Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayer in Public School

 
I’m looking out at 44 young faces, and they’re looking at me expectantly. And I’m supposed to teach them.  I remember how I used to get tongue-tied and a surprisingly high heart rate when standing in front of people. And I was speaking to them in English.
Not so this morning. For the first time, I have the chance to teach the Bible in Visayan. Public speaking in your heart language is fun enough. Doing it in a second language is at least twice as exciting. Believe me.
 
We start with singing, and thankfully the kids love singing. So, we sing some more songs.  Then, we start teaching. Sometimes I almost have to pinch myself. We are teaching the Bible in Visayan to a first grade class in a very poor barrio in the Philippines. Did I mention it’s a public school? 
 
Thankfully for me (and for the kids) I have a co-teacher. Wendel is our Visayan language helper, and he is also a Christian brother. We spent an undisclosed number of hours to prep this lesson, and now we are teaching it together.
Or, more like acting it out. “I need a volunteer!”  and another…and another. (Thanks is due here to all the churches that I have had the chance to do VBS in over the years---it was preparing me more than I knew.) And, before Wendel started working with missionaries, he taught kids too. Hmm…apparently God is preparing us for something, no matter what we’re doing…
 
Another round of "And Dios, Dako!" (My God is so Big!")  
 
I am reminded of the needs here, from the sparse and tiny classroom with 44 first graders, to their answers to questions. We are talking about problems, and their examples of problems at home come back every time to almost the same thing: “No money!” “No cooked rice!” “No uncooked rice!” “Nothing to put on top of rice!” (If you couldn’t tell, rice is the staple food here.) Our church here has seen the need—and they teach God’s Word---Then after teaching,  they have a feeding program for the most malnourished kids in the school. It’s exciting that they are providing nourishment for the body as well as the soul--
We act out and teach the lesson with the help of our first grade class, and at the end of our time together, we know they might not remember it all, but they are getting a foundation for understanding the Bible.   
Some of our church ministry team that does the public school outreach. Please pray for the Bible teachers and the kids!   
And they actually seemed to have a fun time doing it. And so did we.
As we progress in the language, we are getting more and more chances to be involved in the ministry of our local church, and in the lives of our friends here.
Please pray with us for the kids in our class, as Wendel and I continue to teach them chronologically through the Bible every Wednesday morning.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

3 YEARS!

Today is a very special day for us...  it is the 3 year anniversary of our arrival to the Philippines. 
3 years ago @ the KC airport...


and today...well, ok...not today specifically...but a recent family photo.
It's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times...It's really kind of hard to describe the emotions that come with realizing it's been three years since we boarded a jumbo jet and headed west.

First--It's been really good. God has shown himself faithful to us as we have studied two languages, lived on two islands, had our darling Skye added to our family, and started homeschooling.

Then--It's been hard. Being away from family and friends has been tough. Learning language can make you feel like your brain has turned into mushy worthlessness.

Raising kids without grandmas, grandpas and aunts and uncles around to spoil them and babysit them has been tough.

And sometimes, frankly, you just want to go into Wal-Mart and be overwhelmed by choices, since we often feel overwhelmed with the lack of them.

We love what we do, we wouldn't trade it. We know the Lord brought us here---we've seen His hand in it all.

And, although discontent occasionally creeps in, we are CONTENT.

And to us, that's big. God has given us CONTENTMENT in the midst of the craziness of raising four kids while learning two languages while helping prepare a new language and culture program for new missionaries while starting homeschool while hanging on to our sanity.

Sanity(well, mostly), contentment, and 4 healthy kids. We have a lot to be thankful for!

Thank you God for the last three years--and thanks to all of you who have prayed, supported and encouraged us through it all.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Crazy Family Photos


Just wanted to share these recent family photos in case you hadn't seen them yet. 

EVERY DAY is an adventure at our house! :)