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Deaf Church (pictures)
Beverly (who does ministry to the deaf in rural areas, teaches the sign class Mikayla and I attend every other Monday, and is now our tenant) invited us to the Deaf Church Sunday school one week. Normally, the church (New Life) has worship (signing their own songs) and a message, but the second Sunday of the month, they break up into different bible study groups. Beverly brings the deaf girl, Karen, who we think is 21 years old, from Zion’s Gate Ministries. There is also a school there, Happy Hands.
The day we went, they were also celebrating Dia del Niño (Children’s Day) and praying over a new couple that would be part of the leadership team. The service was so peaceful. No one was distracted when we walked in, when Beverly translated for us (from the signing), or by the active children. Mikayla and I were able to pick up quite a few words and even signed our names for the bible study class. We realized how hard it is to teach someone abstract concepts through sign. God, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit, 3 in 1, was complicated. Imagine if someone had to teach you about the trinity and you had never heard of it?
Did you know that most children born to two deaf parents or one deaf and one hearing parent, will be hearing?
Cultural Adjustment Talk (pictures)
I had no sooner attended the ‘talks’ (Transition and Cultural Adjustment) when missionaries were asking for the information and classes. I began to post survey questions of the best day of the week and times missionaries were available to meet.
Tony, of Zion’s Gate Ministries, asked me to present Cultural Adjustment for the 57 short term missionaries on his property (AIM Immersions – here for 3 months). Three full-time missionaries were also there. They were learning and helping me with examples (but only examples of what they had learned to appreciate in the culture, not the frustrations!).
Independence Day (pictures)
We have been in Santa Lucia 2 ½ years, but had always gone to the Independence Day parade in Valley of Angels because of my connection with the kids I taught at Nashville School. We would have to get up early and drive 25 minutes to Valley to get a parking spot before the road was full of parade participants. We also would meet up with missionary friends for lunch in town. With the kids in the school changing over the years and our friends no longer living in Valley, we needed a change.
This year, we decided to stay home and watch the Santa Lucia parade. We were told it passed right in front of our house, so this was very convenient! We watched people gather for an hour or so and then when we heard the bands and saw the movement, we went right outside our front gate. With our tea, coffee, and chocolate milk in hand(s), we tried to get some pictures. Honduran parades are a little different. You don’t find a spot to watch the parade. Parents and family members follow their child in the parade, so there is a constant flow of people walking down the road (even cutting across the road) during the parade!
Some people said ‘hi’ to us and others just stared.
Transition Talk (pictures)
I set a Transition Talk for new missionaries (here a year or less), however it interested many others either because they were currently going through a ministry/job transition and/or part of their ministry is also helping new missionaries. The first meeting was held in a hotel lobby (for 7 missionaries). Missionaries were able to compare last year’s roles, responsibilities and relationships to this year; locate where they are on the transition chart (social status, social posture, and psychological experience); and identify if they left their last location or job/ministry well.
It was amazing that this material is used with many foreign exchange students as well as foreign governmental and non-profit organizations. I can see how it would benefit even a family moving to a new state, or help children who change schools or go off to college.
Many missionaries were relieved to know what they are going through and what they are feeling is normal, but they were also challenged to move forward to transition, entering, and re-involvement. It’s amazing how you can face the world again once you know that nothing is wrong with you, what you are feeling is completely normal.
Teacher Training (pictures)
A year ago, I attended Project Honduras which is a conference held every year for non-profit ministries in the country. I made some connections and ‘offered’ Kjell’s teacher trainings for free. Just a few months ago, someone actually contacted him for one of the trainings. Kjell decided to take the bus so he did not have to think about driving (and it was probably cheaper too considering gas prices). I dropped him off on Friday, he had the training on Saturday, and I picked him up on Sunday.
Kjell presented a full day (6 hour) workshop for teachers entitled “Creating Student Growth” which highlighted educational concepts such as prior knowledge, intake modes, and learning styles. The 40 teachers were a mix of English- and Spanish-speakers, and the majority were not trained teachers, but participants in a teach-abroad program. The weather in Cofradia, just outside San Pedro Sula, was swelteringly hot, but the mountains were beautiful.
When we lived in Zambrano, we attended 3 quinceañeras in a matter of a year and a half. A quinceañera is a 15th birthday party where a girl goes from being a child to an adult. The ceremonies vary – from as fancy as a wedding (with a type of bridesmaid with groomsmen with matching dresses and cummerbunds) to something simple in the home. Most of the traditions include a ceremony (message), the tiara, and cake. We have adapted it to: an hour of games (due to the nature of people showing up an hour later), having Jeremiah walk his sister down the ‘aisle’ at our home (which has the furniture removed and borrowed chairs set up); Kjell giving a message, daughter giving her testimony; me placing the tiara on daughter’s head; a toast; father/daughter dance; fun dances; eating American sandwiches, hors d'eouvres, and chips; more games; and cupcakes (claro qu si – of course!).
Mikayla’s theme was ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ We had a combination of school friends and youth group (church) friends. To enter Wonderland, friends had to shoot a dart at a target which was posted on a large cardboard cutout of a tree (to fall down the rabbit hole); stop at the doorknob (to pick up a key and their name spelled backwards on a name tag); and play croquet. Anyone that called someone by their real name, had their key taken away. It started to rain, so Kjell had another game for them on the porch – cotton ball run: move 3 cotton balls from one place to another using a spoon. Kjell preached on ‘Real Joy’ which included some great church bulletin mess-ups as well as cheesy pick up lines that created great laughs. Then he explained the difference between happiness and joy.
Mikayla’s testimony was on religion verses relationship. For our fun after-dinner game, besides silly dances such as the Hokey Pokey and Chicken Dance, we played a live checker game. We made the floor the board and the guests were the pieces as Alice (Mikayla) played against the Queen of Hearts (Katarina). Since it was not actually Mikayla’s birthday day, we played ‘Happy UnBirthday’ before we sang Happy Birthday. Many of the kids thanked us for the party, some said our parties are the best, and others said it was the best party they had ever been too! EVER? Yup. May they see that God is not dead; He is alive and FUN!
Answer the Call Ministries
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