Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Week 2

    Hello everyone!  I hope everyone has had a great week.  We had a great week as well!  Since we have been out in the village 8 days there are a lot of new stories to tell that we are very excited about.  :) The Lord has brought everything to us and it has been amazing to see how much He has provided for us.
     When we got back we had dinner with Sarah and her four year old son.  We had a traditional Oaxacan dish, Tlayuda, and it is was huge!  The size of this tortilla was the size of my head (seriously, maybe bigger), filled with beans, cheese and pork.  It was a fun experience and the food was good!  The most important thing of the night was that Sarah opened up to us in such an amazing way.  She told us about her life and we were able to open up and encouraged her with the Lord.  It was amazing to see this door fly open.  Later on in the week I took Sarah on a walk with Zoe and she talked even more about her life.  She has such a joy about her in the midst of talking about her pain and I paused and told her that she is not meant to carry the weight of her past and she started crying.  She knows she doesn't have a relationship with the Lord, but she told us she knows we are here for a reason.  This was probably my favorite moment of this experience thus far.  We are all excited to see where this relationship goes.
     As far as our teaching goes, we continued teaching the middle school kids everyday this week.  We taught them about 25 verbs as well as reviewing everything thus far, the ABC's, basic Introduction questions and answers, and numbers.  That has all been in a week and a half!  We have focused a lot on pronunciation with all of these lessons and they have improved a lot.  So naturally as a good teacher would, we gave a test. haha The teachers there decided they wanted it to be for a grade.  So the students took it seriously.  We were very happy with the grades they got.  We also taught at the elementary school two times this week, and lets just say it was a lot different than we thought.  The kids we not as dedicated as our middle school students so it was harder to teach, but we are happy for the opportunity.
    We also got to encourage Luke a lot more this week.  He is a great person to know and he has brought a lot of people to us.  He told us about some of his past and we were able to encourage him in the Lord, as well.  Sarah and Luke are the only ones we have been able to really open up too, and we are excited to continue these amazing relationships.
    So something special this week was the high school graduation!  The entire town came out for this event and the students had prepared a lot of traditional dances for it.  It was amazing to see!  A lot of pictures of this are below.  The graduation was followed by a dance which was a lot of fun and we got to dress up!  Probably the only time this summer that I will haha.  This is one of the biggest celebrations of the village each year and we were happy to be a part of it.
    To update on the four believers of the village that were there before us.  I know I said last week how it was really sad how these people had not been discipled and how much it showed in their confusion of the gospel and what living for God really means.  Well this week we went back.  Since we had only talked for a little bit last week, we thought that was what this week was going to be.  NOT!  We got there and they asked for us to lead a bible study.  Since we did not have any english bibles I had to recall what I knew of a gospel presentation I had done before and go with it.  God definitely led that bible study and incorporated us all in it.  I think they really learned a lot and they asked for us to do that again.  We are excited about furthering this relationship, but can also use prayer in how to continue this relationship.  
     Also, this week brought a lot of excitement about my hair.  Some of our friends decided they wanted to do my hair in a fancy way and with one person asking naturally five came over to help.  It was a lot of fun.  I had people at the graduation just come behind me and pet my hair with out even asking!  It made me laugh.  :)

Prayer requests:
  • Continued prayer for the four believers in the village thus far, and how to further those relationships.
  • That God will continue to help Sarah see that the only way she has made it this far is because He has been with her.  We pray that she will give her life to Him someday, whether we see it or not. She seems the one most open to hearing about Him thus far.  Sarah and her little boy are probably our closest friends so this relationship is more personal than others so prayer that that relationship will continue would be much appreciated.
  • We hope to continue to get deeper with a few of the other younger girls in the village this week.  So prayer that God would open those doors would be great.
  • Also, prayer for our team as individuals is always needed.  Week three came with a reality check and some culture shock for me personally.  Prayer that God would continue to show me He is all I need would be much appreciated.  
Thank you everyone for everything!  It is so great to know I have family and friends back home praying for this trip.  How blessed we are to get the opportunity to miss special people to us.  Talk to you all on the 5th of July! 

Love you all,

Jordan :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Week 1- Out in the Village

    Oh goodness where to start with this week.  I feel like so much has happened in such a little time!  The first day we got there, my team and I cleaned this little house we are given to live in for the next two months.  This took some time, but at the end of the day we created a nice little home for ourselves.
    Since we are the first people to ever live in this village, we have to get acquainted with the village our own way.  We were all a little nervous thinking about how we were going to get into this village, and we prayed God would open up a door for us.  So Zoe(our amazing translator), Erica, and I thought, what better way to spend a first night than playing basketball with some highschoolers.  When we walked up to them they looked at us like we were crazy haha.  However, after a couple games we had made a connection(we hoped).  Later on God answered our prayers.  The people who we played basketball with came to our house and sat on our porch for over an hour just talking with us telling us about the village and inviting us to do a lot of things already.  It was our first night!  It was crazy how fast God provided for us.
    On the second day we went to a beautiful river in the village with our friends from the night before.  It was a great little journey with our new friends that we all really enjoyed.  We continued to make our way around the village making a connection with a friendly neighbor I'll call Sarah.  Sarah is very popular in the village and is a very sweet person we have been very happy to meet.  We have a dinner date planned with her right when we get back.
   Our 3rd day was so crazy!  We get called into the president's office with all the principals of the school in the village.  We figured out a schedule and were told we were going to teach a middle school class in 10 minutes.  So me, in my teacher mindset, laughed because I am normally given a lot of time to think of a lesson plan, but when you are told to teach you teach! haha  It ended up being great and such a highlight to my time in the village.  Later in the week we were asked to teach at the elementary school starting on monday, so we are eager to begin those classes as well.  We quickly became a lot busier than we ever thought we would.  We started doing extra english practice in the afternoons, which some kids took advantage of that was great.  However, one thing we have to get use to is that when you say we have an english review session at house house at 3 that means 3:30, 3:45, or even 4:30 to some people in the village.  So that is something we are trying to adapt to and also to teach the kids about respect and responsibility.  our translator told us this is problem throughout Mexico that needs to change. We also started a zumba class. Erica is a zumba instructor and one of the guys in the village leads a dancing class.  He invited her to teach three times a week.  So we tried that out and it went great!  Around 30 women came and had a blast.  We are excited to see where this goes. :)
    Our fourth day we were super busy with teaching english and more teaching.  Something my team and I are very adamant about is having a daily bible study with each other in the mornings.  This is a great way to bring us together and encourage each other every day.  We know how important it is to stay in the word individually and with each other in a place where the gospel has not been present.  We taught and played a lot of soccer on this day which was great.  Up to this point we had played a lot of basketball, which is not my best sport haha, but playing soccer really helped me challenge the kids and have a lot of fun with them.  I am really enjoying these middle school kids we have been blessed to meet.
   Our fifth day we left to go back to Oaxaca to discuss with the missionaries in Oaxaca and get supplies.  However, we were able to teach a lesson before we went. :)
    We have kept very busy to this point and are going to have to be diligent about planning rest time for us this coming week.  We have made some great connections with a lot of people, but three people really stick out to us, Sarah, Luke, and Cindy.  These three people have made a lot of time for us and have helped us get use to the village and introduce us to the village.  We are excited to continue these friendships.
    What we could us prayer for:

  • This week we realized that the believers we knew of in the village have a very distorted view of what living as a Christian means.  They had accepted Christ about twenty five years ago and have been without discipleship or teaching for that amount of time.  They have now created their own view of Christ, which is very sad to us.  Since this is an older couple we are going to pray that some older men can come and help describe what the bible truly says to these people and not what they think the bible says. This just proves how important disciple making really is.  We need to not just tell people about Christ, but also teach people about Christ.
  • We also have made some great connections this week and have some plans already for next week.  So prayer that we can continue to develop a deeper friendship with them and share with them about Christ would be much appreciated.

I will continue to keep you as updated as possible. :)  
May He and His Kingdom be glorified this summer no matter where you are in the world. :)

(p.s. There are some pretty pictures that are from a monastery in Oaxaca we went to visit on our day off!  So pretty!)

     Jordan :)