September 8, 2011
A New School Door Opening
My nephew in Minnesota is just getting started in school about now, and in the South (SC) it's been rolling for a few weeks or so. Well, here in the DEEP SOUTH, it's almost the last quarter. No matter, it's always a great time to start something new!
This week we started Bible classes at a new school in the town of Itauguá. There are 350 students in preschool through 6th grade, and the principal asked us to do a half-hour or so lesson each week during both the morning and afternoon sessions. The fifth and sixth graders fall into my care, and Saúl will be teaching the second through fourth graders. The principal of the school here on the campus, Francisca, will be teaching preschool and first grade. INTERESTING FACT: Here, kindergarten (simply referred to as garden) comes first, then preschool, and then first grade. Same system as in the states, just named differently.
Francisca is a Christian lady who works really hard at the private school here at Hogar Ganar. She was attending one of the teachers’ workshops recently when she met the vice principal of the school in town. Before the day was up, this vice principal asked if Francisca might know of some folks that would be willing to teach Bible classes, and violà! Instant door-opening! This is a public school, which means it’s traditional—basically we can count on most of the students and the staff being Catholic. They have a basic knowledge and belief in God, which is a start. We’ll build on that and teach them how they fit into God’s plan.
When we met with their principal on Monday, he used the phrase “spiritual activities” to describe our classes. I guess that’s because they have physical activities (P.E.) and artistic activities. Why not spiritual activities, too? For the afternoon session today, I was introducing myself to the class and explaining a little about what they could expect, and I told them that each Wednesday we’d have spiritual activities. The guys got all antsy, grinning at each other and saying, “Oooo!” I don’t know if they thought we’d hold séances or what, but I recognized that look and said, “Not like ghost stories and horror movies, but talking about God and His plan for us.” They looked like I’d burst their balloons, but the girls all breathed a sigh of relief. With so much folk magic here, I guess the same thing popped into their minds as when I heard the term spiritual activities. From now on, we’ll call it something else. J