Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pleading eyes time of year!


I hate this time of year!  This is the time of year when all the students that passed their 8th grade test get calling letters for high school.  If you score high enough on your test, you can go to high school -If YOU CAN COME UP WITH THE MONEY!  So, students come to me and my teammates from rural Turkana asking us to sponsor them to school.  It takes around $550 per student to pay boarding, tuition and buy the supplies they need for school.

They have such pleading eyes!  I only have so much money.  How do I choose?  It is so hard to turn some away.  I believe in education.  I believe the more educated the Turkana people get, the less they will be considered second class citizens in their own country.  I know most of them cannot come up with even a small portion of what they need.  Even so, I cannot support them all.  So, that is why I hate this time of year.  

So far, I have four high school students in upper grades - one is supported by one of my supporters.  They started early this month.  The freshmen will start school anywhere from the 1st of Feb to the 15th.  I have told one student I will help him with everything as he is an orphan, I have known him for several years and he is a good student.  I have given two students a little over half their school fees but they have to come up with the other portion and the boarding requirements (about $300 each for them to find).  I told one I would help her some if she can find other help.  Her grades are not that good, but I know her uncle who came pleading her cause.  I have had to turn away four.  I know there are more coming as we get closer to the 5th when many of them are required to report for school.  I hate this time of year.  

Where would you be if you hadn't had the opportunity to go to high school?  What if you did have the opportunity, but your family and friends could not come up with the funds to send you?  You also might have had pleading eyes.  I don't have deep pockets, but I do what I can to help.  I know God sees and I know he is with even those who are unable to go to school.  It is just hard on this side of the pleading eyes!  Praise the Lord for those I am able to help!  Praise the Lord for your own education!  Praise the Lord because He is God!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

English review week


How do you get English language learners to speak more English? You
play games. This past week, I spent the whole week with my students
reviewing their first eight lessons. To do that, we played games.
They had a great time and it was a non-threatening way for them to use
the English that they had learned.

We played about five different board games. We used soda bottle caps
as markers and shillings as the dice. They got to move one or two
spaces depending on what side of the coin the shilling landed on.
They had never "flipped" coins. So, it was fun watching these grown
men flipping coins for the first time. We also played some "gap
games" with pictures of items in a house. They had to tell a partner
where to put the item on the board using those hard prepositions - in,
on, next to, under, above and between. They had fun with this game too.

Matching question with the correct answer was turned into a game as
well. Half the class got answers and went to various places around
the yard. Those with questions had to go to each station, ask the
question, receive the answer and decide if the answer matched the
question. If not, then they kept going on to the next station. The
students also had to describe everything in a magazine picture -
including furniture, people, food and colors. This became fun and a
learning experience as they found things like lobsters to eat and
crowns on people's heads.

This was also the first time that we did a small Bible study in
class. I had given them John 1:1-4 to memorize. Memory verses are
still hard for them as they do not have someone there all the time to
tell them the correct pronunciation of words. So, not all of them had
memorized it, but they had read it a few times. So, we talked about
the significance of Word becoming He. How that is unusual in English
and what it means. They really enjoyed this part of our lesson as well.

So, all in all, it was a good week for learning English. We also got
rain on Saturday morning. Praise the Lord!! We really need the
rain. This early morning rain was a nice soft one, but long enough
that the ground was still damp at noon. I hope all is well with you

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy New Year!


The year has started out very well! We got rain in Turkana. On January 1 it rained for 10 hours straight. Praise the Lord for his blessing of rain on this very dry land! The rain did cause a slight delay in my return home. I ended up making it home on the 6h. The road was pretty good considering all the rain we had. There were a couple of places where the road was washed out, but new ways had been made for vehicles to pass. We expected it to be harder to get home, but it was a typical 8 hour drive - to go about 200 miles.

Once I arrived home, I spent the rest of last week getting kids' uniforms and other necessary items for school. I now have 10 kids that go to a local private elementary school. I have been able to help them go to this school through the help of my friends and supporters. They have taken up the challenge of sponsoring a student so they can have a better education. Two of the smallest students have been sick this week. Both 4 year old boys have malaria and seasonal colds. Yes, this is the season for colds and pneumonia because of the dust storms common at this time of year. It is typically around 105 and dusty during Dec. to Feb. So, keep these small ones in your prayers.

This week I have been working on my next English class. It will be next week. This will be a week of review. I have taken as my theme for the week the saying of John the Baptist - just tweaked for my purposes. "They must increase (speaking) and I must decrease (speaking)." I hope to get them talking more as they play games to review the lessons from last year. It has been a long break, so I am expecting them to have forgotten some of what they have learned. Hopefully, this will be a fun and non-threatening way for them to recall what they have forgotten and to use it!

Right after my English class, many of my students will stay in town for another meeting. Some former CMF missionaries will be meeting with church leaders for prayer and reconciliation. Please pray that these meetings go well. There are several issues that will be discussed, so pray for open minds and tender hearts ready to listen to God's Holy Spirit.

I hope all is going well for all of you! Pray for the many in Haiti who are grieving and have lost their homes and livelihoods. Thanks also for your prayers for my ministry! Blessings to you all!