Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mexican Independence

Juan Jose and I

This picture is from our Mexican Independence Day celebration. All of the students made awesome tissue paper art and they were hung all through out the chow hall with many colors and designs. Fun day full of water games and a skit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Los NiƱos

Written Sept. 24, 2012

Hey all!

What is God doing in your lives?! I really would love to know, the past few days I have had the chance to just sit and listen to people talk. They talked about their struggles, pain, miracles, and just how awesome God is and how they are seeing Him move. Anything you need prayer for?

 I realized I have not yet talked about my class or anything that has been happening here! Sorry about that!
Well let me tell you about today, today was an joyful day. This day that God made was hot (fall has not not not not started here in the Guadalupe Valley) and exhausting but so much to be thankful for! Started off the day in my class room at 6:45 am to prepare for class. In chapel we talked about the 5th day of creation the birds and sea animals so we colored a scene of many fun animals. Then all the papers I put onto the window to decorate the class room, I think they really enjoyed seeing their work on display.
So far in each school day we do chapel, basic skills, bath room break, calendar, playing, math, signing, more playing and in a few weeks we will do science/ art fun.
I have noticed that I plan a lot and most does not get done in one class time... we'll see how it goes as the year moves on.
I wish I could remember everything the kids do in each day, some of the things make you laugh and gag. With everything they bring me so much joy.

More about my kiddos!
In my class, the Kindergarten, we've got Yahir, Milagros, Juan Jose, Antonio, Alexis, Isabel, Leticia, and Ruben! Count them, thats eight... eight crazies! Alexis, Isabel, and Leticia are siblings that God brought here from a state in Mexico ( I think) called Queretaro. The sweetest kids that love each other and are happy despite the difficult life they have. They flew here with their mom and another awesome woman whose name is Marisela (that will be here with the kids this whole year) September 1st. Their mom was here until the 18th of September just to make sure all was fine. Marisela is staying here all year because God has shown here that she is to start another school where she lives... Queretaro. She is learning how to communicate with Mexican Sign Language, how to teach, dorm life and so much more. Then in June she is going back and going to apply what she has learned and make changes necessary for that environment and specifically what God has in mind for that state. Marisela and I sit together in the chow hall . She is now also a Spanish teacher haha... and a great person to talk to with great wisdom and Gods love flowing out. Leticia is 17 years old, Isabel is 14 years old, and Alexis is 6 years old. Leticia and Isabel are with Katie in the girls dorm and Alexis is living in Everett household this year because the dorm would be too crazy for the little guy. Ruben is a new student also this year, he is one of the older students in the class but is such a big help with the little guys. Antonio was actually here 2 years ago but did not return last year... then randomly showed up here ready to learn! The other three: Yahir, Milagros, and Juan Jose are returning kids that God has brought back for another year! Praise God for knowing us and loving us specifically.
Ill post pictures of all the kids soon!

If you could keep me in your prayers it would mean so much and really it truly makes a difference... pray for us to have His Kingdom at Rancho Sordo Mudo, the only thing that matters- to reflect Jesus and give the glory to our God in everything this is not our home this is not forever! 
Also prayer that all my financial support comes in for the year. Thanks to all of you that have joined in what our Creator is doing in Mexico with the Deaf.
Are you interested in the same things that God is interested in?
"Behold, I will do a new thing, 
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Waves and the Sea

" I will not die I will live & I will tell all the works of the Lord. I will not die I will live cause He's a great God."

     Saturday (yesterday) was my free day along with all of the teachers here at Rancho Sordo Mudo. Alisha, Olivia, Jason,Christopher and I we going to go to Tijuana to feed specific people that need food. The trip there got canceled but Alisha, Olivia, and I still wanted to go to the beach and have a fun day. So Saturday morning we got ready to go and at the last minute I invited Jason, he decided that he wanted to join. Alisha drove her car and we all followed in my car. We stopped at a beautiful place between Ensenada and Rosarito to eat brunch. Sitting we overlooked the beautiful beach break and people having a great day in the water and on the sand.  When we finished eating and found a way to the beach walking down these awesome stairs which ended right on the hot sand. Walking out on the hot sand I was ready to jump in... we all (except Jason) forgot bathing suits. Our feet went into the cold water right away and all of us knew we needed to get in.  So warm, so clear, and so beautiful! God had blessed us with this break from school to enjoy Him, to enjoy His creation. He blessed me with my favorite get away, giving me a little bit of home.
    Alisha decided to sit and read with our things while I swam then we would switch and she would have a chance to swim. I ran and splashed into the waves, knowing my clothes would have to dry later but it would be worth it! The waves were decent size, we dove under them to go out  more and more while laughing and having fun.
   I can not even remember how it started but at the point I knew what was happening I looked  at Olivia and told her we gotta get out. We were stuck in a strong rip tide.
   I have grown up swimming, I love the water especially oceans and pools. I've also grown up not having a pool so the beach was our place as a family. The only bad experience for our family that I have heard of at the beach happened on the sand. When my older sister was little she ended up far down the beach.  This feeling was like nothing I have ever felt, the feeling of pure panic. Remember, we had clothes on not just a bathing suit... Olivia was wearing shorts and a t shirt and I had on skinny jeans and a shirt both very difficult to swim in.
   Waves kept forming then crashing down hard. I started to pray... well more like calling out to God. The water was up to my ears and at times only the front of my face could get up for air (when my hair was not blocking my nose or lips).  Again and again I took in the salt water. It felt as if the water was pouring into me with a hose nonstop and clogging me up. With all that was within me I tried continue swimming. I don't remember ever stopping my prayers they just kept coming and so did the waves. At one point I remember thinking I cant do this anymore I cant go anymore I really cant breathe anymore. My body was not getting enough oxygen. My body felt like some serious jello. Then I looked back and this massive wave formed I let go stopped swimming and it crashed pushing me out of the deep. I let Him push me, I let Him help me. God was in the waves. Still very deep I got a glimpse of who was in front of me I saw Jason in more shallow waters looking at me. I remember he was shouting to me. I think he was asking if we needed help, all I could do was put my hand above the water and sign yes! Jason was trying to swim out to me, it felt like forever that we were out in the water.  Before Jason got to me I was thinking wow I am going to die out here? I looked around and could not see Olivia anywhere then her head popped up from the wave and she was defiantly struggling also and I could hear her crying out. Then something in me fought ... out loud I said " NO, I will not die here in this ocean". I kept thinking I know this is NOT the plan God has for me, I know it! And I remember I was kind of making noises... like sobs. Then Jason got to me and helped guide me telling me to swim parallel. At that point it had been a while we were stuck out there and I was exhausted so it really was the perfect time that he came. I felt like all I was doing was trying to stay about water and not sink. We saw some boogie boarders and yelled out "help" when ever I came up from a crashed wave I yelled out. One guy came over seeing that we needed help and gave Olivia his boogie board and took her to shore. I remember clinging on so tight and not wanting to let go of Jason... at one point a giant wave came and slammed me around and around and I came up. It seriously felt impossible and I knew God would get us out but I was just so tried. My clothes felt like giant weights and I was thinking "get them off!" because they were holding me down... modesty at that point  was not important compared to life. But ha I did not have to because over and over giant waves pushed us closer to the shore. I knew it was God, only God that saved us. No coincidence. In my head the words "You came to my rescue" played non stop. We got to the shore and I just fell down in shock, crying to God.
    I felt like I was put in a washing machine for a long time and spit out dizzy and shaken up. Lots of burping up salt water, it was coming out my body did not want it any longer! After that we didn't talk for a few minutes. Alisha did not realize what had happened until Jason ran up to her and told her. Then she ran back up the stairs to the restaurant to get waters for all of us. We sat and lay there in the sand, our bodies weak.

I kept thinking about all that I was thinking while in the water... one of my thoughts was of my brother, Landon, who is a swimmer and a life guard. At that point in the water I realized here in Mexico they dont have any life guards. I think that was when I got strength and new hope. Knowing that our God, Yahweh is our life guard. He is our Protector, our Healer, and our Strength.  Just let go and let God take control.  He has us and is not finished with us. He has a plan for each of our lives that is bigger than what we can see.  There on the sand I started to weep.

Still shaken up we talked and we waited an hour or so before we headed home. Our drive home was interesting (remember we live in Mexico), we all couldn't wait to get back home. Last night I went to sleep around 8:30 thanking God for life.

This whole experience reminded me the constant real battle everyday. Satan is trying to pull us down and under daily everything awful. And if we allow God, He can take control to help us, guide us, lead us to safety. He is waiting for us to surrender all. He is on our side. He loves us and wants to use us. We need to constantly wake up and see Him on our side fighting for us.

Thank you Jesus for life, eternal life that you have given to those that love you.

Psalm 145:18-21
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Get real

I do not know what the heck I am doing.
I thought this year would be better, that it would go more smoothly... with the experience from the class last year. " I know what to expect"... boy I was wrong! This is a completely different class, completely different kids, & completely different needs. I don't know what I am doing.

James 1: 2 & 3
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Joy with a child that does not want to be in the same room as me.
Joy when 3 different kids are screaming out and screaming out and screaming out
Joy when dealing with a child for bad behavior 
Joy when my brain is done and my head is spinning trying to learn two languages at one time & spinning with everything I have to still do
Joy when all I want to do is sleep. 
I refuse to see these "problems" & "issues' as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

Oh let me tell you I am feeling the trials.  I am completely thrown off teaching the Pre- K/ Kindergarten class.  I love them, but its just so difficult! This is not not not easy! I have to remember its only been three days it could get better. Even though it is exhausting and sometimes frustrating I love it. I know this is exactly where God wants me and is growing me. These challenges only make me want to push harder.  Everyday is new with an adventure waiting. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

-Could you pray for me that I am resting in Him. Pray for my mind to be clear, alert, and
constantly living in His Presence where I truly belong. I've been praying that God would work miracles in me as I am learning also the Spanish language... it is pretty difficult for me ,but I want it more than ever before.
-Also for the kids here and especially in my class. That their minds would open up and they would have an understanding of knowledge when communicating and learning and a knowledge of God and His love and goodness. And not just head knowledge but that it sinks into their souls. 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cinder block walls

 Wow, this week has been a busy and  hard working week, a lot has been accomplished in just a few days! To accomplish so much, here at Rancho Sordo Mudo this week we have had the opportunity to work with people from Missouri starting an awesome project. The group of about 14 arrived on Saturday Night and are leaving early this morning.  The week flew by!

The end goal for this new project is to tear down the two (very old) class rooms then build two new ones with new walls, flooring, and electrical. The old class room walls were made with cinder block... not ideal for the class rooms. So Monday morning Amber and I helped the group with the process because they are/will be both of our class rooms eventually. Amber, her class, and all of her things are moved down to Refugio/the gym where she will teach this year. I am in the old 4th level class room where Erin taught last year. I am only in here for 5-6 months. In 5-6 months the first class room will hopefully be finished. When it is all finished I will move in and it will be the Kindergarten room! When that room is finished they will start the same process on the room I am in now. When they finish the room I am in now (maybe the summer or next year?) Amber will move in and it will be her 4th level class. So with the group on Monday we had to move out everything from the old Kindergarten class and put it outside on the grass. My job was to decide what I wanted to keep in the for my class room or put in the distribution center. Amber had to do the same with the other class, everything she wanted the group helped her bring it down to Refugio/the gym for her class. By Tuesday we had everything in our temporary class rooms but boy it was a mess! Our directors said everything outside of our class rooms needed to be clean by Friday for when the parents come to bring their kids, the students. So finally yesterday (Friday) I got my class room organized.It is starting to look like a class room. I have to say though, it is difficult trying to get posters on the cinder block walls... they do not want to stick!

I am ready for school to start! Well I want it to start but I am not sure how ready I am in teaching... that part is still a bit tricky. This year for sure feels better already knowing more of what to expect, more than last year when I was completely clueless! I could have between 3-8 students this year.


PRAYER! Please.
for this year
for the new students
for the returning students
for the parents
for my hands to bring God glory and  for the kids to clearly understand what I am trying to communicate
for their minds to open up and absorb & want to learn
for the kids to know Jesus & know the love of God