I have been in Honduras for 1 month! It has been a busy first month here. When I got here, I shopped and helped set up my little house where I am staying. My house is right behind the house of a very sweet family. They cook me breakfast and dinner when I want and do my laundry for me… I feel very spoiled.
I am the first grade teacher at JOY Christian Academy. The teachers had almost 2 full weeks of teacher workdays. During that time, I worked on my first week lesson plans, quarterly plans, cleaning, painting, and decorating my classroom.
School started Thursday, February 9th, where the students just came for half a day. I just completed my first full week with the students. The first few days we spent playing get to know you games and going over classroom procedures. I have 9 students! Some of them are coming into the class with knowing no English. We started really getting into classroom instruction and getting into our routine this past Thursday which I was really excited about! I teach them math, phonics, reading, writing, and science. I also do a weekly art class and Bible class with them. A different teacher comes to teach Spanish once or twice a day and Social Studies twice a week. As a group, PreK to 2nd grade, we have a general devotional and P.E. once a week as well.
Some of the teenagers who didn´t have the experience of English immersion school during elementary school are interested in learning English so Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30, I teach them English.
I am really enjoying what I am doing, even though it is very challenging! I look forward to seeing more progress in my students and seeing them grow in following instructions, learning about appropriate classroom behaviors, and starting to learn English.
Picture a classroom. What do you envision? Are there desks arranged in neat rows? Is there a chalkboard or smart board on the front wall? Maybe you picture the students rushing down the hallways lined with lockers as they make their way from class to class. When we visualize a teacher we may think of these typical elements. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and although they may not be in a common classroom, many of your SAMS Missionaries are teachers! Take a look at some of your SAMS Missionaries using their teaching skills in the mission field:
April Sylvester is a mentor for students who are in a gap year program in Zambia. April teaches a variety of subjects including swimming, yoga, photography, and computer skills.
Veronica Flowers is the headmistress of Holy Trinity bilingual school in La Ceiba, Honduras. She is engaged in bringing a wholistic Christian education to the children in the area.
Johann and Louise Vanderbijl serve in the province of Southern Africa where they are teaching disciples to make disciples through a series of trainings. Thus far they have trained over 400 people!
Janine LeGrand teaches people in the Diocese of Masindi-Kitara in Uganda and the surrounding rural area about health and nutrition. Here she teaches a group how to make a nutritious dish that includes the moringa plant.
For the last five years Drs. Brian and Judith Taylor taught health education to those in the rural areas of Myanmar. Because of their teaching, one student was able to properly diagnose his neighbor with early symptoms of leprosy, and in result was able to get him the proper care.
These are just a few SAMS Missionaries that teach in the mission field. You can meet more here! Whether it is through swimming, spelling, discipleship making, or nutrition, your SAMS Missionaries seek to bring the transforming love of Jesus Christ to all the students they educate. Maybe take the time to tell your SAMS Missionary that you appreciate what they do as educators. Leave a comment, or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org (e.g. email@example.com).
Are you a teacher? If so, know you are appreciated and the Lord has given you an important gift so that you may be an influence in someone’s life. How are you bringing the love of Christ to others you teach? Maybe you have not considered using your teaching skills in the mission field. Ask the Lord how you can use your gift whether it is at home or abroad.
Discover more about becoming a SAMS missionary here.
Featured image: Louise Vanderbijl teaching the Mother’s Union sewing skills in Gambella, Ethiopia.
“Come with me and I will make you fishers of men” and at once they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:17-18
At the Women’s Center in the Diocese of Toliara, Madagascar
Needlecraft, embroidery, crochet, and culinary arts are fulfilling hobbies for many of us. To women in Southwest Madagascar, skills gained in these crafts enable them to launch small businesses and lift their families out of poverty. God is using SAMS missionary Jacky Lowe to provide them the training that makes these transformations possible. Jacky first served in Madagascar as a Bridger. She was called to serve after hearing SAMS Missionary Rev. Patsy Mcgregor speak at the Diocesan conference in Flordia. Now, she will return there this March to serve long-term.
Jacky will train women in these crafts in the Diocese of Toliara. When she was first there she says of her time, “For five weeks I lived in community with people who have nothing and are full of joy. I hope to carry that joy with me every day.” Now, carrying out that Joy, she prepares to return.
Teacher and students give what they have – knowledge and joy, willingness to work cross-culturally in community – and grow what they have established. Workshop students “go back to their parishes and teach the women there,” Jacky says.
Since last summer, new crafts are being taught. One, in particular, is bead and jewelry making. One young mother is able to take care of her child with the money she earns from making the beads.
Jacky (left) with Rev. Patsy McGregor
“A committee of women in Toliara, with SAMS Missionary Patsy McGregor’s help, sets standards and prices paid to women,” Jacky adds. “We hope, with time, that women throughout the diocese of Toliara will be able to develop work and leadership skills to provide for their families.” As she prepares to leave very soon, you can visit her SAMS page and consider praying and supporting her.
“Join us in a journey of hope, to empower the women and children of Madagascar to overcome poverty through education and the love of Jesus Christ.”
A delay is not always bad.
It has been approximately two weeks since my return to Honduras. With it has come many emotions: joy with returning to familiar faces and places, peace with my decision to return, mild concern about readjusting to the heat and humidity, and wonderment at the welcome I received from some of my previous students.
The first few days seemed “action packed”. My luggage was delayed until the next day, but thankfully it arrived safely and intact. Friday 18-Aug-2017 was the day of the tornado in Tela. I had returned home from school and sprawled haphazardly across the bed, as I replayed the day’s activities. I planned to stroll across to a nearby location to view the sunset and unwind after a hectic day, but for some unknown reason, I just could not readily spring up and bound out of the door as planned. Instead, I flowed into quiet thanksgiving and praise to God about my perception of blessings and favor that had unfolded for me in the recent days. I made a phone call to share my joy, and at the conclusion stated: “I’m going to head out now and view the sunset”.
I never got up… Instead, I was immediately startled by a sudden, large shadow moving rapidly across the window! I turned and realized that within an instant the sun had retreated and it was dusk outside – no gradual growing dark… instantly dusk. As I tried to process what I was witnessing through the window, my mind registered the sound of zinc sheets (from a roof) whirling outside and the simultaneous sound of what seemed to be a truck nearby or a distant train. A train? That sound was not right for this location – there were no trains! My immediate thought was to get on the floor, but before my muscles could even respond… as quickly as it started, the noise and swirling subsided.
I soon discovered it was a small tornado. However, the pictures made me sit upright and ushered me into more thanksgiving. Even though structural damage seemed minimal, I would have been sauntering down this very road, passing this very junction on my way to view the sunset if my original plan had unfolded. Taking a “praise break” – offering praise and thanksgiving to God had delayed “my plan” and kept me within the safe confines of my home. For that, I offered even more praise and thanksgiving. Indeed, a delay is not always bad!
Mission: Empower the next generation through mentorship, discipleship, and education, to reach their maximum potential and lift themselves out of poverty.
Solution: 1. Encourage Spiritual growth by instilling Christian values and morals through spiritual retreats and outreach activities within the community. 2. Impart life skills and multicultural sensitivity, through bilingual education.
Next steps: 1. Build a team of prayer and financial partners 2. Return to the Honduran team for 2017-2018 year.