Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last Day of School!

Whoa! Again, I have to ask, how did I get here? Friday was our last day of school, which meant one thing: PARTIES!

Because I teach three classes, I split my time between three parties, not to mention to women from the government chose the LAST DAY of school to come observe in Prepa (Kindergarten) to make sure the kids were ready for 1st grade. 

From 8-9 I hung out with my 1st graders as we played at the park. Always a blast:

Then it was off to 9th grade from 9-10 while they had some time to hang out and practice for their end of the year performance later that afternoon.

At 10 I went to Prepa to display a little of my English-teaching-skillz before we started our party with hamburgers, coke, games, and ice cream cones!

At 11:30 I went back to 9th grade while they finished up eating, and the whole colegio (7th-10th) walked down to the church for the end of year performances. Each grade had a dance, and they were all pretty good. The band also performed two songs, and Bethany's before-school drama class performed a skit. At the end of the day there were a few tears as students said goodbye to each other, but otherwise it was a happy, fun day full of celebrating everything they've gotten through this year.

Now we have two weeks left here. Two weeks to undecorate our classrooms, curriculum plan for next year, prep for graduations, put on two graduations, and meet with all the parents to give out final grades. A lot to do in two weeks, but after everything else this year, I think I'm ready for the challenge! After that, I will be Georgia-bound for the summer. I'm excited for some time with my family and friends, and then to come back and do it all again next year!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

An Eventful Week

What a fun time we had at school this week! The escuela had their first ever Field Day on Tuesday, so we spent the whole day playing games and handing out ribbons. Overall the day was a success, and the kids had so much fun. I think it's safe to say both the teachers and students were exhausted after the day was over!

On Thursday, the colegio had their Missions Day. Each grade researched the culture and religion of one country. My 9th grade class researched Lebanon and Islam. The research was rough (me trying to help them do research in Spanish!) but it all turned out pretty well, and I saw students step up into leadership positions I never would have expected.

In the midst of these two events, I started my oral testing with the Prepa and first graders on Wednesday, and we've had two visiting Americans with us to help us out in the school, which has been a huge blessing.

Its crazy to think we are about to enter into our last week of school, and after grades are finished and kids are graduated I will be back in the States for the summer. Time is flying! 

With all of the craziness, it's hard to remember to take time to slow down and just enjoy, but that is my goal for this last week: to not get distracted by all the tests and grades and things that need to get done, but to take time to stop and enjoy. I also feel the need to pour as much into my 9th graders as I can, as this will be the last week at Destino del Reino for some of them. I want to enjoy these last moments with them and help them to remember that even if they are not in our school anymore, there will always be people here that love them and are praying for them.

So here I go. Last week of the school year, finishing it out not with a bang, but with a breath.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

"How did I get here?"

Sometimes, in the middle of a stressful week, I ask myself:

"How did I get here? What am I even doing?"

This was one of those weeks. Between planning for our first ever Field Day, getting exams ready, and helping 9th grade research (in Spanish) and get ready for Missions Day, I was stressing myself out.

But it's in the middle of these moments that I get sweet reminders from God. Yesterday, it came in the form of 1 Timothy 1:12:

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, 
who has given me strength to do his work. 
He considered me trustworthy 
and appointed me to serve him."

God is strengthening me. Each and every day my own strength fails, but His strength NEVER fails. I don't even know why I try to rely on my own strength sometimes, because I always end up running back to Him. Maybe one day I'll learn that lesson.

God has called me to serve Him here. He has trusted me with this work. And those times when I feel overwhelmed, I question His judgement: "Are you sure you should trust me with this? Are you sure I can handle this?" But of course, He's God, and He's always sure. He knows what He's doing, and He trusts me, so shouldn't I trust Him?

And so my response turns into thanks. Not stress, or worry, just gratitude. 

Thank you, God, for your strength.
Thank you, God, for your trust in me.
Thank you, God, for your call.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hermoso y Roto (Beautiful and Broken)

Last night, my housemates and I were going back over some of David Platt's points from Secret Church to digest and discuss a little more. We read through the awesomeness of who God is (creator of all, holy above all, just, good, and gracious) and then we got to who we are.

because we were created by this perfect God.
because we have allowed sin to enter our lives.

And when we go back to the Garden, we see sin entered through a question: 

"Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
Genesis 3:3

And so David's point was we take God's commands ("The Lord God commanded the man saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat") and turn them into questions ("Did God actually say...?").

And therein lies the problem.

And so the question was posed: "What command from God do you most often take and turn into a question about God?"

For me, the answer came almost too quickly.

God says, "I know, and am doing what's best for you."

I ask, "Are you sure, God? 
Is this really what's best for me? 
I think I know better..." 

But let me tell you. It's getting better. I used to think I had life under control, that I could handle things. But control is always an illusion, isn't it? Things were never under my control, the God of the universe has always been holding me up. And living here in Honduras has made me release a lot of that false-control back to God, and respond to Him with:

Yes God, you are sure.
This is what's best for me.
You know all.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Testigo (Witness)

Witnessing. It's something we're all called to. No matter who you are, what you're job, if you call yourself a Christian, you also have to call yourself a witness. It's the one job that God assigns to every believer. The New Testament Lexical Aids defines "witness" as "one who has information or knowledge of something; hence, one who can give information, bring to light, or confirm something."

As Christians, we have the most important knowledge EVER. The knowledge of Jesus. And as David Platt challenged in Secret Church last weekend, how could we not share that? How could we not have this burning desire to bring others into the light that we enjoy?

My devotion this month is all about witnessing, and Beth Moore made a statement that really hit me hard. "When we're especially close to our spouses, children or friends, we tend to talk about them twice as much." And it's true. So then I have to ask, is it the same with my relationship with God? Are we so close that I can't have one conversation without bringing Him up, because He is so intertwined in everything I am doing?

Here is Honduras, this is a little easier. Everyone I am surrounded with on a regular basis is a strong believer who does nothing but encourage me in my faith. My whole purpose here is to share God, and I've seen Him do plenty of things worth sharing. 

But I can't help but think about coming home in a month and a half. Will it be the same? Will I continue to live out my job as a witness, or will I see this time as a "break" from the missionary life? Will I continue to share with others about what I've seen God do, or will I choose not to speak up because I think people won't care or won't understand?

The truth is, there are no "breaks." We are all called to be missionaries, and while I may be serving as a missionary overseas right now, this summer I will be a missionary back in my hometown. The lost, hurting,and confused aren't just here, they're there. And God doesn't want me to keep His works to myself, but He calls me to proclaim Him with reckless abandon. 

So will you pray for me to keep this mindset as I think about coming home this summer? And will you pray for me and encourage me while I'm there?

"I will bless the Lord at all times; 
his praise shall continually be in my mouth." 
Psalm 34:1