Tuesday, December 21, 2010

garage sale and Christmas party

Six talking with one of the ladies from the church
Abraham watching while some
children chose toys
Early in January, we would like to take the children of Huejotzingo on a day trip to a large city park, the Parque Ecologico.  They have never been to the park, and it is a fun place to play.  There are  basketball courts, a large aviary, soccer fields, several playgrounds, and lots of open grassy space to play in.  On the weekends, there is a company that has zorb balls that float on water.  People pay 25 pesos for 10 minutes to play in the ball.  Awhile ago, we decided it would be enjoyable for everyone to spend the day at the park and also go in the zorb balls.

In order to pay for the zorb balls and the transportation to and from the park, we planned a garage sale.  People from Puebla Christian School and the church Dios es Amor donated a variety of items, and we set the sale date for the 18th of December.  It was a long day, but we raised more than the amount necessary for the day trip.  The remaining funds will help pay for Bibles and will help a widow start a tamale-making business.

In addition to raising money for Huejotzingo, we had the chance to witness to some of the people who came to buy items.  One of the people is a teenager who came to see if we had dress pants.  He asked if we were starting a business.  I told him no, that we had come on behalf of Dios es Amor.  I explained where the church was and invited him to attend.  His response caught me off guard.  He said, "I am not permitted to."  Then, by way of explanation, he showed me the chain around his neck that had the image of La Santa Muerte.  He told us that he began following Holy Death after he received a job the day after praying to her.  Those who follow her vow not to seek any other religion.  Abraham was able to spend some time talking to Jovani, telling him about Jesus' promise of eternal life and explaining that Jesus has conquered death.  We intend to visit Jovani on Wednesdays before going to the church for Awana.  Please pray for him;  he has become involved with a powerful evil.  Pray also that we can share the gospel clearly with him.

Pedro helps Naty hang a poster
One of the church ladies donated
gift bags with treats for the kids
The children and adults thought of gifts
to give to Jesus this Christmas
On Sunday afternoon we had a Christmas party in Huejotzingo.  We hadn't decorated for Christmas yet, but the kids were more than happy to help put up posters, hang tinsel, and decorate the tree.  We were glad to see that Naty and Zalma, after a few weeks of absence, returned to spend the afternoon with us.

During the afternoon after decorating, we sang Christmas carols and then discussed what gifts we could give to Jesus for his birthday.  Suggestions included obedience, respect, and love.  Abraham also read the Christmas story from the Bible.  When the service ended, we dished out pozole and Christmas punch that had been donated by several people from Dios es Amor.  Everyone ate their fill, and we saved some to take to Marta, Lupe, and Jorge, the people that Abraham has been studying with on Thursdays.  Marta and Lupe are the two who recently accepted Christ into their hearts, and Marta is the widow who wants to begin selling tamales in order to have an income.

Thank you for your prayers.  Please keep them coming.

Have a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bigger than Christmas


December 12 is the day in Mexico dedicated to the Virgen de Guadalupe. It passes up Christmas in the importance of the celebration, for on or before the 12th, tens of thousands of pilgrims travel in car, on foot walking or jogging, or by bicycle to the Basilica in Mexico City. So great is the number of pilgrims that the Catholic church has designated different days for different groups of people to make their journeys to the Basilica. If everyone tried to enter on the 12th, there would be no room for the majority.

Those who cannot make the pilgrimage to the Basilica gather in great numbers in other chapels or cathedrals dedicated to the patron saint of Mexico. People wait in lines for 2 or more hours just to be able to enter the crowded chapel.


































So the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus takes second place to the reverence offered by tens of thousands to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

The day of Guadalupe fell on the Sunday this year, so we half expected that none of the kids would show up to the class in Huejotzingo. For the first hour and a quarter, it looked like they wouldn't, but then at 4:15, Flor came with her baby and her little sister. We read with them and studied verses in the Bible that refer to the roles of angels. Then we walked the three home. We stayed awhile there to talk with Flor and Lupita's parents and also with the three children who were supposedly going to be leaving for Oaxaca and Michoacan, and then we went to visit with two ladies who have been doing a Bible study with Abraham on Thursdays.

And here's the excellent news! On Thursday, both of them chose to give their hearts to Jesus. If you also follow Him, you have two new sisters. Please pray for them as they grow and pray for Abraham as he continues to study with them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reading



We have found that the rate of illiteracy or near-illiteracy is quite high in Huejotzingo. There are several of the adults that either do not know how to read at all or only have rudimentary reading abilities.

One of the men that has been doing a Bible study with Abraham was commenting on how different people from different religious groups have come to his door telling him many confusing things about the Bible. "And now here you are," he continued, "Reading from the Bible and telling me different things. How do I know who is right?" Abraham challenged him to check in the Bible for himself, but that challenge is impossible right now, because the man does not know how to read. Abraham then said, "Let me teach you to read." And so he began teaching the man, but the task is difficult, because the man is now often at work from dawn until after nightfall, so for the last two weeks, Abraham has not been able to meet with him.

A large number of the children also read poorly or not at all. Several of them do not go to school anymore, and those who do often have little or no help from their parents at home. Their parents are completely absent, at work for long hours, or do not know how to read.

When we move to Huejotzingo, we hope to begin an informal school where the kids and their parents can learn to read, in addition to learning basic math. We would also like to teach English and some job skills for the teenagers. This school would of course include Bible lessons as well.

Please pray that we would find a place to live in Huejotzingo and that we would be wise in teaching the academic subjects, the life skills, and the Biblical content.

We found out this Sunday that the children who supposedly were going to be leaving for Michoacan and Oaxaca had not left. It is not clear whether they ever really were going to leave. When we saw them on Sunday afternoon, the two girls were hidden with a group of boys about their age, in their young teens. They ran off giggling when we approached, but then some of them drifted back. The younger brother of one of the boys told us that they were playing at being boyfriend(s) and girlfriend.

We began to talk with the group, and then Abraham told them sternly, "It is not your time to be playing at dating." One of the boys protested, "We were just telling stories." So Abraham said, "If you value these girls as your friends, then you won't be hiding here with them. People will begin to talk badly about them." Please pray for these young teens. They see much more sexuality than they should, and they believe it is fine for them to be experimenting. Pray for prudence for them and wisdom for us.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Like a soap opera


For the last few Saturdays, Abraham, Six, Ken, and I have been spending the afternoon in Huejotzingo, helping the kids memorize their parts for their small Christmas play, taken from the accounts in Matthew and Luke in the Bible. Each Saturday has had it's difficulties and frustrations. On the first one, only a handful of kids showed up, so we passed out at least the principle parts. Right at the end of our time there, a few other children came, and one of them was upset to find that only minor parts remained. With ill grace, she agreed to a small part in the play, but she did not actually accept her role.

When we returned the following Saturday, we found that this girl had been working throughout the week to persuade the other children to trade parts with her, so she could have a larger role. She also made fun of her cousin who does not know how to read, convincing her that she could not participate. When we talked with the other children and helped them see that they could indeed continue with their original roles, the girl renounced her smaller part.

Throughout the following week, the girl continued her campaign, working on the play's narrator to persuade her to drop out so the other girl could take over her role. She succeeded in making the narrator drop out, but we still would not let her take the place of the narrator, knowing that it was better not to let her have her way in the scheming.

This past Saturday, however, came the most difficult change. I could not go out to Huejotzingo due to a nasty cough, but when Abraham and Six returned to the house, they told me what had happened. The girl who had been trying to manipulate her way into bigger roles in the play has been with us on Sundays for a long time. She is not a believer, and her life is the stuff of the worst soap operas. Our prayer was to share God's love with her, so that she could change and follow his guidance.

It would seem our time with her is over, however. Abruptly, she, her mother, and her brother have moved to Michoacan to live with her estranged father. Her older sister will be moving to Playa del Carmen. Meanwhile, her cousins, the two children I wrote about in the previous post, have moved back to Oaxaca. Please keep those two families in your prayers. Both of them are involved in illegal activities, and they leave in Huejotzingo messy problems that involve other family members that we still work with.

Please pray also for the Alameda family. Half the children in this family join us every Sunday afternoon and are involved in the Christmas play. On Thursdays Abraham began a Bible study with their father and also began teaching him how to read, but the obstacles are constant. This week Abraham will not be able to go because the father will be working the whole time. The family is devoted to the Virgen de Guadalupe and the traditions passed down to from their parents, but they also willingly invite us into their home and discuss the Bible stories openly and ask many questions.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving


Amen to that!






I'm thankful for so many things. In no particular order: family, friends, an apartment to live in near both the seminary where Abraham attends and the school where we teach, food, lotion in this dry climate, a job I enjoy, good health, markets, blankets on cold nights, my laptop, music, time spent with my husband, books, and so very much more. I'm thankful for people like you who pray for Abraham and I. We need your continued prayers. I'm thankful also for those who support us financially. You make many of the above-mentioned blessings possible.

We have this week off from school, and it has been lovely to wake up later and spend time relaxing or finishing tasks that cannot be accomplished when we go to work every day. On Thursday we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my mother- and brother-in-law and some other PCS teachers, along with a Mexican family that used to work at PCS. We'll be potlucking and will have most of the normal feast food plus rajas con crema and tortillas.

On Friday Abraham, Six, Ken, and I will be discussing and writing out a vision statement for Huejotzingo. As the time approaches for our probable move to live in Huejotzingo, Abraham asked Pastor Manuel of our church if he thought we were the people to be missionaries in Huejotzingo. Manuel said he would discuss with the elders and ask them to write yes or no and the reason why for either answer. We will know their response early in December, and the vision statement will help to clarify what we believe God is calling us to do at the mission. Please pray for us as we prepare the statement and as the elders consider Abraham's question. Pray also that there will be a place for us to live, preferably land we can buy where we can build a house (and the funds to make this possible).

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Kids of Our Lives

Last week, my fifth and sixth grade students joined the rest of the elementary for a field trip to a small museum display about the Bible. The exposition that we saw was a traveling section from the larger museum Maná in Mexico City, and due to its reduced size, we only spent an hour there. It was an hour well spent as the kids heard about ancient clay tablets of the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, illuminated manuscripts and much more. They had a chance to see Bibles translated into various different languages and also Bibles written in creative formats like Manga and only pictures. A professor had come to explain the contents of the display cases to the children, so they were able to understand better what they saw.

When we returned to school, my students had a number of questions, so we spent time discussing the apocryphal books, the original languages of the Bible, and the Ark of the Covenant. The children were fascinated to hear about how scribes in ancient times and monks in the Middle Ages copied the Bible with infinite care and how Gutenberg's invention of the printing press radically reduced the cost of books and made Bibles available to more people.

In Huejotzingo, Abraham, Six, Ken, and I have begun going on Saturday afternoons to rehearse a Christmas play with the kids. Last Saturday only two of the children showed up, but it was a good opportunity for us, because those two had never heard the Christmas story before. One of them, when I said, "Why don't we read the story in the Bible?" declared roundly, "The Bible is boring!" When I asked what stories he had read from the Bible, he said he couldn't remember any of them.

We sat down with the two children, and I read from the account of Jesus' birth in Matthew. Abraham asked some questions to see if the two understood. I continued reading in Luke, so they were able to hear, for the first time, the real story of Jesus' birth.

The two kids who were with us last Saturday recently returned to Huejotzingo after being away for about four years. They do not have a father, and their mother is not very dependable. The younger boy is staying with his great aunt, and his older sister is with her cousin. Neither child has learned to read, although the boy is about 8 years old, and his sister is probably 10 or 11. We are glad that they have been regular attenders on Sunday afternoons and now on Saturday as well. Please pray for them. They have not asked Jesus into their hearts, although both listen fairly attentively as Abraham teaches Walk Through the Bible on Sunday afternoon. They are also both very vulnerable and both live in less than ideal homes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More detailed - Day of the Dead

The dia de los muertos began thousands of years ago with the indigenous people of Mexico who celebrated the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl. When the Spaniards arrived, they imposed All Saints´ Day, thinking to replace the worship of death. Rather than replace the custom, the Mexicans blended the Catholic observance with their already established one.

Today on the dia de los muertos, many people create altars, preferably with 7 levels, for the dead. On one of the levels is a picture of a saint, and/or the Virgin de Guadalupe. Another level has a crucifix made of limes or tejocote. On other levels are candles, salt, food, and photos of the dead person. Near the altar, the family places candles toward the four cardinal points to guide the spirit of the dead. The candles also provide light for the spirit. People call to the spirit of their family member, inviting it to visit.

Throughout Mexico, some cemeteries remain open throughout the night as family members hold vigil at the graves of their dead. The living burn candles for the dead as they watch the night away.

This video was made as an ad for attracting tourism, but it gives some idea of the dia de los muertos.

Halloween was not observed as such until fairly recently. The influence of the United States can be seen in the fact that many children now wear costumes while they collect coins in their plastic pumpkin heads. The satanic church claims that Oct. 31 is the birthday of Satan, and observes the date as such.

Dia de los Muertos

October 28 - November 2 in Mexico is the celebration of death. Jesus said in John 11:24, "I am the resurrection and the LIFE. He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."


Anticipating dia de los muertos, marzipan,candy, and chocolate skulls
were present in store shelves throughout Mexico








This bread is called hojaldra. It is a special bread made for the dia de los muertos. The decorations on the top represent bones.










These children in costume were performing on a platform in the cemetery





Throughout the time I have lived in Mexico, I have learned more about what the dia de los muertos represents. This year Abraham and I went to visit a cemetery on Nov. 2, the climax of the days. Dia de los muertos is actually a misguiding name, for in Mexico, the observances begin on Oct. 28th as families remember those who died violent deaths. October 29 is for the unbaptized and October 30 for the lonely soul. On October 31, the children who died after being baptized visit their families and leave on November 1. November 2 is the final day, when all the spirits of the dead come together with their living family members. The term "visit" is not used lightly, for Mexicans who observe these days believe that the spirit of the dead returns to them. The living family members usually build an altar in their homes, decorating it with offerings of food, symbols of the favorite pass-times of their dead relative, and objects that the person enjoyed in life. In Huejotzingo, one man told Abraham that at least in their family, they call out to the spirits, inviting them to come back home.
This is an example of an altar inside a shopping mall
The cemetery had this altar in the entryway




Outside the cemetery, a vendor sold miniatures to decorate altars




One of the crypts had this altar set up









Inside the cemetery, a few mariachi bands offered their services to sing to the dead






The cemetery is very large. In every row, highly decorated graves were evident










Please join us as we pray for the light of LIFE to shine on Mexico. Pray that this ancient festival with its connections to the pre-hispanic rituals offered to Mictecacihuatl, the goddess of the underworld, would end.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Huejo

Yesterday in Huejotzingo, the kids learned, in Spanish of course, the song of "Joshua fought (fit) the Battle of Jerico" and they heard the story of it from the Bible. To go with the story, Abraham had created a craft where paper walls were glued to a cardboard base with a hole in the middle. The walls had strings attached, and the strings fed through the hole so that when the kids pulled the strings, the walls collapsed. He prepared the walls and bases so that the kids could put them together after hearing the story. We also made sure to leave one small section, strengthened by a toothpick, for Rahab's part of the wall. The Bible tells us that she was spared, along with her family.

It was a special treat to have Jacqueline back visiting. She had moved away when her parents returned from the United States, but she returned to see her grandparents and cousins and as a result, she was able to be with us too.

A few blogs ago, I wrote about four of that same family who had left for the United States. We have since heard that both Irene and Lina arrived safely with their parents, but the two older ones could not get through and are therefore returning to Huejotzingo. Thank you for your prayers for them.

Today at school, we had an all-day field trip to a kibbutz-like community that is also located in Huejotzingo. One of my students lived there briefly with her family, and her father had told me about the place last year. On Saturday a week ago, Abraham and I visited to see if it would be a good field trip place and concluded that it was. It is a very different way of living out the Christian faith. On the hectacre live nine families and a few single people who share almost all their material possessions in common.

The compound has a school, several cabins, a dining room, and a soy production factory. It has been in existence for 22 years, with families coming and going constantly. My students heard some of the history of the place, visited the school, ate breakfast, heard about soy production, and played happily. When we returned to school, they had a huge amount of questions, and they are likely to have more tomorrow, since the dismissal bell interrupted them.

Please continue your prayers for Abraham and I in the various ministries we are involved in. We continue to pray for a place to live in Huejotzingo, and we may be moving there even before the school year ends, as the seminary is selling the apartments where we currently live.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Walk Thru



Abraham is teaching Caminata Biblica in Huejotzingo to the kids, and I am learning from him and teaching it in English to my students at PCS (in English it's Walk Thru the Bible). Both groups of children are learning and reviewing and enjoying as they learn. My students eagerly ask me, "Are we having Bible class today?" They listen with fascination to the stories from the Old Testament and ask about a million questions. In Huejotzingo, Abraham is teaching the Caminata as a review, because we had just finished going through important stories in the Old Testament. Even the really little kids are learning the key words and corresponding hand motions.

Abraham has been able to spend almost all day every Thursday in Huejotzingo, and in this way he has been able to talk with the parents and other relatives of the kids who come on Sundays. This last Sunday, the great-grandmother of four of our regular attenders had just died, and many family members had gathered for her wake. As a result, we had several extra kids with us in the afternoon which was a wonderful opportunity for us to share God's love with them and invite them to return.

On the other hand, however, Abraham said sadly later that night, "It happened again." When I asked what, he said, "Another person died without Christ, and we never shared with her." This is part of the reason why we feel God is leading us to move to Huejotzingo, so we can invest much more time with the people. Abraham has heard story after story of tremendous need, and by ourselves we cannot meet all the needs, but we can reflect and point to the One who can. Please continue to pray with us that we would find a place to live there and that God would show us what he wants us to do.

Monday, October 4, 2010

gaps in knowledge

My fifth and sixth grade students write journals every day, first thing in the morning. Their responses from one journal topic made me wonder and write a follow-up journal topic with the question, "How does a person get to heaven? Support your answer with verses from the Bible." They all answered some form of the response that a person must believe Jesus is the son of God and ask forgiveness for sins in order to go to heaven. Only one of the students confidently found and wrote verses. The other eleven exclaimed in dismay, "Do we have to read through the whole Bible? Where will we find verses?" - and this response from students who are, the majority of them, children of missionaries and pastors. Also, the majority of them have been attending PCS since first grade. I cannot assume they know things about the Bible simply from osmosis.
Here they are struggling to find verses. After some time, I asked those who had found verses to share them with others who were still looking

In Bible class, I am teaching the students Walk Thru the Bible and am telling the Bible stories that connect with the WTtB motions. The students are loving the lessons, and it seems they are learning well. Abraham is teaching the same lessons to the kids in Huejotzingo, and they also enjoying the method. For the Huejotzingo children, it is a review of the stories that they learned over the past year in the Bible curriculum from Source of Light.


Please continue your prayers for the families in Huejotzingo. Pray that we can move there in God's timing and know what it is that we should do to best minister to them. We may be moving sooner than we had anticipated, because we recently found out that the seminary is selling the apartments where we currently live. If they sell soon, we have to move, and it makes sense to go straight to Huejotzingo rather than look for another place until the end of the school year. At present it's all up in the air.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Four more gone


About a month ago, two of the girls who sometimes attended Sunday afternoon Bible class in Huejotzingo left the home with their grandparents, aunt, uncles, and many cousins to live with their parents who had recently returned from the States. We miss Jacqueline and Gaby, but it's probably better for them to be with their mom and dad again.

Yesterday we learned that two more girls had gone, along with their adult uncle and fifteen-year-old aunt Margarita. Last Sunday, Irene, age six, and Lina, age eleven received a call from their parents in Philadelphia. The call was to tell them that their parents had arranged for them to cross the boarder and join them in the States. The four left from Huejotzingo on Wednesday and are now somewhere near Tijuana where they will spend anywhere from two weeks to a month before making the dangerous crossing with the dubious help of a coyote. It's hard to know what to pray. That they be caught and returned? That they make it safely into San Diego and from there continue to Philadelphia to be reunited with parents they haven't seen for a long time? The best prayer comes from Matthew 6:10b "...Your will be done..."

Regardless of your views on illegal immigration, please pray for these four. They are risking their lives to cross the boarder and then travel to the Northeast in fall months.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fiestas and more

videoThe week of the bicentennial of Mexico's independence from Spain provided us with two and a half days off from school, but we had more than enough to keep us busy. On Wednesday the students' last class was right before lunch, and then when the bell rang, releasing them from their classrooms, they all gathered under the school's balcony for a reenactment of El Grito. After the final "¡Viva México!" rang out, the students dispersed to various games, piñatas, or their lunch of tostadas. The festivities ended at 1:20 when the last child had left for home and two days of vacation.

For the teachers there was still grading, room cleaning, lesson planning, photocopying, and more to keep us occupied for some time. When I returned home, it was to prepare the ingredients for the tostadas that Abraham and I signed up to take to the church's Noche Mexicana. We needed to arrive early at church, because Abraham was asked the day before if he would lead the games for the party. He led musical chairs, dramas, the singing of the himno nacional, and other activities until it was time for the potluck dinner. During the meal, the final game was that no one could say 'no.' That made conversation difficult but hilarious, and in the end two of the youth won.

The celebration of independence didn't end on Wednesday night for us. On Saturday five church youth groups met at Dios es Amor for another Noche Mexicana, and again Abraham lead the games. Forty youth and their leaders gathered at 4 p.m. for three hours of fun and fellowship. Abraham is gathering quite a repertoire of group games!

On Sunday in Huejotzingo, he continued teaching Walk Through the Bible to the kids. They really enjoy hearing the Bible stories and learning the motions. We pray that God's word is taking root in all their lives as they learn more. Abraham continues to go on Thursdays to visit with the kids' parents and grandparents as well. Please keep praying for these families. Also please keep praying for land and a house in Huejotzingo so we can work there full time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Mexico is gearing up to celebrate 200 years of freedom from Spanish rule. At midnight on Wednesday/Thursday, thousands will gather in the country's zocalos to yell along with the president, "¡Viva México!" I'm sure it will be quite a stirring event for everyone. How different life would be here if Spain still controlled this country.

We celebrated with the kids in Huejotzingo on Sunday. When we first arrived, we played different games with various kids, and Six read with Flor, a 15-year-old who does not attend school but is eager to learn.
video
At about four o'clock, Abraham called everyone together, and we began playing a game similar to hot potato where everyone sits in a circle and passes a hat from head to head as music plays. When the music stops, the person with the hat is out and takes their chair with them. After playing "hat potato" we began a game of musical chairs, and then we played bingo (loteria in Spanish). There was much hilarity and noise in the room.

When the games ended, Abraham spoke about freedom, telling the Bible account of the boy who would throw himself into fire or water until Jesus healed him. Abraham reminded the children that, even though we are free from the rule of an outside country, we can still be slaves to sin. Later he talked with one of the girls who faithfully attends and asked her if she had received Jesus in to her heart. She said no. He asked what she was waiting for, and she didn't answer. Please pray for Zalma. She has heard the message of salvation many times, but her heart isn't open.

We left after 6 o'clock. The advantage of the church van still being out of commission from the accident during VBS is that we don't have to return the van to the church at a certain time, since we go and return by bus. The bus trip is much longer, but we then have the freedom to stay in Huejotzingo as long as we want.

Abraham has begun to go during the day on Thursdays as well. He is not able to take many seminary classes this semester, because the classes he needs aren't being offered. This allows him a more open schedule that he has fast filled with visiting family and friends and going to Huejotzingo. The two times he has gone so far have been wonderful opportunities to talk with the adults. On Sundays we typically only have children, but as Abraham visits, he can go to their homes, and the adults have been very open to talking with him. One of the fathers is almost illiterate, and so Abraham has begun reading aloud from the Bible, starting in Genesis. As he finishes each chapter, the man asks questions, and they discuss what the Bible says. Please pray for these weekly visits, that they help more people give their lives to Christ.

Monday, September 6, 2010

another beginning

We have begun the school year again. I am teaching 5th and 6th grade again, but this time I have 12 students. For a public school teacher, that may sound like a small class, but compared to the 8 students I had last year, it's a jump in size. Although larger in size, the class is slightly less international with several Mexicans, some Americans, two Koreans, and some students who are double nationality.

So, we begin again. I asked to have my students' art class instead of having another teacher take them. The history curriculum lends itself to many different crafts, and I'm also looking forward to teaching drawing. The kids still have other teachers for math, music, and ESL or Spanish. Abraham is their PE teacher, but I go along as his assistant on PE days.

Please pray for the school as the year begins. Pray for health, and pray that the students really grow close to God. Pray also for the teachers as we adjust to being back in the schedule and as we work with the students.