All the way my Savior leads me

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Soy una Maestra July 15, 2013

Filed under: Living the Honduran Life — howbeautifularethefeet @ 3:56 pm

I am a teacher. I am thankful that God called me to share His love with children every day and that I get to have a small part in shaping the future. No matter where I am or what I’m doing-I’m always a teacher. I can’t turn it off-I’ve tried! If a teacher is what God has called me to be, I must seek His strength constantly so I can be the best teacher I can be. He is the one who equips me to do the things He calls me to and this week I saw yet another example of His faithfulness to use me in ways I didn’t plan for.

Last week we started going to a Honduran Bilingual School to help out. We thought we would just be assisting in the classrooms or tutoring one on one. When we arrived Tuesday morning the first thing the director asked was, “Which one of you is the 4th grade teacher in the United States?”. I told her it was me, and she was excited! She explained to us that they didn’t have a consistent fourth grade teacher and that they would like for me to take over while I’m here. How awesome is it that they needed a teacher in the same grade I teach at home? God is sovereign and consistently shows me that He will use me. That is such an overwhelming blessing because He doesn’t need me, but He chooses to use me. God has equipped me to be a teacher and even in Honduras He is providing opportunities for me to teach. So, every Tuesday and Thursday I am the 4th grade teacher. I teach all subjects from 7 until 1. I am able to teach mostly in English, but with certain concepts my Spanish is necessary because they don’t understand in English. I definitely appreciate all your prayers-we are working on 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication! 🙂

As I have been interacting with students (at the school and also in our English classes) I have been broken thinking about the lack of education that is present. The school where we are working is a private school (which makes it unaffordable for many) and even in this school many of the teachers lack any formal education training. The most recent 4th grade teacher has no education background, she studied English for 2 years and this is the only qualification she needed. I believe she truly wants to help the kids, and I am working to encourage her every day and help her to feel empowered as a teacher.  I’m working on classroom management-you guys know that I can’t handle chaos! 🙂 The other school in our town in the public school and it is definitely a lot more sporadic than the private school. Some days the students just don’t have school because the teacher doesn’t show up. This is heart breaking. They have such a desire to learn, but lack the opportunities. In the United States it seems the reverse is often true-opportunities are abounding but kids have lost the desire.  There is power in education, I’m a firm believer of that fact. I read an article this week about Malala, the Pakistani girl who was shot for attending school, about her presentation to the U.N. and it was so powerful. She said, “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” Wow! I know that I’m an idealist and a hopeless optimist when it comes to education, but I completely agree! We need to realize how much we are blessed in the United States when it comes to education. I could keep going, but I’ll get off the education topic. You should definitely check out the articles about her online. She’s an awesome girl!

As much as I do believe in the power of education and the impact that better education for children around the world could have, the only true saving and redeeming power comes from Christ. As a teacher who is a believer I have unique opportunities to work with children and to strive daily to demonstrate grace (even though I often fail) and in doing this I strive to point my kids to Christ. It is such a blessing to do the things that I love to do in the United States and in Honduras and my prayer is that God would continue to provide opportunities to use the gifts he has blessed me with! I hope that we will seek the opportunities daily that Christ provides us with to use the gifts He has blessed and equipped us with and that we wouldn’t miss them.  It is my prayer that we would not forget what a blessing it is to be used by Him-every single day to spread His love.

On our 2nd day at the school one of the students brought me an apple! 🙂

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I’ve got a feeling… July 8, 2013

Filed under: Living the Honduran Life — howbeautifularethefeet @ 4:22 pm

Do you know the clean feeling you have when you get out of the shower? In Honduras it lasts until you open the shower curtain-there is a constant wetness about you all day, every day. (I think we are starting to get used to it!) How about the feeling of being a part of an encouraging community? I have found that in my team. The feeling of holding the world in your hands as you watch a baby sleep? Experienced that one here too! How about the feeling you experience when you know that you are exactly where God has called you to be using the gifts He has blessed you with? I’ve definitely had that feeling over the past week!  We spend our days teaching and interacting with children- in Spanish! It is hard to believe that this time last week we were just beginning to get settled in. The week has definitely been filled with opportunities to share Christ’s love. It has been a terrific week-with many awesome feelings and I’m looking forward to 5 more weeks here!

As a team we are working well together. We are trying to figure out everyone’s strengths and how we can best glorify Christ together while we are here. I’m having many opportunities to use my Spanish, which is really exciting! The housekeeper where we are staying is my new friend. Her name is Juana. I enjoy talking with her each morning. I am going to start tutoring the lady who cooks for us in math this week. She is planning to study to become a nurse and the missionaries who have been helping her are in the US for the summer. Her name is Paula. Hopefully I can remember how to do everything she needs help with!

We are getting into a normal routine of things-every Monday, Wednesday, Friday we are teaching English classes. It has been great so far! We started last Monday with 19 kids and on Friday we had 30. They said we cannot accept anymore, but I told them I didn’t think I could turn any away so someone else would have to do that! Hopefully we can make space if more show up (20 was supposed to be the cutoff)…Tuesday and Thursday we are helping out at a bilingual  school and spending the afternoon at the children’s center. Each Friday we are holding some type of community event-like a movie or game night! We had a great turnout last week! On Saturday we went to the dump in Ceiba. This is where the city trash is taken, and on the road into the actual landfill there are shacks where people are living. They scavenge for things in the trash and this is how they make a living. We had a day of Bible school with the kids. It was a bit crazy but lots of fun. We made butterflies with the kids and Elizabeth Pirkle snapped this picture of me while I was helping a little girl. She’s a talented photographer!

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No super different foods to report! We have been doing a lot of our own cooking and eating lots of rice and beans. My stomach has not been happy for a few days. Dr. Pirkle gave me some medicine so I’m hopeful that will help! Please continue to pray for good health for the entire team as we are here. And for a praise-no more tarantulas! On Saturday after the dump, we came back and walked up the hill (mountain) behind our house. We climbed a water tower at the top and this was our view. We spent time there praising God for this beautiful land.

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We truly serve an awesome God.
 

We have arrived!! July 2, 2013

Filed under: Living the Honduran Life — howbeautifularethefeet @ 10:15 pm

We are safely here in Balfate!  We arrived Sunday evening after a long day of travelling.  The climate is very tropical, but beautiful!  It is definitely more muggy than South Carolina-if you can believe that!!  We are very close to the ocean (and hopefully will get to walk down and step in it later this afternoon!).  Eight members of our team are staying in staff housing dormitory rooms beside the hospital.  It is very nice!  I share a room with Lauren-who is going to be a sophomore at Furman next year!  We have a kitchen, but do most of our cooking at our leaders “apartment”.  Of course, there is no air conditioning-but where would the fun in that be!

No interesting or unusual food stories yet.  We have been cooking our own meals and that definitely has its perks!  🙂  We started out English class yesterday for children near the hospital.  We had 19 9-17 year old kids come to our first day of class!  We began teaching the Bible story of creation, worked on the alphabet, played soccer and taught them the human knot game.  It was a day of relationship building and I believe it was very successful.  We will work with these same children 3 times each week (M,W,F) for 3 hours each day the entire time we are here!  I look forward to the relationships we will be able to cultivate while we are here.  Today we went to a church and had a morning of VBS.  We taught the story of Noah to about 35, sang some songs, and played pato, pato, ganzo (any guesses what game that is??)!  It was an awesome time with terrific children. After using my teacher voice to teach the song, I got to hold the only baby who came and of course she fell asleep in my lap.  You can call me the baby whisperer!  🙂

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     On the drive to our town from the airport I decided that I needed to find out about the spider situation.  Got to be brave, right??  So, they told me they have found tarantulas where we are staying…AAAAHHHHH!!!!!  So of course, I am really just praying that I can make it through without witnessing one, just like in Peru!  (I appreciate all your prayers on this too!!)  So, last night we got back to our house after dark.  I was the third person in and went back to close the screen door because the others were taking a long time.  As I was walking away from the door and into the kitchen I hear, “OH MY GOODNESS!  LOOK AT THAT TARANTULA!!!  And then this happened:

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Thankfully the tarantula was outside, and I was inside.  God definitely was watching over me and let me walk in without seeing it and CLOSE THE DOOR THAT IT WAS 1 INCH BESIDE WITHOUT IT MOVING!!!  Thankfully Lex killed it (after scaring it and letting it run INSIDE!)…but never fear-it made it nowhere near me in my chair!  The missionaries say that they are not common in the house, so I’m hoping that’s the only one for the  6 weeks.  PLEASE, LORD!  Other than the near death experience with a tarantula, (I may be exaggerating a little!) I’m loving Honduras and looking forward to an awesome 6 weeks with tons of opportunities to share the love of Christ!

I’ll post again as soon as possible!

PS-Pato, pato, ganzo=duck, duck, goose   🙂