Blah Blah Blog

Don’t have much to say or share on the blog as things are rather routine and a bit quiet around here.  If you just have to have SOMETHING to read or view, here goes.

A week ago Beth’s mother hosted Carlos and Sandy Rio with TEAM here in our home.  They stayed a few days to see the area.  They’re considering other locations for future church planting ministry after working themselves out of a church plant in the Baja.  It was a nice visit and we enjoyed meeting them.  I got the impression they probably aren’t seriously considering this area, but I shouldn’t speak for them I guess.

Our co-worker, Tim O’Brien, and I decided a couple weeks ago to take a major theme and expound on it in our Sunday morning house church Bible studies.  We’re currently in the early stages of a study of Mark, but yesterday I taught a basic primer on the topic of baptism.  I’m glad we’ve decided to do this as I never was quite satisfied with simply sticking with book studies.  We only have one session a week to work with so this is a helpful change and I think the group will benefit from it.

The community center programs continue to take shape and surprise.  Our Tuesdays and Wednesdays teaching conversational English, over a strictly grammar class, has been more fun for us to teach than sticking with a text.  However, the students seem to be split over whether they like it or not.

Some of our adults just want to be able to be fluent in English but don’t seem to realize how much work it will take to get there.  There is no magic wand to make people understand and use the English language in just an hour or two a week.  A couple of our adult students prefer to just use the text book that we have been using, but they say their aim is to be able to speak in English.  When we turn the format into focusing on getting them to talk and use what they’ve learned, they get shy and prefer to stick with the text.  And so it goes.

Saturdays at the community center have been growing rapidly with lots of new faces showing up for kids’ club English, conversation English (my class), basketball, music/guitar, computing, sewing, art, and various once a month or one-time offerings (like card making as was offered this past Saturday, etc).

On Saturdays my students for conversational English have turned out to be a few 6th grade girls.  Funny, because that’s the grade level I taught in schools and really enjoy that age.  We practice some vocabulary games and then play versions of Uno and other fun games and use English to play them.  They seem to be enjoying it.

One of them also brings her English homework from her school.  She doesn’t really seem to understand it much at all, but we work through it.  Her mother came this past Saturday and played the games with us and also was there for the homework exercises.  Funny to watch a typical parent in action.  The mother kept interjecting answers and her poor kid wasn’t learning anything.  It’s a bit awkward so I just went along with it the best I could to get through it, but it was more about getting the answers than learning.

In other news, I just read today that the national federal government educational department (SEP) declared that after a first-ever national teachers’ exam, almost 40% of all elementary teachers in Mexico (nearly 100,000 of them) need to return to school immediately due to their low scores primarily in writing, oral communication and ethics.  Go figure.  (I’m not making this up!  http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/878145.html)

The Abundant Life Bible Church that meets at the community center has been offering a Saturday morning kids’ Bible club and we’re seeing some kids come back in the afternoon for these other programs.  This is excellent as we may see a broader tie-in to the families and the community through a full regiment of offerings.  We have to build relationships and gain trust in order to eventually reach into the spiritual connections we want to make.

Beth and I head back to the ortho doctor this evening.  I have been finished with physical therapy (or at least the first round if there is more to come) for a week.  The knee is better and worse…not sure really.  Overall, I’d say it’s probably worse than it was.  I now have some swelling which wasn’t there at all until the past week.  I’m quite anxious to hear what the doctor will say.  I really don’t know what to expect at this point.  I suspect more surgery is going to show up in the plan but I hope not.  I can walk on it still, but a half mile or mile walk seems to be too much.  I’ll let you know what he says.

Beth continues to deal with plantar fasciitis.  It’s painful for her to walk and she is avoiding longer walks too.  Hard to believe we’re 40-something and crippled already!  Well, hopefully we’ll see improvement.  It just takes time and patience and sometimes…we have to be a patient.  I’ve got my medical bills turned in to the insurance and am hoping they approve all the bills and receipts.  It sure would be nice to see a chunk of that $3400 come back!  The best-case scenario would be if everything is approved as submitted and we get $1800 back.  I know pretty much everyone can relate to the financial woes of health care expenses.

Here are a couple of quick pics I took of Michelle O’Brien’s card-making class from last Saturday.

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