Yep. Today is my birthday. Having your birthday on a school day is the best when you’re an elementary teacher. Today my students planned a surprise party for me. It was actually quite amazing. They plotted with Matt to have him come down at 10:30 and say he needed to talk to me. They even made him plan what he was going to talk to me about so he wouldn’t mess up. :) While he was talking to me, the kids decorated the room with balloons, banners, and cake. They got it completely decorated in about 10 minutes. Then when I walked back in the room, they crowned me with a tiara and sang “Happy Birthday!” I tell you, fourth graders know how to throw a party!
A discussion between two high school students:
Student 1: What good are books?
Student 2: That’s like saying what good is breathing air.
Student 1: What if you could breathe in a biodome of completely fresh air? That biodome represents the internet.
One of the cool things I’ve been able to do this semester is meet with a group of teachers and high school students who are interested in combating injustice. This group came about after one of the teachers discussed the purpose and mission of International Justice Mission (IJM) during high school chapel. We have been meeting every other week and going through a study put together by IJM specifically for high school students. There have been some great discussions, but what I am the most excited about is that we have a group of students who want to take action. You can pray for our group in the coming months and into the next year as we look at what is being done in Vienna to help the oppressed. We are going to be meeting with a few people who are working in the city with prostitutes, refugees, and others. As the students hear about the work being done, they are going to develop an action plan for getting involved. I’m excited to see what the Lord is going to do through them!
Goodness! Time goes so quickly around the holidays. I can’t believe we’re already in the middle of January!
Christmas in Vienna was great. We hung out with friends, relaxed, and enjoyed the city. I even survived having Christmas without my family. That is definitely not my ideal, but like I said, I survived. :)
Last Monday we had our first middle school girls’ basketball game. We lost 21-38, but for a team of girls who have never played basketball before, 21 points was an amazing victory! We have two girls on our team who have played league basketball for several years (Americans, of course), but the rest of our team consists mostly of girls who hadn’t touched a basketball before December. I was so proud of them!
Anne Redner is the head coach and as we were discussing our goals for the team, we decided that we want them to play their absolute best and to learn to love being a part of a team. If they win games we’ll consider that icing on the cake. Knowing that those were our goals made watching our first game that much better. After the game one of the girls, who begged us not to put her in, told Anne that she wasn’t afraid anymore and that she had a lot of fun. Yay! Mission accomplished!
The cold molecules cuddle together. That is why cold water is more dense.
It’s true. Something strange has indeed happened. I am now the Assistant Coach for our middle school girls’ basketball team. Yikes! I don’t know if my dad is going to be proud or very, very afraid for the world of basketball. As for me, I just think it means the world is a little topsy-turvy.
I’m excited, though, to try this new area of ministry. The girls are all very sweet. One of the great benefits is that I’m getting to spend time with some of the students who have moved on from elementary. I miss them when they head upstairs to the middle school!
The other really exciting part is that I get to spend some extra time with my dear friend Anne who is leaving at the end of this year to head back to the States. She is the head coach, and it’s out of love for her that I agreed to take on this little challenge.
Please feel free to pray for all of us. :)
Praise God! We have a new elementary principal for next year. This has been a huge area of prayer for all of us as we have been “borrowing” the secondary principal this year. We are all so excited and so thankful for John Janett and his desire to serve here with us. Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying with us. God is good!
Today one of the students presented what was possibly the most creative book report I’ve ever seen. She and her mom baked and decorated sugar cookies to look like all of the characters from her book as well as a variety of other cookies to represent the setting and other important elements from the story. She used these cookies like you would use flannel pieces on a flannel board to share her summary of the book. The rest of class loved her book report because when she was finished sharing, they got to eat her work! Super fun!
Student A: Why do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?
Student B: Because I want to see people’s insides.
This is turning out to be a multiple post day!
I just had another amazing conference. I spoke with a mom who is a Christian, but her husband is not. Her son became a Christian when he was in first grade. She spoke with me about how much this school means to her and her son because her son is not allowed to attend church with her, but that Jesus has allowed him to be in this school. She shared with me about how excited her son is to have Chapel here each week because that is church for him.
She asked that we pray for her family, for her husband’s salvation, for God’s continued grace to allow her son to attend our school, and for her son to continue to love God with all his heart. I can’t wait to pray for them!