A Whole New Ballgame

Well, as many of you know, I am now the 9th grade teacher at NSMS. The school has been open for 50 years in January and never had a high school associated with the school. (There have been other co-op groups in the past)

So my three students and I are the guinea pigs in this adventure. So far I am absolutely loving teaching and working with the 9th graders. (See pictures of the class and the room below.)

I wanted to share a little about what my favorite part of teaching the older grades has been. At NSMS, the students have Bible class everyday. For ninth grade, we are doing a Bible course through Summit Ministries called Understanding the Times. It is a really challenging course, but we are all learning a ton.

One day last week, we were talking about study versus just reading the Bible. We began to discuss how important it is to really dig into the scripture and know what we believe, so that we can be good ambassadors for Christ. I asked the students to list one way they could apply what we had been talking and learning about to their lives now. The ideas the students came up with were really cool and insightful. One of the students mentioned that they would start  read an entire book of the Bible at once at least once a month so that they could see how all of the verses fit together. Another student mentioned that they realized they needed to study the Bible during their devotional time rather than just reading randomly. These conversations have been so encouraging to see these young teenagers desire to grow in their faith even when it requires more work.

Praise: Many of you have heard me talk about the long process of getting my Ecuadorian visa renewed. I was able to get the visa renewed, and two cool things happened.

1) It is a law that only you or your immediate family member can pick up your passport after the office is finished with it. The lawyer called on Tuesday to tell me that my visa and passport were ready to go. The problem was that I live at least 5 hours from Quito, and school is in session. I really didn't want to miss a day and a half to go and pick up the passport. The lawyer said that he would call me back the next day. On Thursday, the lawyer called back and said that he was able to pick up the passport and he would take it to the Reach Beyond offices in Quito. My friend was able to bring me the passport on Monday! I didn't have to miss any school.

2) The visas used to be good for only one year. That would mean that I would have to do the long process every August. My visa was just renewed for 2 years!

Prayer Requests:
1) There has been a good amount of unrest in Ecuador in the last few weeks.
         a) There was some transportation strikes and many roads were closed including the main road that we use to get out of Shell and back to Quito. The other  road had too many major mud slides and so the government closed the road for safety issues. When both of these roads are closed, we have no way of getting to Quito (and the airport) in cases of emergency.
        b) You have probably read or seen on the news about the active volcano. This volcano, although not near me, is very near to Quito, and so this has added to the travel difficulties.
2) Pray for me as I mentor the students in my class.
3) Another missionary friend and I are in the process of starting a girls' Bible study for girls 4th and up.

My class and I on the couch in the classroom.

Notice the 3 large desks. Each of the students gets their own "teacher-size" desk. Its the little things that make such a difference!

This is my teacher area. You might be able to see how all of the baskets are labeled so neatly :)

You might not be able to read the sign in the middle of the bulletin board. It reads "then sings my soul." The students and I are working on being thankful. We post sticky notes on the board thanking God for his many blessings.
If you are still reading, I thought you might be interested in checking out the new school website. www.natesaintmemorialschool.org

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