Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The absolute LAST day

Last day water games for elementary kids
My classroom, forlorn
As far as Abraham and I know, today was our last day teaching at Puebla Christian School.  I have been teaching full time for four years, two years each in 1st and 2nd grade and then in 5th and 6th.  Abraham taught PE for two years, working the students hard (even assigning homework as 50% of their grade), and we saw with satisfaction how the kids became stronger, healthier, and more energetic.

But now we have another call.  We moved to Huejotzingo April 2, and have been commuting the hour+ on the bus every day coming and going.  We have been so busy it was hard to even find time to buy groceries or do laundry.  Now, suddenly it's over, and the whole summer yawns before us, almost empty of plans.  It's rather a dizzying feeling.  What will we do with the summer?  Most missionary families are heading for the States, but we will not be travelling anywhere, as far as we know.  There is great need in Huejotzingo, but we are not sure where to go from the one Bible study, one weekly home visit, and Sunday afternoon kids' club that we already have.

Please pray for us as we look for God's guidance on what to do.  Pray that we can use our time wisely.  Please pray also for some difficult situations with Marta and with the Alameda family.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


May 18th was the graduation for my sixth graders and for the eighth graders.  Time always flies, and this school year was no exception.  With only 10 days left in the school year, we are wrapping up, thinking about summer, and preparing for cleaning up and packing away.  The sixth graders wrote speeches for their graduation, and I assigned the fifth graders to write speeches as well.  It was amusing to read the best memories that the students recorded in their speeches.  All of them recalled the time when I laughed uncontrollably at something a student said, although that happened near the beginning of the year.  Isn't that how memories are?  As teachers, we present history, science, math, art, music, grammar, and other subjects, but the kids remember a moment of outrageous laughter above all.

There are many things I will miss about teaching at Puebla Christian School, since this is our last year as teachers there.  However, I will not miss having to catch the bus at 6:55 a.m. and the almost one hour ride into Puebla and then back in the late afternoon.  I will not miss being so busy that we do not even have time to shop for groceries in the market.  I will not miss being tired almost all the time.

We will be able to invest much more time in Huejotzingo once the school year ends May 31.  We plan to start classes, some teaching English and then a variety of other classes for children and adults.  We are not entirely certain what the schedule will be or how we will conduct the classes at this point.  We will also plan to start more Bible studies in homes.

Lately we have felt challenged by the work necessary in Huejotzingo.  There is one teen in particular who has been coming to Sunday afternoon Bible study for a long time.  She has professed faith in Jesus, and eagerly listens and participates in the classes.  We are saddened, however, to see that she still regularly attends mass and goes to processions honoring La Virgen de Guadalupe.  A few nights ago, Abraham saw her and a few of her siblings out walking.  He greeted them and asked where they were going, but they did not want to tell him.  They were going to either a procession or to mass.  The traditions of the Catholic church have a deep hold on the lives of the people.  Please pray for their eyes to be opened and for wisdom as we teach and live out our faith there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nuevos Niños

El sábado 30 de abril fue el día del niño en México.  Hay una familia misionera con conexiones con Puebla Christian School y ellos tienen varios juegos hechos en casa y una resbaladilla inflable.  Ofrecieron el uso de los juegos en Huejotzingo y también donaron dulces para premios.  Abraham y yo pasamos la mañana en diferentes trabajos.  Abraham fue para ver si una familia de Huejo nos podría ayudar a cambiar las cosas de donde habíamos estado rentando para las clases del domingo a nuestra casa, y yo fui a comprar algunas cosas, sacar copias de las invitaciones para la kermés, y distribuirlas.  Tan pronto como regresamos a casa, la familia misionera llegó, y empezamos a arreglar los juegos.

Todos nos sorprendidos por la cantidad de gente que llegó a la kermés.  Esperábamos alrededor de 20, pero más del doble llegaron.  Nuestro patio se llenó de niños esperando sus turnos para cada juego.  Varias mamás de Huejo y jóvenes ofrecieron su ayuda con los juegos lo que hizo posible que el evento saliera bien puesto que no planeabamos tener tantos participantes.  Por las siguientes tres horas, nos mantuvimos ocupados, tanto que ni siquiera pude sacar la cámara.  Afortunadamente una de las jovencitas sacó fotos.

Invitamos a los participantes para regresar a la clase del domingo a las 3.  La mayoría de los que normalmente van con nosotros llegaron y cinco niños nuevos.  Las cosas que Abraham cambió del otro lugar estuvieron (y todavía están) apiladas en una mesa, pero de todos modos tuvimos un tiempo de juegos, lectura, esgrima, y una historia de la Biblia.

El domingo siguiente preparamos una manualidad  para que los niños hicieran para sus mamás.  Tres adultos de Dios es Amor vinieron a ayudarnos, lo que fue una gran bendición porque hubo más niños nuevos, y en total tuvimos 22.  Pasaron casi toda la tarde haciendo sus manualidades para el día de la madre.

Los niños de Huejo que han estado asistiendo por más tiempo hicieron bufandas para dárselas a mis alumnos de PCS, y mis alumnos hicieron campanas de bambú y adornaron y llenaron frascos para intercambiarlos para el día del niño.  El domingo dimos los regalos de los niños de PCS a los de Huejo, y el lunes llevamos las bufandas a los niños de PCS.  Los dos grupos respondieron con placer y entusiasmo.  Ambos grupos apreciaron el trabajo y los resultados del otro.  Me hubiera gustado si los dos grupos se hubieran podido conocer pero ésta vez no fue posible.

Por favor sigan orando por Abraham y por mí mientras estamos invirtiendo más tiempo en Huejotzingo.  Viviendo allí ya se han presentado retos, pero también hemos empezado a construir relaciones nuevas, más que nada con los niños que viven cerca de nosotros.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New kids

Saturday, April 30th was el dia del niño in Mexico.  There is a missionary family connected with Puebla Christian School that owns several large home-made games and an inflatable water slide.  The family offered to take the games out to Huejotzingo and also to donate candy as prizes.  Abraham and I busily spent the morning in different tasks; he went to find out if a Huejo family could help us move our supplies from the place where we had been renting for the Sunday afternoon classes to our house, and I went to buy a few supplies, make copies of invitations to the games, and distribute them in the neighborhood.  Shortly after we both returned home, the missionary family arrived, and we began setting up.

We were all surprised by the amount of people who arrived for the fair.  We had expected about 20, and more than double that number showed up.  Our patio was soon filled with children waiting their turns for each game.  Several Huejo moms and teens volunteered to help run the games which made the event possible, since we had not planned for so many participants. For the next three hours, we all stayed occupied, so much so, that I didn't even take out the camera.  Fortunately one of the teens took photos.

We invited the participants to return at 3 on Sunday for the class.  Most of the regular attenders came and also five new children.  The items that Abraham had transfered from the other location were (and still are) piled on one table, but we still managed to have a time of games and reading, Bible sword drill, and the Bible story.

The following Sunday we prepared a craft for the kids to make for their mothers.  Three adults had come from Dios es Amor to help which was a blessing, because even more new children came, so that we had a total of 22 children.  They spent almost the entire afternoon making their Mother's Day gifts.

The Huejo kids who are have been attending for longer had been working on scarves to give to my PCS students, and my students had made bamboo windchimes and decorated and filled jars to exchange for el dia del niño.  On Sunday, we distributed the gifts from the PCS kids to the Huejo kids, and then on Monday we took the scarves to give to the PCS kids.  From both groups the response was enthusiastic pleasure.  They both appreciated the work and results of the other set of children.  I would have liked for the two groups of children to have met in person, but this time around it didn´t work out.

Please continue to pray for Abraham and I as we invest more time in Huejotzingo.  Living there has already presented many challenges, but we have also already begun to build new relationships, especially with the neighborhood children.