Friday, August 30, 2013

Off to see the Wizard!

Chelsea will need to have a "special teacher's license"  and  volunteer work permit to interpret at St. Peter's and extend her one month VISA.  To that end we are trying to obtain all of the necessary papers, signatures, photos, document copies, letters, and the police check. It feels like a lot of hurdles with the threat that when we present it all to the "Wizard" and powers that be in the Office of Labor and the Ministry of Ed, they will say..."you need one more thing".  Today we went to Belmopan to get the police check taken care of.  It's about a 2 hour and 20 minute drive.  We had to arrive before 9:30 so we were up early.  When we arrived the clerk said that Chelsea had not been here long enough to process the police check. So we went home empty handed. :-(    Hmmm. Although that makes sense, I really wanted to get this all day trip out of the way before school started so we would not need to miss a day of school.  We're hoping that maybe a US police check will suffice. (?)

After seeing the clerk, Chelsea, looking for the positive side, returned to the van saying, "Well, we can go home when we want since we don't have to wait til 4:00 to pick up the completed form."

We did some sight-seeing.   Here are Sulmi and Chelsea at the top of the steps to the House of Parliament.  We even got a short inside tour.

 This is the view of Independence Plaza from the House of Parliament.  The sculpture is a gift from Mexico and the Bible verse was placed by a Christian organization called John

From here we went to see the mercado.  Next stop: the US Embassy where an officer hailed our van and stopped us to take Chelsea's passport and write some information in his book. What had we done wrong?  Chelsea took some pictures of the US Embassy through the window of the van...I guess its illegal (???).  Per the officer's request she erased the photos.  He seemed nice and smiled the whole time (?) ...I breathed easier once he had given Chelsea her passport back.   Next we went to the George Price Centre for Peace and Development (which always brings a lump to my throat to read the stories about George Price).  We did a quick drive past the University of Belize, and then to Pasquales for pizza for lunch, yummm!

On the way home we stopped at the Art Box to see some Belizean made crafts.
Chelsea seems interested in everything we show her.  She's soaking it all in.  I'm so glad she is here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Welcome Chelsea!

 Welcome Chelsea!  We were so glad to see her walk through the arrivals gate.  On very little sleep she was still beaming and adjusting to the 7 Deaf people from our church who drove down from Orange Walk with me to meet her plane.

Chelsea will be here in Belize for 10 months to interpret at St. Peters.  Initially she will interpret for Sulmi (8th grade) and in January she will interpret for the deaf kindergartner, Morine.

Thank you for listening to the voice of God and answering the call to COME.
Martha, Kristel, Sulmi, Chelsea, Alejandro,Juan, Raheem, Jaheed.

Monday, August 26, 2013

CODA VBS 2013: We Trust God

This one-week, mornings only, VBS was for the young hearing children of the Deaf adults in our church. We also included the two Deaf children who were in the preschool as St Peter's last year and their siblings. We prayed, sang songs, learned a Bible story, learned a memory verse, made crafts, played games and had a snack all within a two hour time frame.  Whew!  It was busy, but we had lots of help!  Everyday was a great day.  I was thankful that our church has these young children that we can nurture in the faith.
 Selena has four children including a 3 week old baby.  She came to help.

 I did not expect to have Sulmi helping because she had just had a tonsillectomy the Friday before VBS started.  After staying home all day on Monday in front of the TV, Tuesday morning she said, "I cannot do that again, I need to come to VBS."  She was our photographer.

 Alva brought both of her children and helped with crafts.  She also helped Joshue participate in the games.

Angelica was an angel.  She helped everyone!  She really excels at knowing how to make each child feel successful. Here she is teaching Glenford to cut and clapping because he did it independently.

Kristel was the one who played with the children who were too young to do the game or craft.  Here she is dancing with Renick.

Here are some pictures to give you the general idea of our week:
Dramatizing Jesus in the boat during the storm.  I was making the storm and Berta was Jesus sleeping on the stool.  Most of the rest of the children were "the boat".

The crafts were the highlight of the day.  

The children were proud that they were able to memorize a Bible verse.
Our verse for the week was:
"Trust God with all your heart." Psalm 3:5

All of the children waiting for worship to start.

Morine and sister Adrienne

Friday, August 2, 2013

Deaf VBS July 23-27, 2013

God is faithful!  There were many things that God did to make our VBS a big success.  The best part was how the children were eager to learn.  When Carol taught a craft using the "witnessing beads" two children came back later to check and make sure they knew what each color stood for.  Each day we had a review of the day before with a candy toss game. The children all had their hands raised ready to show they remembered.  Sometimes they came up to me during the morning asking me questions and checking facts so they would be prepared for the candy toss game the next day.  They even memorized their Bible verses.  We had no fights or casualties.  Everyone got along. We had good was hot but it didn't rain out our swimming days.   It was a wonderful, full, week.  I praise God for his wing sheltering us and guiding us.

Here are some pics to help you to visualize what we did:
We used the Kids of Courage curriculum from Voice of the Martyrs. Each day we studied a different country where Christians are trying to proclaim the Good News in dangerous settings where the Gospel is not aloud to be shared.  Our group of 11 people was ages 11 - 55.  The difficult topic of being courageous in sharing our faith was paired with a Bible story in which people of God had acted courageously.  The countries studied were: North Korea, India, Nigeria, China, and Egypt.

We started everyday with worship.

Nancy Taught the Bible stories...
And the children acted them out.

 We learned memory verses.  Below you will see a video of everyone signing the Lord's Prayer.  Click on the arrow to "play".

We made crafts.

Carol and Lois brought T-shirts that we decorated with signatures and words of encouragement.

We played games.

And we went swimming.

We owe a BIG thank you to Lois Rhodes and Carol Rhodes who came down to Belize for 10 days to help with VBS.  Your support and ideas and presence were a blessing to us.  I also want to thank Water of Life Lutheran Church for your donation that made this VBS possible.  Thanks!