Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reading Class Starts

On Sundays we attend a village church outside of town. This village is Coalane. Over a year ago, our IMB colleague, Wanne Dina, saw a need in this village. Many of the children were not learning to read. Some of them do not attend school, but some of them who do go to school are still struggling for many reasons. So, she began a weekly reading class at the church. 

I was very excited about this when Wanne told me. Many of you know that I was a kindergarten teacher and I love teaching children. In addition, Meghan loves to teach and has been very disappointed that we have not been able to work with children much since arriving in January. The third bonus is that all of us need to learn how to read Portuguese!

In order to get more children into one school building, the schools use their buildings for half of the children in the morning and half of them in the afternoon. So, we will do a reading class in the morning and then another in the afternoon so that all children can come. This will make it possible for Meghan to go in the morning and Emma and Lilly to go in the afternoon. 

This past Tuesday was the beginning of this year's reading class and we were ready to join in!

Sweet boy that I worked with
Meghan teaching
Look at these eager to learn!

Some of our Sunday School girls
Wanne evaluating some of the children
Boys reading as they waited for their turn
This little guy I know of from Sundays.
He is very quiet and I have a special fondness for him, although I do not know why.
He must not go to school because he was at reading class
both in the morning and in the afternoon.  
So many of the young girls came carrying small siblings.
At the end of our class, Wanne and Sally gave out some school supplies that were a reward to the children who came the whole year, last year. We tried to keep the other children out of the church for the few minutes while the supplies were being given out. Lilly and I had the job of keeping guard at the door.....not an easy job!

I will keep you updated on how our reading class is going. Please remember this ministry in your prayers. I would love for the girls to learn to read Portuguese here and improve their language usage. I also pray for my girls to develop their relationships there. More than anything, I want these children and their families to know the Lord personally!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tour of Casa de Família

Do you remember my post about the big clump of clay we had to get for Meghan's art class? And the one about the girls making pottery with Meghan's clay on Saturday? Well, I told you that I would get back to it. 

The place that we found the clay was a Catholic center here in town, called "Casa de Família". They have a trade school, children's home, soup kitchen for the elderly, and a community center. As part of their programs (which are numerous) they have this pottery project. A few young men make pottery and sell them. When we were there last week to get the clay we asked if the girls could come back when the guys would be making stuff and watch, as well as try it out themselves. Today was the day!

This was our group....Jessica, Eva (my new language conversant), Lilly, Emma,
Flora (the girl's language tutor,)  Sally, and me
(Meghan could not go because she has school in the afternoon.)
one kiln
the other kiln
Rosa...the lady from the center that was helping us...
Getting dirty!
Many creations 
Emma working on her horse
Lilly and her doll
Emma and her horse
It was a fun afternoon and we hope to have the finished products in a few weeks after they are fired.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Sunday in Coalane

Here is the view from my seat in the truck, looking back at my girls.
They were so excited that the cab of the truck was full...meaning....they could ride in the back going to church.
This is the road going down to the church.

Children's Sunday School at the church in Coalane grew again this past Sunday. We had over 60 kids!! It was very crazy, but good. We saw a difference in how Emma and Lilly interacted with the children. Our children and the children in the village are slowly getting more comfortable and less intimidated by each other.

This is the group that was there from the beginning of the lesson.
 More came right up to the time when Sally was finishing everything.
There was one little girl, maybe about 3 years old that started crying inside the church where the adult were having SS. Her mother walked her out to us. I grabbed her hand and walked her to where Emma was sitting. I said, "Emma, I have a little friend. Can you help her?" Emma said, "Sure". About 2 minutes later Emma had her in her lap and was helping her color. Emma kept the biggest smile on her face the rest of the time!

Her smile = purpose
The Bible story was about Jonah
Coloring Jonah and the big fish the middle of the other children....that was new this week
My view from the back row



Last week Meghan needed this very large lump of clay for her art class. We asked around and found out where we could buy it. With some assistance we were able to get some and she took it to school last Friday. (More about the place where we got the clay in a later post.) We were surprised when she brought home about 80% of the clay. They only need a small amount for their art project and she brought the rest home for her sisters to have. Lilly and Emma were delighted. So, Saturday morning they started early working on their creations. 
This is how they started....a bag of clay and a bucket of water.
Sweet girl!
You can see the lemons on our tree beginning to ripen.
What will I do with a tree full of lemons?
Quickly they had a problem....they did not have a surface to work on. So, they went to Daddy and he set them up working on the bottom of my laundry hampers. 
Lilly's creating begins

And Emma's as well
They were outside ALL DAY. We had to make them come in for lunch and they worked into the evening. They had a totally of about 15 different masterpieces by the time night fell. 
So proud of herself!
The two of them talked and talked as they worked.  
Some of their work
More creations
By the end of the day they were quite dirty, but so proud of that fact! 

Our prayer is that we continue to make relationships and learn more language so that in the coming weeks the girls can have friends over to play on Saturdays! 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day from Africa

Our Valentine's week started Sunday at the church in Coalane. The Bible lesson was about how God loves us no matter what and how He takes our dirty hearts that are full of sin and gives us a new heart.

listening to the story
Making the sin-side of the heart "dirty"
Everyone has sin
I love how they are looking at it and thinking about the meaning
Here Lee is reading the 24th Psalm for the congregation. His first time reading for them in Portuguese! He did awesome!

After church we loaded up our mats and many children. Our girls got to ride in the back of the truck. (No comments about safety, please!)

Our prayer for these children is that they would understand the True Love of the Father. My hearts desire is to learn enough Portuguese to be able to visit their homes and talk to their parents. These children are not being raised in Godly homes. Pray that the Holy Spirit would ready all of their hearts to receive His gift of salvation.

We were very thankful for each other on Valentine's Day. We had a day full of treats and going out to eat!

Gifts from our journey-girls
Big kisses for our friends and family that we missed on this day!!!
Ready to go out-to-eat for the first time as a family in Quelimane!
The real brick oven at the pizzeria 
a look inside
So excited to be eating out at the pizzeria!!!
All the girls!
Me and sweet Sally
Jessica, Emma, and Meg
Sally, Lilly, and me
My Guy!

Hugs to all of you!!!