Sunday, May 31, 2015

One Part of My Life

Our ministry focus here has become the Kekchi Pastors Institute (KBI). We believe the is what will fulfill the goal God put into our hearts of reaching all of the unreached Kekchi villages in Petén with the Gospel. This provides a self sustaining church for each village with a trained pastor that can reach and disciple new Christ followers. Over the course of the 3 year pastors program that includes 60 classes I get to teach 6, so that isn't many but it helps out a little bit.
{My 6 classes}
More than anything else it keeps me connected to Jimmy. Without those 6 classes I would never get to know the students very well or be able to understand a lot of the things that go on at the farm. I wouldn't get to have any meaningful conversations with Jimmy about his goals, our be someone he bounces off ideas and solutions. I love sharing in this purpose that God has given him. God's timing is perfect as well. Once my kiddos start elementary school, I think I would be too overwhelmed with taking care of my family, communicating for our ministry, church stuff AND homeschool to be able to put together my curriculum for these classes. The way it is now I will have already taught all of my courses at least once and some twice before my kids enter elementary school. That is the most I would be able to handle. God knows! So the work load right now is the reason I haven't been sharing as much about our ministry here lately. Hopefully I will get my system down soon and free time will appear again!
{Even my highlighters have mold.}
The quality of the education the students get by coming to the institute is extremely important to us. We have gathered lots of materials and resources, but everything is chopped up, edited, sorted, supplemented and always re-translated into curriculum that will be the most practical and meaningful for them. It is a lot of work! I totally get why God had us live here 6 years before we ever started this phase. We have learned (and are still learning everyday) so much about their culture and the words they use for things. When we first got here, someone made the comment to Jimmy that "the Kekchi wouldn't be able to understand the deeper truths of the Bible like you and I can." Jimmy thought that was absurd. It was! The Bible curriculum Jimmy puts together starts extremely basic, but by the time they finish they have the tools to be able to study for themselves whatever topic they please, as deep as they want to go. Opportunity doesn't equal intelligence. That is what we have come for, to give them opportunity, the opportunity to get to know God for themselves and reach their own people for Christ!

Here are some photos from my Art of Teaching class, it lasts 2 semesters. It is taught in the context of teaching children, but the concepts can be applied to whatever age group. No one wants to hear truth presented in a boring, irrelevant way, even when they're old! 
{Jael & Sisera}
When they first came to the farm, they were all really nervous. There was little eye contact, lots of reading, and not much confidence. We covered things like learning styles, how the brain receives and remembers information, classroom management, attention spans and understanding your audience's culture and history. They are so different now. They have taken everything and have run with it, adding so much of their own creativity and passion. I'm writing ideas down all the time I get from them.
{Wise man & foolish man}
  At the end of he first semester the students had to prepare a presentation of the Gospel, that could be used in an unreached village or at the end of any lesson. We tried to cover different things people are searching for in life, like freedom from guilt, freedom from shame, fear of eternity, unconditional love, freedom from the fear of evil spirits, hope. It's easy to memorize a simple plan of Salvation that is meaningful to you, but the Gospel is so much larger than that, it covers all cultures and backgrounds. I loved all 3 of their presentations!

Henry got the highest grade, so he was invited to present the Gospel in an unreached village where the first year students have begun working.



I believe God honors preparation. Henry's presentation was very powerful!

The 3 main "P's" of my class were being Prepared, having Proof from the Bible and having one clear Purpose or objective. Thankfully they all neatly start with "P" in Spanish too. This was one of my object lessons on being prepared. I baked a chocolate cake and hid it under my desk until it was time. Unfortunately Atzi, our farm dog, found it during one of my other class activities when I wasn't paying attention.
 Naughty dog! She survived the chocolate, but deserved the stomachache. Anyway, I pulled the cake out and asked the students if they wanted some. They have had it before and all said yes! (Chocolate cake is always a nice surprise in the middle of a 3 hour class.) I told them I didn't plan a way for me to actually serve it to them. Then I stuck my fingers in the cake and plopped a fistful down on the table in front of each of them. They were shocked!! Especially after Jimmy's class on germs! Pedro yelled "germs"! Then they all started laughing. The point was I could have something wonderful to share with them (like truths from God's Word), but if I don't prepare a way to share it with them, it's wasted.
We did a lot of hands-on activities and covered different tools that may help illiterate learners. 
{Our Bible timeline}
We did a lot of artsy stuff to, just to get the ideas flowing. I don't want them to ever not attempt an idea they have. 

 We made larger things like a tomb.
 This tomb was made with supplies available to them for under $5.
 It would be a great tool for a sermon series or Bible study around Easter time. On their own they made this crown of thorns for one of their sermons.
{Easter Service}
 We made a tree too. We covered different theme ideas they could use to help reiterate truths and make Bible studies memorable. 
 One day I will finish adding the leaves. That part takes forever.
{Rigo telling the story of creation}
{Geronimo helped out and was Adam}
We covered review game ideas and how to move something from short term memory to long term and how to keep it there. 
We covered skits and dramas. They really liked that week. This was their first time ever doing a skit, it was for one of our youth meetings:
video 
 I was a little worried they may not put the same effort into their lesson or sermons that they weren't receiving a grade for, but I have been thrilled to see the things we have learned taken even further.
There isn't anything more rewarding than seeing God's work multiplied. 

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