Sunday, September 28, 2014

Delante de Él en amor (Before Him in love)

Well, this has certainly been another interesting week. Tuesday morning, one of my students threw up all in the classroom, on me on the way to the bathroom, and then there on the floor. Great start to the day, but it got better from there. After school I had my first Spanish lesson at the Spanish Institute. This is a school in Sigua where many missionaries come for six months to a year to learn Spanish before moving on to their mission field. I will have one class every week, and hopefully that will improve my communication skills.

Wednesday I woke up with a little sore throat, which Thursday turned into a raspy voice and continued on through the weekend. Please pray for this all to be better for school on Monday! 

Friday we did not have school, but it was a work day. We sent out emails to all the student's sponsors to confirm that they will be praying for their child. That evening we had out first English teacher's Bible study meeting. We are reading Ephesians together, and had a delicious dinner and wonderful time discussing the first chapter. I love verse 4: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." How awesome is it that we can come before Him in love, without fear? The Bible says that perfect love casts out fear, and that is what we have with the Father. I can come to Him with any worry and any request and lay it out before Him, because He made me holy and blameless before Him.

Saturday Colton, Jenna, Bethany, and I went to a place called Atolera, which is about an hour from Sigua and has a mini zoo and delicious food made from sweet corn. We had a fun, but exhausting day together, and I was in serious need of a nap afterwards. 

Sunday I had a much needed day of rest before church. Praying for God to give me energy for this week!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Aventuras (Adventures)

Crazy week this week, although I'm discovering every week has at least one crazy thing about it! Monday we had the day off of school for Honduras's Independence Day, so we took that opportunity to go on a little adventure! In the morning we watched some of the parade, which was pretty cool with the bands and costumes.

After touring the parade (it was barely moving, so we just walked up and down the street to see everything) our group of Destino teachers met up with some other missionaries to go to the Pulhapanzak Waterfall. It was about an hour and a half drive, and an absolutely beautiful place.

A few of us actually went on a waterfall tour, where a guide takes you down, through the water, and behind the falls into some pretty small and dark spaces. I'll be honest and say I was scared, but I survived, and it was an awesome experience!

After that fun and exhausting day, it was back to school for the rest of the week. Thursday I stepped in to sub in 2nd and 3rd grade English where I am usually the assistant, so that was a long day. So far the teaching has been going well, a lot better than I expected! 

Saturday, a missionary couple in Sigua opened up their cafe/church for an English worship night with other missionaries here. I have two awesomely talented housemates who sang and played some familiar songs. I enjoy church at Destino, when I can keep up, but it was nice for one night just to be able to focus on worshiping God, and actually knowing what I was singing about. Tim, the owner of the cafe, also led a little talk/message on Acts 1:3-9, which I just read Friday night. Funny how God works those things. He talked about how Jesus said we WILL BE His witnesses. It was a statement, not a command. As Christians, baptized in the Holy Spirit, everything we do is a reflection of the Savior, no matter where we are. That's just part of being a Christian, and it was a good reminder.

Sunday before Church I had to redecorate for Prepa, which is moving from the church to the living room of Rhonda's second house for now. Normally they have to put up all the chairs before and after Church on Wednesdays and Sundays, then reset up the little tables and chairs for school. Recently, there have been so many people attending church, there is not enough room for all the Prepa tables, chairs, etc. and all the people, which is a good problem to have! The other English teachers came to help me put most everything back up on the walls in the "New Prepa." I am so thankful for them!

The sermon today came out of Acts as well, so clearly God wants me to be reading that book right now. Can't wait to see what He has to reveal to me through Paul and the early church!

I the words of Lecrae: "Mercy, love and His grace, The reason we movin' here. Speak out Though we've never been qualified to do it. I ain't earned it I was loved into it. I'm brand new."


Sunday, September 14, 2014

¡Celebración! (Celebration!)

Two weeks into school, one month in Honduras, and still going strong! Wednesday was the Celebration of the New School Year at church, so all of us teachers showed up in our uniforms and the church building was packed out with children from the school and their families. It was a tight fit, but we all squeezed in!

All of us new teachers had to share our testimonies during the service. Jenna helped me translate mine into Spanish and write it down, so I was able to push past the nerves and read my testimony in Spanish, which I have to admit was awesome after the fact, but I was super nervous leading up to it! At the end of the service, all the teachers, bus drivers, and Rhonda came up on stage and the church prayed over us.

Wednesday was also a holiday called "Day of the Child," so on Thursday we all had parties at school! I had so much fun getting to hang out with my students and celebrate with them. In Prepa we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Musical Chairs, Wheelbarrow Races, and of course, a Piñata!

These kids went CRAZY over the candy, cake, and coke! In the afternoon, I got to do it all over again with first grade! We took over the playground, and they beat that poor piñata til there was nothing left!

Friday was back to a normal school day after all the chaos, but it was fun while it lasted! This weekend was a good time of relaxing. Sunday we went to lunch again before church with Rhonda, and in the evening Jenna, Bethany, Colton, and I took a walk down to a local park/playground to hangout and talk with some kids. No school Monday because it is Independence Day here, so a group of us are going on an adventure to Pulhapanzak, Honduras's largest waterfall. Can't wait!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

¡Escuela! (School!)

Wow! It has been a crazy/stressful/different/blessed first week of school here at Destino del Reino! I teach English for an hour and 20 minutes first thing in the morning to 1st grade, with a short break for bathrooms, recess, and water, then I teach an hour of English in Prepa (Kindergarten) with a break half way through for their lunch. In the afternoons I assist one of my housemates, Bethany, in her second and third grade English classes, and on Mondays I stay an hour later and assist Colton in ninth grade. (My kids are the cutest!) School here is a lot different than at home. Here are just a few things I've noticed:

1) The bus comes at 7:10 AM to pick us up, picks up all the other teachers, then picks up all the kids. The kids sit six to a seat (three bigger children on the bottom holding three little children in their laps), and we all arrive at school at the same time a few minutes before 8:00.

2) Each day starts with a devotion. On Mondays the elementary grades have a general devotion all together, and Tuesday-Friday the first teacher of the day gives the devotion in their class.

3) Every class starts with prayer. I'm learning this is a great time for me to get refocused before each class, and also for the students. 

4) Beginning class size is 30. I have 30 prepa students and 30 first graders. Every grade after that has a few less as some kids drop out or get kicked out, but yes, I am teaching 30 five-year-olds a brand new language.

4) Toilet paper is rationed out by the teachers at the bathroom, because students will try to take it home.

5) There is a dog that wanders freely through the school during the day.

6) At lunch, all the kids get vitamins, and after lunch, they all have to brush their teeth.

Monday was a little nerve-wracking and crazy, because I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but overall the first day wasn't too bad. One of the prepa boys cried from the moment he got on the bus for the whole rest of the day. This is their first experience with school, so it was understandable, but sad. My assistant in that class is their Spanish teacher, Yohana, and she spent most of the time Monday telling the students to sit in their chairs, because they would just get up and start wandering around the room!

Tuesday night all the American teachers met to have our prayer meeting. This is just a time for us to share what's on our heart and pray for each other. Wednesday morning the bus was about 25 minutes late picking everyone up, so the school day started a little later. Thursday we had our teachers meeting after school to discuss things from the first week and share prayer requests for the students. Friday the girls and I just had a night in to recover from the week!

So I had a good first week of school and I feel more ready for the weeks to come! Saturday was a day full of errands and we were able to meet for lunch with other English speakers who teach at other schools in Siguetepeque. That was a great time of fellowship and food! Sunday all the American teachers went with Rhonda to lunch to catch up, talk about our first weeks, and ask any questions, then we all headed to church. The sermon today had something to do with honesty, but that's about all I understood...

Something that has been showing up a lot in my devotions and Bible reading this week is the theme of letting go of things in your life as worship or an offering to God. I'm praying that God will show me what is is He wants me to release to Him, and for His strength to help me with whatever is it. Thanks to all who are praying for me!

"Lord, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps." Jeremiah 10:23