New Faces

June was a CRAZY month as we hosted two LARGE teams, had a family of 8 join our ministry as well as two other volunteers for the school and other random visitors during the month.  Needless to say, it was constant around here.  A constant that I welcomed because much of the help that has come will focus at the school, but it certainly made June fly by.  Here are a few of the new faces around here.

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Worship time with the team at the school and visiting the Gardners.

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Trevor doing a physics lab.

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Lauren and Taylor doing lab with the kids.

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Megan, Lauren and Taylor

 

With new faces comes change and adjustment and living together in community.  It is not the natural way of doing things and it is not necessarily what we are accustomed to doing as Americans… but little by little, we are learning how to do this.  Each of these faces brings a heart for the people here, a heart for education and a desire to interact and love those that God places in their path.  And for this – I am thankful for these faces around here.

Fourth of July

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No, we don’t celebrate the Fourth of July here.  There were no fireworks.  No mention of it actually BUT there was a “Rally” in town that just so happened to fall on this weekend.  So we will count is as our 4th of July celebration.  Plus I wanted to share about what “FUN” is around here.

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Needless to say – this activity provided a positive energy outlet to those involved and they were smiling – two things I like to see!

 

 

New Creation

We had to opportunity to teach some lessons in the elementary school here in town. There was a group here from the states that we teamed with the share the transformation of a butterfly – and coupled this with the fact that in Christ we are a new Creation.

My heart is in teaching and I was really thankful for the opportunity to visit and to see the innerworkings of a school here.  For having so many kids, they were cooperative as well – and I definitely left the day exhausted.

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Drawing the life cycle of a butterfly.

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Luis sharing how Jesus changes your life.

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Me teaching about butterflies.

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Playing with the kids

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Very thankful that God blessed me with a teacher voice this day!

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Teaching the key verse –  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away and the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

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Teaching at the Chiminisijuan school

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You Said….

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You said, ask and you will receive…. Whatever you need.

You said, pray and you’ll hear from heaven…..and I’ll heal your land.

Tonight starts our continual prayer and worship sets for 72 hours straight.  The above signs are what hang at the school inviting those to come…. And so we ask …. For the nations…. We ask for the youth of this area. Please pray for all involved as we go forward. That the spirit moves and that hearts are open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dia de la Familia

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Most of the schools around here celebrate the day of the Mother (Mother’s Day), but we celebrate the Day of the Family because many of our students do not have mothers or fathers present here in Canilla.  On this day we invite the families to participate in different activities and the students did performances for their families.

For me it is an opportunity to see the students interact with their families and to meet caregivers of the students here.  I enjoy this part of the day just as much as the activities.  Here are a few pictures from our day.

 

 

Quinto performing their drama

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Shirley and her dad feeding each other blindfolded

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Students from Cuarto singing their song

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Waiting for the day to start

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Susan, Sharon and Rosa

 

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Jose, Victor and Bryan

 

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Luis talking to Tevin and Yonal

 

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Maria’s family enjoying Iced Coffee

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Hair Braiding by the spouses

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Kenly, Sharon, Yakelin and Ericka

 

End of a Quarter

 

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It is summertime here and that means it is appropriate to teach a little “Can Jam”.  Some were more enthusiastic than others with a new game.

We continue to plug away at school with two new classes of students.  It is different than last year.  We knew this going in.  We knew there would be differences, but they are hitting me more with each passing week.  The students are different from different backgrounds, different personalities and different abilities.  This means that our challenges are different to educate them and guide them as well.  Here are some snapshots of different days at the school.

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At the end of the first week of exams, we did some Team Building time with the students all combined.  I especially like doing things like this because it builds unity and trust and acceptance within the students.  Mixing the groups allowed our older students to serve as models and leaders in the groups as well.

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In Guatemala it is custom to throw trash in the roads and along the streets.  All of the schools gathered together to collect trash one morning.  Here we are enjoying our time to the fullest!

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The mile run…. it is greeted with the same amount of joy here as it is in the states!  One disadvantage is – right now it is hot and sunny always!

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March Birthdays!  Many of the students don’t celebrate their birthdays at home or with their families.  Their 15th birthday is celebrated, but the other ones are often forgotten.  We try to celebrate each month together as an opportunity to spread some cheer and love.  With more students means more celebrations!

With Love…. the 100th Post

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I used to want to live to be 100.  It’s on my bucket list.  I still want to live to be 100.  I just want to be able to still encourage and serve other people when I’m 100 – which I know isn’t the majority.  When I was in college, I added making dinner for my children and their children on my 100th birthday to my bucket list.  I’m still working on it.

And so when WordPress told me that this was my 100th post, I knew there was significance to that.  This was the 100th memory I would be sharing…. and since 100 is a significant number, I wanted to show you some pictures of who I spend my days with and what I do….

First and foremost, I do what I do because God has called me here for this purpose in this time.  Over the last two months, God has confirmed over and over again that we need to take the opportunities in front of us to speak truth and to love.  God is love.  Jesus is love.  And sometimes all it takes is a little love to change someone else’s day.  I have tried this year saying, “Whatever you have for me today Lord” every morning and to go into each day afresh.

To me teaching is pouring out love onto my students every day.  Sometimes this is in the form of knowledge.  Sometimes this is in the form of a bandaid or some Tylenol or an encouraging note or firm discipline.  But each day holds the opportunity to display love.  Teaching is really just a tool to point them towards Christ.  But if they are excited about learning.  If they see the purpose.  They can exceed their own expectations.  Learning will draw them towards Christ as their eyes continue to be opened and see things afresh and anew.  Learning will draw them towards Christ when they hear truth and embrace challenges.

Over the years I have had 1832 students walk through my doors and into my classroom.  Each year I add more.  And each year the number of students I pray for and love upon grows.  Would you pray alongside me today…..

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Hodaliz using a microscope

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Sulmy testing the laws of physics

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Victor, Bryan and Yonal watching their rocket fly

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Shirley applying physics principles

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Raul testing the soda cans

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The challenges of physics for the Cuarto class

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Jose, Bryan, Adrian, Victor, Tevan and Sergio

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Maria, Lesly and Adriana

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Adrian, Jose and Dopney trying to measure vectors

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Kenley, Adrian and Ericka dissecting owl pellets

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Christian,  Sandra, Mayra, Gaby, Sulmy, Shirley, Raul, Everaldo and Cesar ready to launch their cars for the Egg Drop Lab.

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My Intro to Mathematics class in the University

Teaching to Remember

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This is a arm that can be used to practice giving IVs and drawing blood.  Legally they can practice on each other, but it will be wiser and safer to practice first on the model!

 

In science, some of the concepts to teach are so difficult because they are difficult to envision.  In part this is why lab experiences are so important, to put into practice what you are learning in the classroom.  Part of what I have been doing during my time here is implementing these experiences in biology, chemistry and physics.  The students and teachers have never experienced hands on learning like this which makes it difficult at times to explain procedures.  But as light bulbs go off and I can see learning happening, it makes the time that goes into planning and preparation worth it.  Many, many thanks to my friends who donated this equipment to the school.  It stretches farther than you could ever imagine.  I have been creative with resources and much of what I need I can find here when I improvise.  I have rocks weighed out in sets, diagrams and posters hand drawn and plastic cups marked with quantities.  Now all three schools are pulling from these supplies and it definitely makes the learning more concrete!  We all thank you for the extension of the learning happening here!

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Hands On Math!

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Anatomy and Physiology

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Microbiology

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Physics and Chemistry

 

 

In Like a Lion

Someone had to remind me that it was March.  To me it feels like June.  I guess March is always best when it comes in like a Lion and our like a Lamb.  For me that might hold true this month, we will see.  I picked up some extra courses as our Physics/ Math teacher was away for his wife to have their baby and spent quality time with some quality students.  I lost my voice in the process yet my brain completely flipped.  I found it difficult to talk in English and my brain much preferring Spanish.

There used to be a time of normalcy here where every week was the same it and it would be difficult to find a new blog even once a month.  We have entered into the world of constant change – with the exciting news being that I could send you something new that happens each day.

 

IMG_6636It is currently the dry season…. lots of dust, lots of fires in the nights in the mountains and great sunsets and sunshine on the mountains.  It will be like this for awhile.

image image Work continues at the hospital with more and more foundational walls being built.  Two-thirds of these walls have been poured and the men continue on their schedule to push forward.

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School continues to be the routine around here – as we settle into a routine.  I am noticing this year that I feel a little more confident teaching although I am still not expressing and completely explaining like I would like.  How I even managed words last year I am not quite sure.  These students are both from our Cuarto and Quinto Bachi classes.

Worth It

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It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.

I struggle to translate some of my favorite quotes into Spanish, but I have found this one to not only translate…. But to mean something.  No sera facil…pero valdra la pena.”

This last week was one of those three steps back weeks. We moved forward with the university, which brought encouragement and energy… but it also means that more work is to be done. I felt like I was always behind all week as new things came up daily.

 

As I watched the adults come in and we began classes, I saw something different in their eyes that I haven’t seen in the younger students. Many of these adults have already finished other post-secondary programs – receiving degrees as teachers, secretaries or even classes in engineering programs. But as I explained to them the importance of their times tables and knowing their addition and subtraction facts, they said no one ever required them to learn them. And this is true. And as we taught fractions –simple fractions – I saw lightbulb after lightbulb go off. Once again, they were not taught. We could easily criticize their education system. I often have. But these adults are just as hungry, if not more, for any education they can get. And so I return to one of my most often quoted phrases… it may not be easy, but it will be worth it.

Easy can be interpreted by everyone differently. Some people find Calculus to be easy. Others struggle to understand how to divide 64 by 6.Yet easy is not what we are aiming for. Easy does not get us any closer to the goal. Our hope is that both students are able to walk away with a sense of accomplishment, to have another skill under their belts and to be able to see, in some small way, how God is drawing them in. I never promise that it will be easy…. Because the easy way many times is not God’s way. What I do promise students is that when they look back, they will know that it was worth it. It was worth it to understand and not just memorize. It was worth it to do it yourself and not just copy someone else’s. It was worth it to do something different. Because we never know how good we can be unless we try.

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As eyes glitter and smiles filled faces, I assigned their first homework.  Eighteen simple fractions.  And here is what I received back.  I had forgotten that one of the greatest trademarks of this culture is the pride that they take in even a small assignment that could have been completed on a half sheet of paper.  In folders, with title pages, and decorations and drawings.  I would like to think they were just excited and enjoyed math that much….

And so… thus begins a new chapter for yet another new group of students.