Monday, March 31, 2008

When It Rains...

Dear Friends and Family-
I found out this past week that as of tomorrow I will be inheriting the third grade class in addition to my second grade class. I am happy about this change and excited for the challenge, but I write to you now to ask for prayer. My weekend has been overwhelmed with the preparation involved in taking on another grade level. As logic would suggest, it is twice the work. This weekend will probably be the worst of the workload as I also had the task of changing my classroom and learning new curriculum. I have several abnormal tasks to complete this week such as leading staff devotions each morning, teaching the high school girls' Bible study on Thursday, and cooking for a potluck dinner on Tuesday evening. In addition to this, our student teacher will be observing and teaching in my classroom this week, in addition to being observed in my classroom by her college professors. As I just spent the last hour and a half cutting vegetables for our elementary pizza party tomorrow, I realized how exhausted I am after this weekend, with a packed week ahead of me. Now that it's about 12:30 a.m. you may be asking me WHAT on earth I'm doing typing this post rather than sleeping. Well the answer is that I have realized again that this can't be done without God. So I ask for your prayers this week if for nothing else, energy to make it through each day.
I also ask that you would pray that my patience with the students would not fail. One of the two 3rd graders I'm getting is a brand new Korean student who is very shy and does not speak much English. Please pray for her. Her name is Sunny. I pray that God's grace would come through in my speech and attitude this week, not just to my students, but to all those around me.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I hate to think of what things would be like without them. :)


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In case you were wondering, Germany is awesome...

I had the blessing of Spring Break this past week! My roommate and fellow teacher had sometime back suggested we go to Germany over Spring Break. Leslie is an MK who grew up in Germany and her parents, Rodney and Lindy Kidd, are still faithfully ministering there in Mannheim. They graciously took me, our new roommate and student teacher, Sarah Lounsbrough, and Leslie’s friend (Cedarville student!), Lindsey Lehmann, into their home for the week.

We were in southwest Germany – about an hour south of Frankfurt in the town of Mannheim. Not far away is Heidelberg where we saw and walked around a beautiful old castle and also did some shopping. We were also able to visit Rothenberg, which is a small walled town preserved to look as it did in the Middle Ages. In Speyer we were able to visit three different cathedrals, my favorite being the one constructed as a memorial to the Reformation. There was a statue of Martin Luther outside and the most beautiful collection of stained glass windows I’d ever seen. In all the different towns we visited, we were able to visit 6 different cathedrals. Definitely the most I’ve seen in such a short period of time! They were each beautiful in their own different ways.

Another wonderful part of the week was the opportunity we had to worship with the Germans on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Their worship is not all that different from what you would expect in the States- we sing the same songs. Unfortunately for me, they were all in German so it was difficult to sing along! It was wonderful to be welcomed in that church and to speak with so many after the service (ah English, the international language). We were greeted with such friendliness that I will not soon forget.

The food was awesome. We had a good deal of wiener schnitzel and shared many different types of baked goods. It made me feel at home to see soft pretzels and bratwursts everywhere!

Probably my favorite part of this vacation was the time I got to spend with the Kidd family. It is amazing to me how we have one Father and how He unifies us as part of His family all over the world. They made me miss my own earthly Dad, Mom and younger brother. They made me feel so at home and it refreshed my spirit just to be with them. I think this is the thing for which I am most thankful, because it is that deep part of us that needs to be recharged when we have a break, and God provided that through the Kidds.

Well, I could write on and on about my experiences in Germany but for this post you will have to be satisfied to know that of all the places I have been so far in Europe, Germany is my favorite. I’m writing this from the airport on my 4 ½ hour layover in Madrid, waiting to go back to Lisbon. I revel in the place that God has put me that I can’t wait to teach tomorrow. God has brought me so much joy.

Until next time, Tschüß!

History Week

These last two weeks have brought much happiness and excitement, including many new things, to my already jam-packed life. I'm so grateful for God's blessings in allowing me so many different experiences.

Last week was our last week of school before spring break. March 10-14th brought the Smith family of Virginia to our little American-Portuguese-Canadian-Korean-German-Russian-
Brazilian-Angolan-Nepalise school. This family of 5 came to interactively teach our students and the students of our neighboring Christian school, the International School of Cascais, more about American history. Each morning saw the students embark on a journey back through time to experience first-hand the workings of different time periods in American history. Each teacher or pair of teachers was set up at various learning stations where we would each educate the students on different facets of those periods of time.

Monday was Colonial Day in which I got to pretend I was a slave and teach the students who filtered into my little kitchen (complete with a hanging kettle full of potatoes) about what life was like for a slave during the Colonial period and what it was like for them to choose sides during the Revolutionary War.

Tuesday brought to us Civil War Day where I worked with Lindsey Smith to teach about 100 students what first aid was like in the mid-1800s.

Wednesday we concentrated on the different regions of the United States and I was placed in the Mid-West to teach about what life would have been like for a cowboy. I got to dress up and play a game with the younger kids to help them understand the hardships a cowboy would face and how important it was to care for the cattle.

Thursday brought the Great Depression. We did not do learning stations this day, rather, things were set up in a huge game. Each of the students received an identity which told them their income, how many were in their family, their occupation, whether they save their money in the bank or under their bed, and other such information. We played the game in rounds- they began before Black Friday. They went to the bank to collect their income, then came to a Financial Advisor (I was one of these) to get advise on what kind of car they could afford or type of house they could live in. This determined whether they were upper, middle or lower class. They would then proceed to the grocery store where they could buy what groceries they could afford, then back to their “neighborhood” to eat and await the next round. As time went on, we listened to speeches by the president saying things were fine, we listened to the announcement of the stock market crash, and then eventually all of them lost their jobs and the bank closed. The point was that each of the students would eventually, because of lack of money, have to end up in the lower class or even homeless. The funny part about running this game with missionary kids is that, due to their upbringing, in the first round each of them purchased cars and homes far below their income and so they all saved up everything they had and ended up with money in the end. As a financial advisor I even tried encouraging spending toward the end of the game, telling them it would boost the economy, and they still saved! They have been trained well!

Friday was by far my favorite day – Espionage Day. We all dressed up as spies, set up the learning stations again, and taught them different facets of espionage. I was at the Armed Combat station with another teacher, Mr. Schlener who we lovingly call “The Colonel” due to his retired air force status. We had nerf guns, Frisbees, balls, short range target practice, long range target practice, shooting on the run, and all sorts of fun stuff. There was a self-defense class, a fingerprinting station, and an interrogation room. Each of the students again were given new identities, their cover stories. Little 6 year old Joao was supposed to be a 38 year old chef from Italy! The kids memorized their covers for when they were sent to interrogation. The first part of the day was training. The second part of the day, we played a huge game where each of the students had to make drops in the market place. They were part of either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. They worked in pairs to make the drop, pick up the package and deliver it to safety without being caught by a third team which was INTERPOL. It was amazing to watch the craftiness of some of the students!

All in all, history week was a huge success. I don’t know if there are plans to try and pull it off again in the following years, but I hope so because I probably had more fun than the students!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Okay so I fell behind again in the posting... sorry!!!
Updates to prayer requests:

1.) The family I told you about that needed a nanny... God provided and they started with their new nanny last week!! It's really amazing to see how those things were in the works long before we knew that they were needed.

2.) I asked everyone I could think of to pray for my best friend's (Kim Lange Moran) 5-week old son, Jonah. Jonah and his parents are now home from the hospital and Jonah seems to be doing wonderfully. Unfortunately, even after growing several cultures, they were not able to identify the infection and it is still unknown what the problem was. The good news however is that he is well now and there seem to be no lasting effects. Thanks for your prayers!

New things to pray about:

1.) The one thing that is on my mind seemingly more and more lately is the "talk" I will be giving in the girls' Bible study on singleness in a few weeks. A big part of me doesn't want to do it, but the deepest part of me knows it must be done. I don't want to presume to be able to tell these girls anything about their own lives, but at the same time I know that God has brought me through various things in my own life so that I can share in the lives of others. Basically, the only true answer I have is that I have no answers that come from myself. I know only the truest satisfaction I've ever found for both my heart and my mind has been in God. So in that way I hope that my talk is nothing but pointing the big finger of my life's circumstances toward Him. Please pray for me that I will have wisdom in what I say, that I won't pretend, that I won't care if they like me, and most of all that in whatever happens, it brings glory to God.

2.) GLCA needs an elementary teacher for next year... as of right now, there is no one. The elementary will be exceptionally small next year- probably only 7 students. So technically, they only need one teacher. I would love for that teacher to be me. I'm trying to go through the proper avenues to see if this is a possibility, so please be in prayer for that need. Whether it be me who fills the spot or someone else, God's will be done.

So other than all that info, things are going well here! The weather has been AMAZING the last couple days (sunny, high 60s) and I know you are all jealous with your snow boots and shovels. :) OH! And I turned 30 this past Tuesday. Woo hoo!! I have survived 30 years of this world. Or vice versa... :)

Until next time- I MISS YOU ALL!