Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Party

On the last day of school before the Christmas break we held a Christmas party for all the kids at the school in Mata Gorda. The kids came dressed up in party clothes and were really excited for the party. We started the day out doing a few Christmas art projects.

We played music and the kids enjoyed the dancing.

Home-baked (by me) cupcakes and juice were served to the kids and each one received a bag full of gifts. It was a fun way to end the semester before a much needed vacation.


The other day some of the kids came up to me after school with a wounded butterfly they had found. They were all very excited about it and I was able to snap some neat pictures. It was really cute, because even the boys were all being very gentle with it. I explained to them that we needed to be very gentle with it because its wings were broken and it couldn't fly anymore. One if the kids asked me "If we feed it some juice will its wing get healed?" I sadly explained that there was nothing we could do to heal its wing and that it would probably die soon. The kids gently played with it for a while and then let it sit on a leaf until it couldn't move anymore. They then buried it and sprinkled flowers on top of its grave. Kind of sad that it ended up dying, but it was nice watching the kids caring for the injured butterfly. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December?? What?

Wow! I can't believe that it is December already. The month of November passed so quickly and I realized that it had been a while since I posted a blog.

Things here have been steadily going along. I am starting to settle into my role at the school a little more, although I still have frustrating and hard days. I am beginning to realize more and more that God had a completely different plan for me here than I was expecting. It is still kind of hard to accept at times, but I am trying with all my might to lay aside my selfishness and pride and just serve God with all that I have in whatever He sets before me. Easier said than done, I know. Throughout my life I have grown accustomed to being good at whatever I do, and being recognized for the good things that I do. Now that I am in a situation where I feel incapacitated, unequipped, and frustrated I can no longer rely on my own "skills" or "goodness" to skate through this. I have been forced (kicking and screaming at times) to lay it all down and let God carry me.

God has given me many affirmations over the last month of His extreme love and care for me and reassuring me that He has this all in His control. He spoke to me through a young 12 year old who came down on a one week outreach. On the last day of her stay, she quietly slipped me a note that said "Psalm 139. ask God for more insight." After I read the Psalm:

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! ....
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

...I realized that this situation was more than just me being unhappy in my job. This is something that God had planned from the beginning, something to refine my character. This was a big punch in the face.

Another confirmation that I got was this past weekend where the local church put on a weekend confernce. On the last night the speaker was talking about how God equips us with the skills we need to do His work. During his talk, I had a little Haitian girl sitting on my lap, playing with my hair and whispering in my ear. As I looked into her beautiful, black eyes, my heart was overwhelmed with love and at that very moment the speaker said, "God equips those He has called." I remembered what God had called me to here: LOVE. He called me to love His children. Even when it is hard, even when they disobey, even if I would rather be doing something else. He has called me to love. And He has equiped me with such a capacity to love that I am almost bursting at the seams with love for these children.

Praise God for His faithfulness to those He has called.