This has been a crazy week! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from all the teachers grouped up to go on house visits for all 300 students in the school. My group had the mountain villages, which involved a lot of scary driving and mountain hiking to get to these families' homes. The Lord protected us though! At each house we (and when I say we, I mean the Spanish speaking teachers in my group) would ask the families if they had prayer requests that we could pray for and that we will also email to each student's sponsor so they can be praying specifically for their student. We also encouraged them to attend church regularly, and prayed over each family. This was an awesome and exhausting time. I enjoyed getting to meet some of my students and their families, and get a perspective on where these children are coming from. Wednesday we finished up around noon, so all the teachers went out to lunch together!
Tuesday night my housemates and I went to a Bible study at the Spanish language school with other missionaries that are here learning Spanish before going out to their mission field. Colton, the other new American Destino teacher, has been going to the Bible study here and was facilitating the discussion this week. It was a good time of worship and studying the word, and it was nice to understand everything that was being said,unlike church on Wednesday night. I am definitely doing a lot better with the Spanish sermons though. I think I understand more each time I go to church, so I'm making progress!
Thursday was spent planning at the school, without power. Jenna and Bethany ran through a mock class with Colton and I so we could get the feel for how a class runs here, which was super helpful. Don't know what I'd do without these girls! On Friday morning, all the parents (mostly mothers) came to the school for the first meeting to go over the rules and get uniforms and such. Luckily, the power came back on right before the meeting! Rhonda talked with the parents first about the purpose of Destino del Reino. She wanted to be sure the parents understood that at Destino we are not just here to help the poor and educate children, but to train up missionaries who are willing to die for Jesus Christ. That is our mission and that is what we are praying for the kids, to have such a strong faith that they will never renounce Christ, even in the face of death.
Friday after school our land lady's son invited Colton, Jenna, Bethany, and I to go out to his farm not far from where we live. He has a whole lot of land, which we hiked all over. Apparently, the higher the altitude, the better the coffee, so the farm went up into the mountains. It was raining off and on, so the ground was a little muddy and slick. If you know me, you know I'm clumsy, so these things were not a good combination, but I made it to the top of the mountain for this great view of the city, even through the clouds.
Saturday we worked on lessons at the house and did our grocery shopping. In the afternoon, once the massive rain storm had taken a little break, all the American teachers met at Sheena and Kathy's house to share the prayer requests we had written down during house visits so that we each could email them to the students in our class's sponsors. Most of my prepa students still do not have sponsors, so again, if you know anyone who might be willing, please mention it!
Sunday brought an afternoon of rest and relaxation before church. Pastor Pablo preached from the story of Jesus calming the storm, and pointed out that Jesus asked two questions: Why are you afraid? and Where is your faith? He then referenced my favorite verse, Romans 8:28. We have not reason to fear, because "God works all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
I have been feeling nervous for the first day of school tomorrow, but I know I have been called here according to God's purpose, so I have no reason to fear. He is working all things for good. So I am working on learning to trust Him more, and surrender my plans and expectations for what each day will hold. I have no idea how tomorrow and even the rest of this week will go, but He does, so I can rest in that knowledge. Would you pray for me this week? I'll update you all on my students and this first week later on! Thank you for your continued support.