Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The students we don't have and some we do

Soon after moving to Huejotzingo, Abraham, my mother-in-law Six, and I started teaching classes out of our home.  Abraham began general tutoring, Six taught sewing, and I offered English and drawing.  We started the classes just as school let out for the summer, and we had a variety of students for awhile.

After some time Abraham began to teach one of the girls who also came on Sunday afternoons how to read.  She is 10 years old, doesn't attend school, and doesn't know how to read.  Using a curriculum called Mas Luz, Abraham taught her syllables and they practiced using the Bible verses in the book.  Dulce continued for a few weeks, and she, her sisters, her cousin, and her nephews attended every Sunday afternoon as well.

Then she and her family stopped coming on Sunday afternoons, and she also stopped attending reading class.  We found out that when her cousin Natalia participated in her first communion through the Catholic church, she was then forbidden by her father from coming with us anymore.  We suspect that the other girls have also been forbidden from coming on Sundays and that probably Dulce is no longer allowed to come for reading.

As for the English classes, I had some students who came faithfully for several weeks and then stopped coming.  Some of them stopped because of work or school and some because of lack of interest.  New students continued to come, but usually only after other students had stopped attending.  Last week two new ones came who were born and lived in the United States for eleven years and therefore are bilingual.  Their mother wanted them to continue practicing English in order not to forget.  They came twice, but now they haven't returned.  Now three days have passed without a single English student.

In the drawing class and in Six's sewing class, we each have one student who has continued to come faithfully.  The sewing student is the mother of the drawing student, and they live around the corner from us.  Just this last Sunday, the mother and her husband also started a piano keyboard class with my brother-in-law Ken.  These neighbors are actively practicing Jehovah's Witnesses.

Where are the other students?  Please pray with us that we can minister in this neighborhood, both with the mid-week classes and on Sunday afternoons.  Pray that those who have been forbidden to come will either be allowed again or that they hear of God's personal love for them in another way.  Pray for Dulce, that she will be able to learn how to read somehow.  Join us also in thanking God for the Alameda children who returned on Sunday afternoons after several months of absence.  Their catechism teacher had forbidden them from coming, but although they continue studying for their first communion, they decided to return with us as well.

Friday, October 7, 2011

San Miguel

It has been awhile since I last wrote a blog entry.  With a less structured schedule than the one Abraham and I used to have while working at Puebla Christian School, things like regular blog entries sometimes slip through the cracks.  Since the last time I wrote, two friends visited us for a week, and my parents came for two.  Abraham and I have continued teaching classes in our home as a form of community service and outreach, and Abraham also has been going to Puebla twice weekly for Greek classes at the seminary.  I teach art at Puebla Christian School on Thursdays as well.  On Sunday afternoons the children still come to our home for Bible club and often stay after to play.

Programs such as this one were posted all over Huejotzingo giving times and dates for all activities
One of three towers full of fireworks
Huejotzingo's patron saint is San Miguel (the Archangel Michael).  Immediately following Independence Day, the festivities began for San Miguel.  Abraham and I saw part of one procession leaving one of the churches and winding through the streets, and we all heard continuous fireworks throughout the days (and sometimes nights) that followed.

The highly decorated outside of the church
On the actual day of San Miguel, September 29th, we walked downtown to see the activities.  As on other days, the fair rides and many booths selling food, trinkets, and other wares were crowded.  The z√≥calo, or town square, cathedral had the largest concentration of people.  Inside, the smell of hundreds of flowers thickened the air.

A table covered with San Miguel trinkets

What is ironic about the celebration, is that every poster and decoration referring to the event had the phrase ¿Quien Como Dios? (who is like God?).  However, none of the adoration was in any way directed toward God.  Our prayer is that the people here can leave their worship of others and direct their adoration to the only One worthy.