Friday, August 27, 2010

First week of school is done!! I can't believe I was just a teacher for 5 days. It was crazy! My class is great, I only have 8 kids, and they are well behaved for the most part! It was an interesting week--we did not get books until Thursday, so I basically had to make up my first 4 days....and then Thursday when we did get our books, the copy machine/printer broke! We managed though! Wednesday the power was out ALL DAY, which meant NO FAN!! Oh my goodness, my classroom was SO HOT. But I had better get used to that!

Teaching my kids has been really fun so far, we are reading "The Tale of Desperaux" (one of my fave books) and they are getting totally into it too, which is really fun! One prayer request--I started the Bible curriculum that we are supposed to do, but it was seriously written in like 1980 and is SO BORING, so I started doing a "superheroes of the Bible" theme and am going to work my way from Genesis-Revelation just throughout the year, which I think will be cool! The hard part is that my students seriously could care less about Bible, which I think part of it is their age, but also just because their families don't take it seriously, so they just dont care. I just feel like if one thing I teach is going to go well, it better be Bible class!!

I have been trying to focus this week about how I should line my standard as a teacher to Jesus' standard for my although I am teaching, my focus needs to be loving Jesus and showing His love to my students 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and THAT is what my job is. 1 Peter 1:15-16 "But as the one who called you is holy, be holy in ALL YOU DO! For it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy." It is a struggle to remember that, especially when I am tired!

Overall though, this week as gone WAY better than I ever thought it would--praise the Lord!! My kids think I am completely wacko, but thats okay:) I am SO thankful for the weekend...all I want to do is sleep! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My last weekend before real life begins is officially over! Tomorrow I will be at school at 7AM getting ready for my first class....oh my gosh.
We had a very eventful weekend! Friday the power went out at 10AM and was out until we went to bed...(I am not sure if i wentioned that the power goes out about every other day for hours on end, and that is very typical here because so many people are stealing power that the system shuts down a lot) SO, we played games by lantern-light, which was really fun! We had a bunch of Dominicans over, so we played en espanol, which ended up being super fun! The best part of the night was when my roommate said "ahhh, estoy caliente" (trying to say she was really hot) but here in the DR that means she is very horny--SO HILARIOUS! definitely made the night!
Saturday we hiked to the river and spent the day swimming, and I tried to swing on some vines, got about halfway and it totally broke off...quite funny! When we got home from the river, we decided that we wanted to go swing on the swings at school, so we climbed the 15 ft fence into school! Then we had a GLEE marathon saturday night! SUPER FUN! Did I mention I had ice cream and popcorn for dinner?

It was a great replenishing weekend that felt like I was almost back home! Just what I needed:) God is good!
Prayers for a great day tomorrow!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Last day of preparing for school to start Monday....ahh! I can't believe I am going to be teaching a classroom full of 6th graders in 3 days. So crazy.
Just wanted to share this awesome quote:
"Consider what happens when we begin to look at our profession as an area of expertise, not merely as an income or career path, but as platforms to proclaiming the gospel around the world! Consider what happens when the church sends not only traditional missionaries around the world, but also businessmen, doctors, teachers, engineers, builders, ect who are living out the gospel in contexts where a traditional missionary could never go!"
Such a sweet reminder to serve God wherever you are!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pictures: us girls smashed into the back of Tim's car on the way to Santiago, Natalie and I got stuck in the rain on her motorcycle, practicing my Bachata (a Dominican dance), and my roommates-Natalie and Melissa!!

Had a wonderful, relaxing (with some work mixed in!) weekend, and yesterday was a holiday! We spent the day outside enjoying the sun....but stayed out a LITTLE too long and got fried..haha! oh well:) I am at school today working in my classroom, but we just found out that instead of starting school on Thursday, we have to wait until Monday because 1-we never got any of our textbooks in the mail, 2-the bathrooms are not finished being redone, and 3-we have no cafeteria because it is currently just studs!! living moment by moment here! Totally okay with it though--much more planning time!

Proverbs 2 "My 'daughter', if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameles, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path. For wisdom will be in your heart, and knowledge will be present in your soul! Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you!"

Proverbs 3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you! Bind them around your neck,and write them on the tablet of your in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight! Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones....." and it gets even better!!!

The past couple days I have really been thinking about what it really means to REALLY love God and desire Him with my life, and what it means to be here--yes at His call--but also because I want more than anything to be here serving can I do that? How can I show that with my life to my students and to my YL kids? (Thank you JulieAnne for putting those thoughts in my mind!!!!) hard questions! But i found a great quote as I was reading my "radical" book: "Real success is found in radical sacrifice. Ultimate satisfaction is found not in making much of ourselves, but in making much of God. The purpose of our lives transcends the country and culture in which we live. Meaning is found in community, not individualism; joy is found in generosity, not materialism, and truth is found in Christ, not universalism. Ultimately, Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, risk, and ENJOY!" I love that ending--"but to ENJOY!" Isnt that what we are called to do as Jesus-followers? Enjoy Him, to find such great joy in Him that we can't help illuminate Him in everything we do? So cool!

Friday, August 13, 2010

So today I went to the colmado to buy a candy bar, and the 12 year old boy in front of me bought a bottle of rum. Crazy? Tells exactly why there is terrible alchaholism here!
Went to the capitol (Santo Domingo) yesterday for training in our new reading program-it was pretty funny to be one of 4 Americans at the whole training! The guy who ran it used me learning Spanish as an example of how hard it is for our kids....hahha so embarrassing! It was fun though! Today was our LAST DAY of training, and school starts next week THURSDAY!! ahh i can't believe it! Monday is inaugeration day for the new president, so it is a holiday (and also we are not supposed to go out because things tend to get pretty crazy--there have been lots of riots and killings before! scary!) Tuesday we have a parent night, and then Thursday is the big day! I will get pictures of my classroom up as soon as I am finished, but until then here are some pictures of our house, the colmado we spend tons of time at, and a few of school!

Read this majorly encouraging verse in Acts 20:18-24 yesterday: "You know how I lived when I was with you! I served the Lord though I was severly tested! You know I have not hesitated to preach, YOU SAW ME! Now, compelled by the spirit, I am headed to Jerusalem not knowing what will happen to me! However, I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task I have been given-to testify the gospel of God's grace!"

So cool--people SAW Paul walk and knew who he was following!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today we had training in the morning...such a long morning of reviewing the teacher manual! After training I worked on organizing my classroom for a little bit--STILL so weird that I am going to be in charge of my own class soon! I had a pretty interesting day after that...the power went out this morning at 10, and then after I had started working on my classroom for a while I realized that a huge storm was rolling in so I had to quick get home before I got stuck in the rain, BUT then there was nothing for me to do at home because there was no power! So it turned into a blessing because I got to read my book ("Radical" by David Platt) while sitting in the hammock on our front porch!

It was such a blessed time of just sitting there listening to the rain and reading, and I learned some really cool things--and those things totally went along with everything God has been teaching me today! This morning in my devos Oswald Chambers said "Praising God is the ultimate end and aim of all we go through." Then, Pastor Luis was talking with us and said "Fulfill the purpose God has created you to fulfill. Christ is real, take advantage to live for Him while you have life!" Then in my book, David Platt said "Do you live each day as though it is not absolutely urgent to tell others about Christ? We are God's plan, no one will hear about Him if we don't do our job and tell them! Do you process the gospel and then refuse to give your life making it known? The will of God is for you and me to give our lives urgently and recklessly to make the gospel and the glory of God known to all."

So cool--so straight up--there is no mistaking what God has called His followers to do! God is awesome!

Side note--while i write this, my landlord is out front shooting birds in our tree. HA HA! Typical craziness of the DR.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I finally feel like I am getting into a real-life routine here in Jarabacoa! We had a fun-filled weekend! Friday night we were supposed to have everyone over for dinner and OF COURSE the power went out!! (it does a few times a day here usually....) and stayed out for a while so we played apples to apples on the porch, then it started to rain, so we had to move inside and play in the darkness! Still fun though!
Saturday, JulieAnne and I went on an "adventure run" following a new trail that went on the other side of town along the river--SUCH a pretty run! So amazing to see things "off the beaten path" that I would have not seen otherwise. It is really wonderful to get out of town to see and appreciate God's creation here! It is so easy to get busy and forget that I live in a beautiful place! I will have to bring my camera along next time. Saturday afternoon we went to a party at Guido's (our landlord) house that was an 85th birthday party for his mom! They had a huge party--he has 19 brothers and sisters! I was talking to one of his sisters, and she asked me how old i was, and as soon as i told her 22 she was like OHHHHH my son is 22!!! and seriously not 10 minutes later her son showed up and she brought him over to me....haha SO funny! Also pretty awkward. It was a fun party though, everyone was talking about how Guido is like our dad here and takes care of us, so that is reassuring:)
After the party we went to the colamdo (a little store by our house) and got hot dogs. They came on a stick....and in PLASTIC BAGS! haha too funny!!! Afterwards we went to a concert at Amor a Quisquea (a church right by our house) and had an awesome night full of worship en espanol! It was wonderful.
Sunday I took the girls to my church (La Vid) and walked there from our house....probabily almost 2 miles...and were SO incredibly hot and sweaty by the time we got there, but it was a wonderful service, and they still said they want to go back! Maybe we'll get a ride next time:) The pastor asked a really funny but major thought provoking question: "How would you describe the most delicious meal you ever tasted to someone?" (and then he proceeded to describe the best steak he ever had) afterwards said that is exactly how we should be describing/sharing God with others! Like the most satisfying thing we have ever had!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4

Wow--it has been a busy couple days!!
Sunday: Went to church at La Vid, and rode my bike for the first time! In the afternoon I had lunch with Doulos staff, then hung out with JCS (my school) teachers at night and we watched ECLIPSE! My roommate-Melissa--is really great! She is from Colorado, and loves to be out and about doing things, so I think we will get along great! The other new teachers are really fun so far as well!
Monday: Went to the Jimenoas (some really cool waterfalls) for the day! It was really fun--we found a bunch of cool places to hike/swim/climb!

needless to say, we had a ton of fun and were VERY tired at the end of the day! We also played a hilarious game called Quelf! It sure made us be comfortable around each other pretty quickly!
Tuesday: Shopped around town all day, showed the girls all the fun places to go! We made dinner at night and watched TAKEN because the girls said I had to see it...crazy movie but soo good!
Today! (Wednesday) We had our first day of staff orientation. We learned all about JCS and talked about random school stuff! We have orientation tomorrow and friday, and then i THINK orietnation next week? Here's the deal-I didnt know we started orientation today until last night, we still don't know when school starts (could be in 2 weeks, maybe that wednesday or one has decided yet)! This is how things go in the DR--they totally have an "Oh, we'll see" attitude!! haha love it! We were just laughing at is good to learn to just go with the flow!