Wednesday, December 15, 2010

sooo exam week officially=awesome! I only have exams every day from 8:30-12 and then all afternoon I have to stay at school and work/whatever until 4....but in all this free time I have discovered this new blog:
You should probabily check it out because it is WAY more interesting than mine:)
Anyways....2 days and then I am going to the airport to head back to SNOW!!!!! Gracias a Dios!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This week Monday was probably one of my most frustrating days here so far. This past week was basically exam review, and we had turned our exams and reviews in to our director Friday to have her check to make sure they were okay, and then we were given them back on Monday to copy for the week. Well, we live in the DR, so of course things don’t often happen as we would like. As we are ALL trying to make copies, we discover this: our copy machine is out of ink, the school is almost out of paper AND the town of Jarabacoa is completely out of paper. WHAT? Then after freaking out about that, we find out that the internet is out, so we can’t even look up things to print off on the other printer to have the kids do until we could get their review sheet. What a Monday morning! I eventually figured out things for my class to do, but it definitely was not ideal! Needless to say, God for sure taught me a lot this week! My week went uphill from there, thankfully! Tuesday we had our last Wyld Life club until after Christmas, and it went really well! Friday we had our Christmas program at school. It was so stressful and crazy, but was very good. My class did a play, I was SO nervous for them, but they did well and everyone loved it!

This week has been awesome--God has been showing me over and over again that He is my refuge, He is my hope, He is my strength, HE is in all, and HE has control of all! I keep finding myself frustrated and questioning God, but I keep getting brought back to this place! He is good! Here are some things that have meant a lot to me this week…

Numbers 35:9-15 “ God spoke to Moses: ‘Speak to the people of Israel. Tell them, when you cross the River Jordan into the country of Canaan, designate your asylum-cities, towns to which a person who accidentally kills someone can flee for asylum. They will be places of refuge from the avenger so that the alleged murderer won’t be killed until he can appear before the community in court. Provide six asylum-cities. Designate three of the towns to the east side of the Jordan, the other three in Canaan proper-asylum cities for the People of Israel, for the foreigner, and for any occasional visitors or guests-six asylum cities to run to for anyone who accidentally kills another.”

Okay, so, when I read this passage on Monday, I was thinking what in the world does this mean, and what is the purpose of me reading this today? The side notes for this verse in my devotional were sweet though! It says “Spend some time thinking about the God who is making Himself known here. What is on your heart today? Bring your thoughts to the God who created asylum-cities. Think about what it means for you to be with the God who is both a God of justice AND a God of refuge.” So amazing. God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of mercy, love, hope, and most of all, refuge!

We JUST got a new director at JCS this week, he will be starting after Christmas (long story, but our director now was just kind of filling in until someone perfect for the job was found) and he spoke for our staff devotions on Friday. He told us his story, which was really cool. He became a Christian while attended a Christian school in Cuba, similar to ours. He went to that school solely for the purpose of the good education (like a lot of our students) but had 2 teachers who really SHOWED him the love of Jesus instead of preaching at him all the time. It was because of those teachers that he saw living the love of Christ that he decided he wanted to be a part of it, and that is what he expects from our staff. His main desire for our school is to show the love of God to our kids, yes education is important, but the most important thing we are ever going to do is show them Jesus. It was so cool to hear him say that, and such an encouragement for how I try to run things in my classroom. That morning I had just read this verse from Deuteronomy 10:11-13 “What does God expect from you? Live in His presence, follow the road He sets out for you, love Him, serve Him, serve God, YOUR God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments I am giving you today and live a good life”.

Friday in chapel we sang “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. Tim told us the story behind the song, and it is so cool! The writer of the song had lost his wife a year earlier, so this was his first Christmas without her, so obviously very sad, but as you read/hear the lyrics of the song, you can see where he started out feeling sad and hopeless, but then realizing that “God is not dead, nor does He sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail!”

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wyld Life Camp!

Hi Friends! This past week at our Wyld Life meeting, we began making plans for Wyld Life camp, which is the first weekend in February! All of the kids, and of course us leaders, are so excited, because it is our first camp since Wyld Life officially started here! Camp is awesome, but the one issue is that it is super expensive, $90 for just the weekend, and a lot of our kids can not afford that. As leaders, we have made a goal to each raise $150 to give about two half scholarships each.

Our plan is to have two "service days" where the kids who need scholarships will spend about 6 hours doing a service project around town. Our two service projects are going to be a car wash, and a day cleaning up trash by the river (you would DIE if you saw how disgusting the riverbanks are here!). The point of having these service days is to
1-have the kids earn their scholarships, so they only get it if they want to go to camp bad enough to work for it, and 2-to be a light to the community, because you rarely see Dominicans doing any type of service project.

Camp is SO IMPORTANT to our ministry because it gives us leaders 48 nonstop hours to spend with kids to really build or start to build relationships with them, and it also gives them a chance to see how excited we are about how awesome God is!

So, if you have any interest in helping me raise $150 to send two kids to camp that otherwise would not be able to go, please let me know, it would be so awesome! I will be home over Christmas, (Dec 18-Jan 7), so you could talk to me when I am home, otherwise you can email me at and ask me any questions you might have! ANY support would be so helpful, because it brings us one step closer to having another kid have a life changing weekend!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support, I would not be here without it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

12 days until I will be back in Michigan!! SO excited, but there is so much to do before then! This past week was basically a rush to get everything finished that the kids will be tested on for exams, so it made things pretty crazy! We have exam review this week, and exams the following week.

I started teaching Health class last week, oh my was that interesting! Monday we started out by talking about Self Esteem….good/bad, how to be a friend to yourself, how to like yourself, ect….definitely a tough subject for 6th graders! Some of their comments were hilarious, but some were really sad. I definitely don’t miss those feelings of insecurity, and it is so sad to see them just getting into that! Overall, it went pretty well though! This week we are moving on to drinking/drugs…ahh pray for me!! Haha!

I went to the river with the girls from my campaigners group this weekend, and it was so much fun! We walked down there, and seriously the kids here hardly ever go down to the river, so for some of the girls, it was their first or second time going to the river EVER! They LOVED it! They were all like “wow, look at God’s creation, look at what He has given us, right here!” and that was SO COOL to hear them say that, and to be able to move into conversation from there! It was so cool. When we left, they were all asking when we could come back next!

We talked in my Bible study this past week about how important it is to not live for the end of our time here, which is SO HARD because I feel like I am always thinking about what is next whether it is going home, a break, or even thinking about what I will do when my time here is up! That is one prayer request--to just be here and take full advantage of this opportunity!

Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, THIS is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek Him in His temple!”

"As disciples of Jesus, we should wake up every morning asking ourselves 'How can I get through the next 12 hours in God's power, accomplishing His purposes and only be concerned about pleasing Him?'"

I love this blog post, I think it is so true--the devil so tries anything to steal us away from focusing on God’s plan to being stressed/worried about life, when we really just need to seek God’s plan and find peace!

“Sunday morning I was participating in a worship service. We were singing songs and reading from the text of Scripture as a car alarm just outside the building was blaring. It was incredibly loud. People were getting antsy as they tried to pay attention. Heads turned, looking back to see if anyone was addressing the noise. Others were shifting, some were praying for silence and still others continued to raise their voices in song.
As I tried to sing I couldn’t help but think that I was living in a sacred moment. The morning’s theme was Peace. The first Sunday of Advent. We daily, anxiously, await the peace that is offered in the person of Jesus. And here we were, setting aside an entire morning to the idea of peace, and we were met with nothing but noise, interruption and chaos. Funny.
That sounds about right actually. We long for peace. We pursue it. And in the midst of that pursuit we run into noise, interruption and chaos! Peace isn’t natural. We live in a world that constantly seeks to steal our peace.
The car alarm continued through most of the morning. I don’t know if others thought about the reality the car alarm offered, but that morning the noise of the alarm spoke loudly as it was juxtaposed with the gift of peace we’re offered in Jesus. As the alarm continued to blare, my heart continued to long for my expectant Jesus. My heart longed to connect with the peace He brings, the peace which is his very character and I was drawn to worship in chaos.
As you walk through each day, seek peace and pursue it. Even in the midst of the noise, interruption and chaos. It can be found!”