Sunday, April 26, 2015

Prayer Updates

Here's the realization Jenna, the other colegio English teacher, and I came to the other day:

Oh my gosh. We only have about one more week of real actual teaching left.

WHAT? Where has this year gone? This last partial is absolutely crazy and just when it seems like everything should be winding down, it's all winding up. Right now we're getting ready to write Sponsor Letters (which is no easy feat with Kindergarten and 1st graders who are still struggling with the concept of words in a whole different language), Field Day with the 1st-6th graders, Missions Week with the 7th-9th graders, review for exams, Awards Days for the school and colegio, and then exams, all in the next month! Not to mention a dental team will be here pulling kids out to work on their teeth one week (praise God!).

So with all that said, can I just ask you to pray? Pray for all the craziness that will be going on at the school in the next few weeks, pray for the kids, and pray for me and my fellow teachers, that we will keep our sanity and focus.

This year is going by in a flash, but it has been so great. Excited for all the experiences this last month will hold, and all the ones that are to come next year!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Teacher, what is peace to you?"

"Teacher, what is peace to you?" 

That is the question I got from one of my sweet 9th grade girls this week. As we enter into the last couple months of the school year, it seems EVERYTHING is crazy, and peace is always just out of reach. But her question made me stop and think, "What is peace to me?" 

Peace is God guarding your heart and mind from all worry.
Peace is a quiet afternoon in the hammock with a good book.
Peace is a weekend at my grandfather's lake house.
Peace is allowing forgiveness to wash over you 
instead of holding on to bitterness.
Peace is keeping your mind focused on God, and trusting in Him, 
even in the midst of chaos.

Peace is not a feeling we can just conjure up whenever we need it, but a state we enter into through the blood of Jesus. Because of Jesus, I can have peace. 

Peace is also a Fruit of the Spirit, and one that I struggle with a little more than others. When you are a natural worrier, peace doesn't come easily (does it come easily for anyone?). Only when I make the conscious choice to allow the Holy Spirit to guard my thoughts can I truly find peace.

So I'd love to know your answers; "What is peace to you?"


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Día de Misiones (Missions Day)

On Friday we had a special day of school for the first through sixth graders called "Missions Day." On Thursday, the teachers spent all day (7 hours) decorating the classrooms to represent the countries we would be teaching the kids about. My group's country was Lebanon, but we also had Tibet; Libya; Chiapas, Mexico; and the Philippines.

On Friday, we all dressed in the traditional clothing of our country, and the kids rotated through each country for 40 minutes with their grade. For each group we told facts about the country, read a story of a missionary in that country, told them ways to pray for the country, gave them a traditional food item to try, a small paper flag, and they got to color a flag and map of the county. And then we started all over with the next group. Six times. It was an exhausting day, but we had fun, and I know the kids did.

The purpose of our school is to create leaders for the Kingdom who will one day go out and serve Christ as missionaries. Missions Day is just one of the ways we help the kids learn about other countries and they help they need. It is our hope that right now the kids are praying for the people of these countries, and even now are beginning to pray about where God will choose to use them when they finish school. It blows my mind to think that in six years some of these kids will be graduating and God could be sending some of them to Lebanon, a country they learned about in the sixth grade. But God has a habit of doing crazy things like that, and so we teach, and we pray that the kids are listening and will one day have the boldness to respond to God's call on their life, because I can tell you from experience, there is no greater thing.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

This week was what we call "Semana Santa," or "Holy Week." I got to spend an incredible week in Panama with my parents to celebrate. Last Saturday I took a taxi to the bus station in Sigua, a bus to the bus station in San Pedro, a taxi to the airport, a plane to San Jose, Costa Rica, then the same plane to Panama to meet up with my parents who arrived there the night before. Dad had rented a car, and let's just say driving a stick shift all around Panama was an adventure all on its own! It literally took all three pairs of our eyes every time we got in the car to make it anywhere, and we made wrong turns more times than I can count!

On Sunday we went to the Gamboa Union Church with Tony and Lisa Amstutz and family, and after we visited the Miraflores Locks to see how the Panama Canal Operates.

On Monday we walked around Casco Viejo, one of Panama's old cities, and did some shopping.

Tuesday was a visit to the Summit Zoo (the monkeys are my fav).

On Wednesday we went on the awesome boat cruise where we got to feed monkeys that jumped in our boat and spend the afternoon hanging out in hammocks on this floating dock where we ate lunch.

Thursday we toured the ruins of Panama Viejo.

And of course we spent lots of time by the pool and out on the town!

Saturday we got up SUPER early and took our respective flights back to our homes, and I was reunited with my housemates in Honduras one again! 

Today we celebrate the reason we are alive, the conquering of our Savior over the grave. How thankful I am for what He has done for me, and that because of His sacrifice, I can look forward to death because I know it means I will spend an eternity with Him. A week in Panama may have been nice, but forever in heaven? Nothing could ever compare.

"Alive! Alive! Look what mercy's overcome! Death has lost and love has won! Alive! Alive! Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before! I am His because He is alive!" -Alive (Mary Magdalene) from The Story