So, all of my blog posts are titled with names of songs but I for the life of me cannot think of a song that I wanted to use for this blog post...sooo....I decided Untitled Hymn (one of my favorite Chris Rice songs) would be very fitting.
Last Monday I started teaching English. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t exhausting because it is, but I love every second of it! In the morning I teach at a public school, Rafael Pineda Ponce. Each grade comes to English twice a week (if they remember to come to class, its not always a priority). The teacher who normally teaches English at RPP doesn’t speak English so the students have been exposed to different things in English, but they don’t have a good understanding of them and they have no idea how to pronounce words correctly. I started where their teacher had previously left off. The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders were learning numbers, 0-1000. After only a few minutes some of them had a great grasp on them and any number I wrote on the board they could tell me what it was and others, well…not so much. First, second, and third grade has been learning shapes and colors so we continued that last week. After reviewing numbers, shapes, and colors briefly this week we are going to move on to learning things that are more conversational. While I love teaching English to them, my favorite part of the morning is sitting with some of the girls (and the occasional boy) during their recess time and just talking about whatever.
In the afternoons I go to Las Brisas, Buckner’s CTC (Community Transformation Center) and teach more English. Each week the students I have changes. Last week I had fifth and sixth grade. We did several different activities to learn about fruit, family members, and parts of the body. But they’re favorite thing to do is play Bingo, so at the end of the week they made their own Bingo cards with words they learned that week in order to practice. This week I have third and fourth grade. They are so well behaved! I want to keep them forever! I’m convinced now that if I ever taught in Texas, that these are the kind of kids I would want! Today was my first day with them and we started off by reviewing colors, shapes, numbers, and body parts. Then we talked about the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and talked about all kinds of new words that are useful for them to know. Tomorrow we are going to work on lots of new words by writing and drawing on big sheets of white paper and then hanging them around the classroom for them to look at.
I love these kids! I am constantly asking Giselle (one of the girls from the transition home that is also working as my translator until my Spanish is better) if we can take all the children home and keep them. I’m pretty sure she thinks I am a crazy person, but then again if you know me then you know that I am crazy, so it’s okay.
Teaching English is important but I am here for so much more than that! I want to build relationships with and love on every single one of these kids. I am constantly praying that God would show me new ways to pour out Jesus and how to love these kids better. English classes are great but it means nothing if its not in love, for the glory of God.
In the afternoons and evenings I hang out with my girlies at the transition home. Seriously, they are like more little sisters! I obviously miss my little sisters but these girls are wonderful to get to have around and pour into while I am here. They just spent the past hour in my room hanging out – coloring, laughing, talking, taking pictures – and I love it! And before that we were having our weekly Bible study together. Saturday we went shopping for groceries together and then cooked lunch and yummy ice cream together before we all went to church together. AND on Monday I taught these pretty girls how real football is played. I always watch their football with them so they said they would watch my football with me if I explained it to them. The relationships I have built with them are really beautiful and I am so thankful for the five of them and the time we get to spend together! My prayer is that all of my actions and all of our conversations would be a reflection of Jesus. Same as teaching English, laughing and having fun together is great, but it’s meaningless if they don’t see the love of Jesus in my life.
So, please pray that God would continue to show me ways to love my girls and the students I am teaching and that I would take advantage of every opportunity I have!
Pray for English classes that students would continue to learn and that it would be fun and beneficial for them.
Pray that God would give me wisdom and truth to speak into my girls’ lives while I am here in every situation and conversation.
Pray that I would have wisdom in knowing how to handle situations that arise in the house as a result of the changes that have happened and are continuing to happen.
Pray for my Spanish. While Giselle is wonderful and so helpful she cant spend every moment of the next eight months with me, although I wouldn’t be opposed. Thankfully language school starts Thursday.
Pray for God’s protection over our lives and our safety.
Thanks and gig ‘em!
Peace, love, and pursue Jesus!