Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You Still Amaze Me

Not much has changed about my days recently. I go to the Rafael Pineda Ponce in the morning and teach English then to the CTC in the afternoon to teach more English and I spend most of my free time with my girls at the transition home. So, I thought instead I would share with yall a few of the things God has showed me recently while reading through the Bible. Nothing I’ve read so far is new (its Genesis and Exodus) but God always shows me something new or teaches a new way to make His Word applicable to my life.

While reading Exodus a couple of things really stood out to me. In Exodus 3:1-4:17 when God tells Moses at the burning bush that he is going to be the one to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Israelites go Moses basically makes up excuses tells God “no I don’t want to, I can’t, I can’t talk in front of people, find someone else.” I won’t even really touch on the fact that Moses told God he didn’t want to do what he was being told to do other than to say, bad idea. When Moses begs God to send someone else that is a more eloquent speaker to lead the Israelites out of Egypt God says no, but He tells Moses that he will send Aaron with him to speak on Moses’ behalf. Aaron will say everything that Moses tells him to. I know it sounds silly, but this is absolutely how I feel sometimes with my sweet translator, Giselle. When I read this passage a few weeks ago I might have laughed out loud at the irony of it. I never told God I wouldn’t go to Honduras; I wanted to come here more than anything. But, I did worry about my ability to communicate effectively way too frequently. Little did I know that God would give my very own Aaron. Now my Spanish is of course getting better and getting better quickly (my teacher told me earlier today I needed a harder, more advanced textbook tonight – I’ll take that as a compliment thank you very much) but Giselle still goes with me pretty much everywhere and does a lot of talking for me. Anything I want or need to say, I tell her and she translates it for me, so similar to what Aaron was doing for Moses.

This in general speaks volumes to me.  
1. God had a very specific plan in calling Moses to lead His people and sending Moses Aaron for assistance. God equipped Moses to do exactly what he was called to do. In the same way God had a very specific plan in calling me to Honduras and sending me Giselle (she randomly, well random to us but not to God, quit her job a few days after I got here which freed her up to be with me all the time) to help me communicate effectively. Why do I constantly choose to forget about the sovereignty of our God and about the perfect and beautiful plan He has orchestrated for each of our lives when He constantly reminding me and showing me in my own life and in the Bible? Jeremiah 29:11-14 are some of my favorite verses, time to start focusing more on them than on my own fears.
2. Moses wasn’t equipped to lead the people out of Egypt by himself, but God was prepared to walk with him and equip him in every way he needed. I am absolutely not equipped to live in another country by myself, teach English, or pour wisdom into these girls, but God is. And He is walking with me every step of the way and enabling me to do everything he has called. God is not bound my inabilities.
3. Also, it never ceases to amaze me and blow my mind that God is not bound by language, at all. I love going to church and listening to everyone around me sing in Spanish, and listening to people preach in Spanish, and listening to my girls pray and read scripture in Spanish. Its beautiful and a constant reminder that God is the God of all people of all cultures and all languages.

And, later, in Exodus 17:8-16 Joshua and some of the men go to fight the Amalekites. As long as the hand of Moses were raised they were winning, but if he lowered his hands the Amalekites began to win. When Moses became tired Aaron and Hur each held up Moses hands so that they remained raised and steady until sunset that day when Joshua and the men defeated the Amalekites. When I read this, my first thought was, “this is exactly what people at home are doing for me!” Of course you are not here physically lifting my hands up but I know that so many of you are constantly lifting me up to the Lord in prayer as I am here fighting against Satan and the world to bring them Jesus. What a beautiful picture that is! So, thank you, to everyone that prays for me and has supported me. I could not do this without your faithfulness to cover me in prayer. Please continue to pray for me whenever God brings me to your mind.

Please continue to pray that learning Spanish would be wonderful and beneficial and that I would become more comfortable speaking in Spanish.
Please continue to pray for my English classes – that they would be about so much more than teaching English, but instead that they would be about relationships and sharing the love of Jesus with these kids. Pray also that my kids would enjoy learning English and that they would be willing to learn and try new things even when its difficult.
Please pray for the girls at the transition home. A few of them are beginning to think about life outside of the home and will likely be leaving soon. Please pray for them during this time of transition. Pray also for me, that I would know how to best prepare them for living on their own.
Please continue to pray that I would take advantage of every opportunity I am given to love my girls and my students and that I would take advantage of every opportunity I am given to proclaim the name of Jesus.

If you are reading this and there is any way I can pray for you, please, please let me know! I mean that with all of my heart! Chances are if I know you I am praying for you by name every week and I would love to know how to pray for you specifically.

I love each of you so much and am thankful for you!

Thanks and gig ‘em.
Peace, love, and pursue Jesus!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Untitled Hymn

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!