Sunday, August 25, 2019

School is a learning process, even for teachers.

Something I have learned about school, is that I have not learned everything there is to know about school. Why? because each year gives me something new to deal with. Each class has different abilities, and each student in that class has different abilities. All these challenges must be met using different techniques. For instance, I have a student who can spell orally, but not on paper. I have students who speak English fluently and others who can barely understand me. Learning to tweak the way I teach or test a student is not easy. Tweaking the schedule to make sure the students get the knowledge they need in each subject can be be stressful, but I am learning and growing through each test. One thing I can say for my students is that they are pretty obedient which helps with keeping the class moving through the day with very few hiccups.

I have been teaching on salvation over the first couple weeks, and I have taught about three missionaries. Each week, I ask questions to the students about the missionaries and about the sermons which have been preached in chapel. I teach the students Bible verses to song. So far they have learned 1 John 5:13, Romans 3:10, 23. They have also learned to quote three other verses which are set up by alphabet letter, Isaiah 53:6, Revelation 3:20, Jeremiah 33:3. By the middle or end of September, they will know all of the Roman's Road. Each week we cover a character trait, and a quote. Since we studied Jim Elliot last week, I will be putting his quote on the board. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Please pray for my students. Only three raised their hands that they were sure of their salvation. I hope to have time in the next couple of weeks to talk with each one individually about salvation.

Today we said goodby to Pastor Martinez's sons, Luis and Jose. They are attending Hyles-Anderson College. This is year two for Luis and freshmen year for Jose. Please pray for them. They both have a heart for Puerto Rico. Pray also for the Martinez family and the ministry because these two will leave some big holes in the deaf ministry and teen ministry.

Please pray for Puerto Rico this week. I have been told there is a hurricane brewing which could affect us this week. If it does, it could mean a delayed return for the Martinez family, and missed days of school as well as other worries. I'm not real excited about expierencing a hurricane down here. :-)

We had a good crowd in church today. I didn't get a count, but the auditorium was full. One visitor trusted Christ, and we had four or five other visitors. Please pray for the ministry that it will continue to grow. Pray also for the building which is still under construction. Over $40,000 is still needed to finish this phase. If you would like to help, please contact me or send any gifts to Pastor Martinez PO Box 215 Ceiba, PR 00735. Label the gift for reconstruction.

Please keep my family in prayer as several of my siblings are dealing with financial and health difficulties. Please pray as I continue to make plans for my England and Europe trips next year. I need to find good ticket prices for flights.

Monday, August 19, 2019

School-Late nights, Early mornings

A full week of school has passed, and I can tell. This week has been a busy one with trying to structure my 5th and 6th graders so they get the most out of each class. It isn't always easy to make sure there is enough work for the fast learning students and yet teach slowly for the  ones who struggle with English...

I am tutoring three students three days a week in spoken English and reading comprehension in English. I used to hate stundying English in high school and college, but now it is actually my favorite subject to teach.

This week, I began working in the after school care program. Some of the kids are here until 5-5:15 and trying to keep the littlest ones occupied after they finish their work isn't always easy. Thankfully, someone invented playdoh, coloring books, and bubbles.

Sunday, was a good day in church with almost 50 in the service. I had one little girl in Sunday school, and God must have meant it to be that way. I have been teaching through the Wordless Book, and had already passed baptism and growing Christ. This little girl wasn't in church that week, so I taught it to her this week. I asked if her if she ever remembered asking Jesus to be her Saviour. She said yes, and described where it happened and how. I then asked her if she had been baptized, and she said no. I told her that if she wanted, I could talk to the pastor and schedule a time for her to be baptized so that her family could come see her. She told that would be ok. Please pray that her baptism can be a tool to bring people under the sound of the Gospel who may never hear it otherwise.

Please pray that I will stay healthy, get rest, be prepared, and help my students to learn to the best of their abilities.

I have many missionary friends, pastors wives, and other friends going through difficult health situations. Please pray that God will heal them.

Monday, August 12, 2019

School Daze!

School started last Wednesday. I must say I have felt a bit overwhelmed with finding the right schedule for my 5th and 6th graders, and making sure everyone has work until the books arrive for new students. I am hoping things will settle in this week. I have a good class, and some of the students were in my second grade class when I taught before. I am happy to see them still in  Christian school.

The building project for the school lunch room, which was destroyed in hurricane Maria, is coming along quickly. I am amazed at all that has been accomplished since I came. Please pray that the funds will come in to cover the cost, which is $56,000 for just the building. This doesn't include doors, windows...

We had exciting news today. The license for an orphanage came today! I do not know what all this will entail for me, but I am excited to see what God will allow me to do and learn. We are allowed up to six children right now. There are many kids in need of a home especially since the hurricane.

Please continue to pray for the political situation here. A very conservative man was turned down as governor by the judges, and a woman was chosen instead. The political situation hasn't been good here for a long time, and the recent events only scratch the surface. Please pray that God will work in the lives of the politicians and that they will begin making good decisions which will help the people of Puerto Rico.

Probably half of the people use welfare, even young healthy men, and most families have been split with many of them now single parent homes. The need for more churches and good Christian schools is great for such a small island. The need for teachers and helpers is also great. While I am here, I will be teaching the junior age kids in Sunday school. Please pray that we can get more kids into church so that their families will come too.

Pray for the Martinez family as their two sons will be going to college in the States. This will leave a hole in the teen department and the deaf ministry. Pray that God will send more laborers to help in this work.

Please pray for my family. My nephew, Uriah, had eye surgery. Several of my siblings are dealing with some tough situations and decisions, and all are involved in ministries of some sort. Please pray for me that I will have strength, knowledge, wisdom, and compassion for my students. (Please do not pray that I have patience; that usually brings testing. :-) )

The most recent picture is the first one. August 8. The last picture is from July 15.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A week is gone!

How time does fly when you're having fun or when you're busy. My first week since returning to Puerto Rico was spent visiting the beach, shopping, and setting up my room. Yesterday, I painted two small rooms in the school, and today began the teacher's work days to prepare the classrooms for the start of school next week.Today, I got a lot of things organized. tomorrow, I will put up my bulletin board, finish getting the students books, tests... organized, and then I will begin the task of preparing lesson plans. I am excited to be teaching 5th and 6th grade. Some of the students I taught before will be in my class.

This past Sunday, we had friend day at church with over 100 people in attendance. I was able to play the piano and sing a special for the second service. I also taught the children's class, and one girl raised her hand for salvation, but she did not want to talk to me about it. I let the pastor know so he could talk with her family.

We have had heavy rains all this week which caused some flash floods. I did not mind it too much because when the rain would slow down, the Coqui frogs would come out and start singing. Today, some Greater Antillian Grackles were chirping away and chasing each other all around the yard. They too were happy the rain had stopped. Tonight, when we returned from shopping, I saw six giant toads who had come out to enjoy the dry night. This link has many of the Coqui frog sounds recorded.

 First Baptist Church in Hammond Indiana, which I attended for eight years while in college, took me on for support this month. It is a blessing to see God continue to provide for me to continue to go to more places to be a blessing to more people.  Five churches now support me. Thank you for partnering with me as I gain fruit to your accounts.

Please pray for me that I will be prepared for the start of school. Please pray for my students that any who are not saved will trust Christ by the end of the year. Please pray for several people I know who are going through some tough situations.