New Beginnings. I started this school year with a new aide, Stacey. She is a perfect match for me. Where I am weak in the carrying-out of the vision she is oh-so strong. She is a Pinterest queen where I could create a Pinterest fail board. She is an encourager, helpful in countless ways, and a good friend. She makes going to work that much easier on an overwhelmed teacher's heart/plate. Stacey is a full-time mom and teacher in 2nd grade. You can pray for Stacey's sanity. :)
I have a full class this year - 16 kiddos. I have students from Peru, Australia, South Korea, Ecuador, America, and Brazil. We just celebrated International Cultures Day at ICSL so it was awesome to see the kids take pride in their home country. It was even cooler to worship God together in our native tongues. Being a product of a Christian home and private, Christian education, I am challenging myself to find ways to have the students understand the Truth of the Gospel in their heart vs. their head. Of course I want them to learn more about God, but I want them to know God in a personal way. You can pray for sensitivity to sharing Christ in real ways to young minds. We have had lots of fun learning about economics, adding and subtracting with many digits, weather fun - had to educate them on what a tornado was and try to NOT terrify them, and reading, reading, reading.
Current Status. This year I had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with some families from the ICSL community. All of the families had students from my class this year or last year! It was fun to spend time with them and their parents outside of the school walls. We had delicious food that was covered with American flair - pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. My heart loved the fellowship and my belly loved the food. We managed to complete a 1,000 piece puzzle with great conversation and laughter. I am thankful for a feeling of family when I am so far away from my own. AND! I am thankful for technology that allowed me to watch part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade as well as talk to my family!
Monday, December 1st is an important day in my life. Well it means that I have to make a decision about staying or leaving Peru for the next school year. Those that are close to me know that I generally think more emotionally than logically. I have been praying for the Lord to take my emotions out of my decision. I want to know His peace and presence wherever I go. When I got here last year, I thought "ok...you can do this. It's two years of your life." The excitement of a new place has worn off and the ongoing challenges in front of me can be very tiring. There are days that I call "America days" where I just want to go home. I want the ease and independence of being in my home country. This happens a lot when I can't get a taxi or I am unfamiliar of how to communicate my needs. I just want to go home where it is easy. But the Lord has challenged my thinking. If we get comfortable, we stop growing. We need challenges to stretch us. The big challenge was getting here and starting to adjust. Now I find myself adjusted and comfortable more days than not. Sometimes I feel guilty for finding myself so comfortable. I could be teaching in a Christian school in the States and having coffee dates at Starbucks with my friends. What is making this Peru experience special? Being in Peru. So I want to experience Peru. I want to challenge myself to experience Peru in a more personal way - some through travel, Peruvian friendships, and other ways I may not even know yet. So...with all that being said, I have decided to stay another year. Just think...that gives you all another year to save those pennies to buy a plane ticket and come visit!
Your Personal Lottie Moon. Churches all over the U.S. are gearing up for their Lottie Moon Christmas offering. The namesake comes from a missionary named Lottie Moon who urged other Christians to give in support of missionaries so that Gospel might continue to be spread. The first offering was taken around Christmas time and was enough to send three new missionaries in China (info found on imb.org) Now the history lesson is over. :) Living overseas and traveling expenses can make life difficult. I need all kinds of support - encouragement, prayer, and financial. The organization I am with (Network of International Christian Schools - NICS) allows for individuals to give one-time or monthly gifts. All gifts are tax-deductible. :) To give, you can go online to www.nics.org and click on Donate at the bottom of the page. My project code is #003626. Your contribution will be electronically placed into my bank account.
Perceptions of Peru.
1. Men can hold their mom's and girlfriend's hands while walking through the mall. Like fingers are interdigitated.
2. Peruvians walk at a shuffle-like speed. However, when they are using the crosswalk they prance. I still expect cars to stop. That is American way of thinking and could get me run over. God's grace has been covering me.
3. A Peruvian Ronald McDonald is kind of creepy. I only wish I had a picture to prove this.
4. Starbucks offers the red cup but not the same flavors as the US. This is a welcomed change.
I want to include some pictures of my Peru life. Some of these might be duplicates if you are my facebook friend. But I know not everyone is my FB offical friend - my Parents for one.
Thanks for the support,
You are loved,
|The first day with my aide, Stacey. Love her BIG TIME!|
|Learning about the globe - continents and oceans. It got a little messy with paint.|
|Food makes any math work better. Especially chocolate.|
|Tali said, "it was the best lesson ever!" Bribery works.|
|Oh Spring.You are cute.|
|Happy Birthday, Tom!|
|Fun lesson on good fit books.|
|Emily and Beau showing off the continent of North America.|
|Finley and Asha being cute and productive.|
|Raul and Tali working hard.|
|Spring and Anna Kate.|
|JunPyo taking a break from being a Superhero Sentence.|
|Showing off our family "trees."|
|They love to read especially to each other.|
|Spring showing off his urban community.|
|Mark's cute rural community.|
|Crazy hair makes us crazy!!|
|Not just a snack. It's pollination in process.|
|Heidi showing off her iRead (book report).|
|So many kids had never had hot apple cider before! We had to fix that! Plus, a treat from the States - caramel apple suckers!|
|Selling goods and services to our friends in first grade.|
|Getting ready to open up shop.|
|Mark and Raul selling game/play time.|
|They bought a makeover!|
|Sara doing Heidi's makeup. They were super stoked!|
|Beau selling Spring some photobooth services.|
|Looking good in our PJ's.|
|They even brought stuffed animals!|
|Storybook day on October 31st. We celebrated characters from the books we had read in October.|
|I creeped them out as Miss Swamp. It was sweaatttyyy under that mask! Like dripping through the snot holes.|
|Investigating pumpkins. This was a new concept for many of the students.|
|They are eroding some legos.|
|Working hard, Junghyun!|
|Finished product. Love the face Emily!|
|International Cultures Day. Showing off our home country pride.|
Beau, Sara, JunPyo, Tom
|Mark, Gabriela, Julia, Heidi|
|Emily, Finley, Junghyun, Tali|
|Anna Kate, Asha, Raul,, Spring|
|Our turkeys were disguised as a reprensentative of their home country. They were CUTE! We had a condor, flamenco dancer, George Washington, soccer ball, or Carnival dancer. (just to name a few)|
|Junghyun's pretty dress!|
|Class photo in our Mayflower hats before our Thanksgiving Day feast.|
|Our class won the ice cream party for I Love to Read month. They were stoked! Some kids read almost 40 hours for the month. They LOVE books!|
|Gabiela rockin' the Mayflower math hat.|
|Playing a game of turkey scoot to see how much they knew about turkeys. They love the game of scoot!|