing, we'll be moving into the seminary apartment this coming Saturday. It will be my fifth place of residence this summer, but as far as we know, we'll be staying there until Abraham graduates from seminary in a couple years, so that is a blessing!

Four afternoons a week, for two hours each time, I have been teaching English to a varying group of children. Two of the boys will be in my fifth/sixth grade class this year. They are going to have to work very hard, as their level of English is quite low. Besides those two boys, the current class list has nine other students.

On Monday of last week, the vacation Bible school at Dios es Amor began. More than two hundred kids attended, and the church campus swarmed with young, energetic youth and the church volunteers who lead games, sang songs, held crying babies, cooked, cleaned, taught lessons, lead groups, and organized data. My role was washing dishes all morning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and helping my husband Abraham with games on Tuesday and Thursday. Sunday the church held the finale for the VBS, inviting parents and family members to attend while each age group of the children presented their "participaciĆ³n" and then received their diploma.

This past Monday the VBS at Huejotzingo began. It's a smaller group of kids and therefore we have only two age groups. With only two age groups, the time is also shorter, so in a way, it's an easier week than the past week at Dios es Amor. In another way, it's every bit as hard. The Huejotzingo kids are not used to attending school regularly, so they are also unaccustomed to following a set schedule or listening to directions. Many of them don't read very well or don't read at all. All the volunteers working this week have to be willing to help in all areas and also have to know how to interact with children who have a different culture from the Dios es Amor kids.

Please pray for us as we continue this week. The children and their families mostly don't have a church of any kind. As a culture, they are mostly Catholic, but that is more by tradition than by conviction. Please pray for our health and energy. Everyone who is working in Huejotzingo this week also worked at Dios es Amor, so we are running tired. Thank you for your support!