Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our God reigns

This week has been a fun and eventful week for me! I went to the coffee shop twice this week haha and it was great. I think I like going to the coffee shop so much because it just gives me a chance to get away from all the craziness that goes on here. We had three teams staying here last week and another team that came everyday for the week, which meant that during the day we had about 50 or more people on the compound… It was just hectic. I really did enjoy meeting a lot more people and there was so much word that was completed, but I needed those two trips to Rebo Express. Megan and I went together with Ashleigh and we just a nice time hanging out and talking (and sitting in an air conditioned room). This week we have tutored the 4th graders in math every morning and also the younger kids in reading and reading comprehension in the afternoons. With the 4th graders we worked on subtraction with borrowing and fractions, division, multiplication, and work problems. We chose these because we asked the students where they needed improving and those were some of the places. I enjoyed working with the kids because there were 5 students and 4 of us and so we were able to work closely with each student and help them specifically with what they needed. The students we have were Carmelle, Jovenel, Richardson, Wilderson, and Wilna; it was amazing to see how bright they all were! At the beginning of the week they needed a lot more help with the problems, but by the end of the week they pretty much got all the problems right! Some of them really liked to go up to the board and work the problems.

The afternoon tutoring with the younger children was also great! Each day we would read one or two books and ask the children to draw a picture of something that had to do with the book. For example, we read the book The Tiny Seed, which was about flowers and them spreading their seeds. So, of course, a lot of them would draw a lot of pictures of flowers, people with flowers, seeds, etc. It was so so cute and I just love seeing them draw and get excited about their drawings. I remember when I was younger all I wanted to do was draw and color as much as I could. I also think it is important to tell the kids how great their picture is, because it’s good for them to know they are appreciated! Their faces lit up when any of us would complement their picture. On Friday we decided that we would have them help me think of positive adjectives to describe a person. So we had words like funny, nice, silly, good listener, always smiling, etc. and afterwards we traced each student’s hand and the other students would choose 5 adjectives that describe them for each finger. Then, after we did that for each kid they were able to color and decorate their hand. I LOVED doing this because they all were able to see how wonderful they really are and for them to know that they are loved. I know I have said that a lot, but all of the children are special and they need to know that they are loved by our Lord and by us. My entire time I have been here I have made sure all these children know how much they are appreciated because that can have a lasting affect on them.

One afternoon I was hanging out with the kids down in the courtyard and they asked me what I was like when I was younger, and I actually had a picture of me when I was about 8 years old. I pulled out my phone and showed them the picture of my dad and me from a Daddy Daughter Dance. They all looked and were like “Oh my gosh you were beautiful!!” and it probably was the sweetest thing ever. I think it was cool for them to see that I have actually been their age one time before. We walked to Sisters of Charity later that day and it was a hot day… I was dripping sweat by the time we got there, but was excited to get to see all of the babies. I went to Sisters of Charity last summer also, but it is where very sick children come and stay for some time. In the mornings, the parents of the child come to feed their child and spend time with them. It is important for the parents to come each day so that they stay attached and close to their child. During the afternoons they let people come and help the nannies feed all of the kids. So a group of us walked there and helped feed the kids. It is one of my favorite things to do here, but it’s a big wake up call on how bad some things are here and that there are starving children around our compound. It’s hard each time I go because you can tell the children just want to be held and loved. Also, when you are feeding them they are just so so hungry and want you to feed them their porridge as fast as you can. I love being there because when you hold the baby you try and make them smile as much as possible and it is the best feeling in the world when they flash you their wonderful smile. I just hate having to leave because once you put the child back into their crib they start waling because they want to be picked up again. It breaks my heart and makes me teary every time.

For the time I have been here the city power usually turns off around 5 p.m. and our inverter system shuts down around 1 or 2 a.m. A team that was here though fixed the inverter system to here it will work all night!! One night this week, however, we didn’t have power and it was so frustrating because we have had power pretty much all night, and we were scared we wouldn’t have it for the rest of the night. It reminded me of last summer when we had a tropical storm blow through here and we didn’t have power for about 3 days. It was so crazy and so hot because we wouldn’t have fans at all during the night; we had to only use our small fans. I appreciated air conditioning and fans so much more those 3 nights, and so when I was frustrated the other night I just had to think about those nights again. I needed the reminder that there are so many people around the world that are not as lucky as I have been with fans and air conditioning. Our power ended up working later on and we were thankful for the fans, but we even had a nice breeze so God wanted us to have a nice cool night :) My friend, Kathleen, has finally arrived!! She along with other teachers arrived Friday afternoon! I was so so thankful that everything worked out smoothly and that she got here safely. I am so excited for summer school to start and for us to be used as God’s hands and feet for these students. Kathleen and Megan will be teacher assistants for Ashleigh’s class and I will be the teacher assistant for Tammy’s class! It is excited and relieving to know that we all will have an experienced teacher lead the class. School this summer is for the older students, 6th grade through 10th grade. The reason we are doing the older students is because last summer we saw a vast improvement with the younger students that had summer school. Ms. Sherrie wanted the older students to get the opportunity to improve as well! I am excited, but nervous, because I have never really worked with older students. I am in Early Childhood Education and so the oldest grade I will be teaching is 3rd grade. So, having to teach 7th graders will be a small challenge for me, but I am excited to see how the Lord uses me and helps me to grow. We will be focusing on reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing. We have prepared so much the past few days and so I think all teachers are just ready for tomorrow to be here. Summer school will be from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then afterwards I will be tutoring a little boy in the afternoon from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The tutoring will fun but challenging because tomorrow we will mainly just be seeing where we need to start with him. We have reading tests for each grade level and in order to pass and move to the next reading level the student needs to receive a 70 or above. So he will take a reading test for each grade level, starting at 2nd grade, until we see where he needs to begin. Pray that Courtney and I will have the patience and understanding to help this student as much as we can while we are here. Courtney will be here for the whole summer school and so she will be able to work with him after I am gone.

Friday night I had the joy of sleeping in a hammock on the roof for the night! We needed a few beds open and so I offered for someone to sleep in my bed will I slept in a hammock. There were about 6 of us that slept on the roof. I was really excited about sleeping on the roof because I remembered my last night last summer when I group of us slept on mattresses on the roof. There is such a great breeze up there and so you actually get cold and need a blanket! So I prepared myself and brought up my pillow and blanket to the roof (and earplugs for the noise). Mrs. Shanda let me use one of her hammocks that had a mosquito net attached so I was pumped! I took a sleeping pill and fell asleep easily, but I woke up several times while I was up there. It was uncomfortable or anything but I just would wake up so easily to anything that happened. Ashleigh came up and even said I slept talk a little while I was asleep (Oops) so that was kind of funny/embarrassing to find out the next morning. Overall, I really did enjoy sleeping up there but am thankful for the bed I have here haha. The next day we ate at Epidor for lunch and I had a yummy ham and cheese sandwich. The rest of the day we spent back at Christian Light just hanging out with the kids and preparing our classrooms for class Monday. The kids had another movie night which meant once again... POPCORN! I seriously love making the popcorn here and want to make stove top popcorn when i get home!

This afternoons, we made peanut butter cookies and cake for the Haitian teachers tomorrow that will be coming for teacher training :) They smelled soooo good and I couldn't help but steal one of course! We were able to go to Port Au Prince Fellowship this morning and I was so happy! The pastor that has been here the past years sadly left to return back home in Australia, but the church was blessed with another great pastor! He had a great message this morning that talked about our thirst for the Lord and how we need to satisfy our thirst with the Lord. It made me think of the times where I wasn’t as close to the Lord and when one day I would just have a great need to be closer to God. I am so blessed to have quenched my thirst since I have been here. I have grown so much closer to the Lord while I have been here and I hope that I may continue my growth as I go back home. This next week will go by so fast so just pray that I will enjoy each day with the students and the children in the orphanage! I am getting really sad that it is almost over but am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me when I return home! I will be posting one more time while I am here to give yall an update on school and then when I come home I will write a post! 

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; 
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, 
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

-Psalm 63:1

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