A full and exciting July! Click the photos to learn more.
The New Playground
New School Library
Thanks for loving, giving, encouraging, and praying! On to August!
Call me judgmental or lazy, but I’ve always preferred to critique others’ work instead of come up with my own thoughts. That’s probably why it’s so important that I read, or else I’d never think critically. Heh. I want to start remembering some of the ideas that are making an impact on me each month. So without further ado, my “Quotes of the Month” from July!
It seemed intended by the blessed Providence of God, that I should be blind all my life; and I thank Him for the dispensation…. This sounds strangely to you, reader? … If perfect earthly sight were offered me to-morrow, I would not accept it…. Although it may have been a blunder on the physician’s part, it was no mistake of God’s. I verily believe it was His intention that I should live my days in physical darkness, so as to be better prepared to sing His praises and incite others so to do…. – Fanny Crosby, Fanny Crosby’s Life Story
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Other things move swiftly to their centres; stones fall tumbling downward, sparks fly apace upward, coneys run with speed to their burrows, rivers with violence to the ocean, and yet silly man hangs off from his Maker, that neither entreaties nor threatenings, nor the word, nor the works of God, nor the hope of heaven, nor fear of hell, can quicken or hasten him to his happiness. Who would imagine that a reasonable soul should act so much against sense and reason? – George Swinnock, 1627-1673.
This past week was difficult, but good. Lots of struggles – computer issues, physical exhaustion, daily interruptions, limited time with my family, feelings of stress from my messy house, and, well, I needn’t go on. You get the idea.
One morning, I “set up shop” in the upstairs portion of the multi-use. As I sat there waiting for my computer to boot up, I looked out the window. Jimena was standing there, broom in hand, whisking the dust off the sidewalk. Across the way, students were rhythmically repeating some chant after their teacher. Toni was in the breezeway, preparing team members to meet their pre-schoolers. The safari truck pulled up, and Martires began collecting empty water jugs to fill up. Becky’s happy voice echoed through the air as she reminded the 3-year-olds that it was time to put their “Heads down!” Hammers clanged in the distance as the construction crew started their day.
All of the sudden, I felt so very small. I forgot about my troubles for a moment and breathed up a prayer of thankfulness to the Lord for allowing me to be a small part of all that He’s doing here. Maybe those sights and sounds of our wonderful ground team working together were my “echoes of mercy and whispers of love” for the day.
We’d love for you to pray that our family continues to learn what it means to submit perfectly to Jesus – even when our days don’t go the way we expect. Fanny Crosby wrote about the delight, happiness, and rest that are available when we allow the Lord to fill us with His goodness. And I want that.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
I’ll be honest. These past few weeks back on the ground have been pretty tough. I can’t really pinpoint any one reason. I’ve just been physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and not ready to take on this summer. Some of our teachers have said that they’re already feeling beaten down – that it seems like they can’t go on. Is Satan doing his best to bring us down in the middle of the miraculous? Or is the Lord allowing these “light and momentary troubles” into our lives for a far greater purpose?
I don’t know.
Pray that our team would continue to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I’m not in the classroom every day. And, boy, do I miss it. Those rotten kids have a knack for weaseling their way into my heart. Teaching is so hard, but I miss knowing what’s really going on in our students’ lives.
I’m thankful for the work I have now, though. By helping with sponsorship, I’ve been able to peek into classrooms. And I feel like a proud grandma observing all her sweet grandchildren growing up so quickly.
A few weeks ago, I walked into Miss Mery’s classroom, excited to find our 1st grader, Raul. His sponsor family had sent down a small sack of goodies for him, and I was eager to pass along a hug and spend a moment catching up with him. I scanned the room full of brown, little faces until I finally locked eyes with Raul.
Immediately, I knew something was wrong. When I called his name, Raul dropped his head and averted his eyes. Uh-oh, I thought. Somebody’s not having a good day. I put on my best smile and called his name again. He slowly stood up and begrudgingly shuffled towards the door to meet me.
Suddenly, someone yelled out in front of the entire class. “You want Raul?! He doesn’t deserve a gift! He went to the office for fighting this morning! In fact, why don’t you just keep him for the rest of the day? We don’t want him back in here.” By the time the barrage of hateful words had ceased, Raul was by my side, eyes glued ashamedly to the floor.
He doesn’t deserve a gift. I was angry that someone would make such a spiteful comment about Raul in front of his other peers. The “mama bear” in me wanted to protect him. But instead of saying what I really wanted to, I calmly replied, “Well, I’ll be sure to talk to him. It’ll be fine.”
He doesn’t deserve a gift. The words kept ringing through my mind as we silently walked out of the classroom. How am I going to smooth this over? I wondered. We looked for a spot to sit down.
There were some folding chairs in the breezeway. As we set them up on the sidewalk, I was at a loss for what to say. Maybe I can remind him how important and loved he is. Or maybe I’ll tell him just to ignore the mean comments. Perhaps we can talk about how to “rise above” the hatefulness and “be the better person.”
But on a whim, I decided to take a different approach.
“Buddy, did their words back there hurt your feelings?” Raul barely nodded. “They weren’t saying nice things, were they? But you know what? One thing they said was actually true.”
Raul just looked straight ahead, not making eye contact, but still listening. “Remember how they said that you don’t deserve this gift? They’re actually right! Do you know what it means for somebody to give you a gift? A gift is something that’s especially for you without any expectation of payment. You don’t have to buy a gift, do you? A gift is something that’s free. And if you’ll listen for just a minute, I want to tell you about Someone who gave the biggest and best gift that’s ever been given….”
Sometimes I feel a literal ache in my heart when I think of how these precious little babes are running headlong into an eternity without God. What will happen if their lives aren’t supernaturally intercepted? God’s great wrath, which is so heavily hanging over their heads, will have to be satisfied. There is a darkness waiting for them that I refuse to dwell on.
Pray with me, please. Pray that our teachers would seek out moments to share God’s great love-gift with their students. Pray that they would be so filled up with Jesus that His grace just spills out through their every word and action.
And pray that our students’ eyes would be opened to the truth. Pray that their working minds would fully understand and that their hearts would not delay in accepting the precious gift of eternal life that’s so freely waiting for them.
Time is flying! A few pictures from our busy February.