Wow. So a quick update from our family to yours. And this picture says it all:
School stories: To review the schooling situation ney saga. So last year we knew Madeline had finished 1.5 years of preschool and was on par to go to Infant I (kindergarten equivalent next year). SO we didn’t think the village preschool was “best” for her. So she and Jojo started into the preschool in the village. This school we were under the impression was far superior, better education, etc. Well, she and Jojo went and after each day we started asking questions on what they did. The responses were interesting and all the same: write, write, write. No songs, no games, no play…just writing. We were a little frustrated but thought maybe that’s just the start. Then I headed South and Amy had to drive them each day (30 minutes one day), so that’s a total of 2 hours driving time. The kids ate their lunch in the car because we were heading home for naps and poor Elijah was in the car seat SCREAMING. In fact he screamed so much and refused to eat that he lost 1lb that week. There is only one word to describe that situation, Unsustainable.
So we decided after that to head back into the village but here we are challenged with what to do. Do we have Madeline go to preschool or Infant I or do we home school her. Those of you that know Amy and Madeline’s personalities probably could guess that home schooling at this time for Madeline wasn’t the best. Plus we wanted her to interact with the kids. So we sat down and talked with her teacher from last year and the Infant I teacher. We then made the decision for Madeline to go into Infant I. This meant a “real school day” because in Belize they don’t play. We didn’t realize just how stark a difference it was from the States.
And then the stories and homework came. Madeline was given on average 1 1/2 – 2 hours of homework at night. Assignments included writing 100 number 4’s or memorizing 10 Spanish words or the specifics of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. Amy and I were perplexed at the work load. Even more perplexing was the teacher wasn’t checking any of the work. We didn’t want Madeline sitting and doing hours upon hours of homework and we didn’t want to tell her that she doesn’t need to do the homework because that teaches that homework is not important. Amy and I agonized this whole week (one of the reasons for this delayed post). So just yesterday, I spoke to Madeline’s teacher (Infant I) and the one from last year. I learned that the Infant I teacher is teaching the following way, literally saying “I didn’t come here to have these kids love me. I came to teach.” That was the deal breaker there. I can teach. Amy can teach. Madeline and all of our kids for that matter will be in environments where I feel that they are loved and cared for and that wasn’t one of them.
So then we went back and talked to Madeline’s preschool teacher and she said she was willing to help Madeline with extra work if we can also potentially provide some of the materials. We were ecstatic! So after going back and forth to three schools in about 3 weeks, we are at the preschool in our village with both the kids. We know they are learning and most importantly we are loved. THANK YOU ALL FOR PRAYING THROUGH THAT!!
Praise / Prayer Request Update
- Basketball – I got to hang out some with Brandon one of the guys that I play basketball with. He works at the Youth Hostel where I had a team this week. He and I were talking about playing and he asked me to build a half-court in my yard so they can come and play. I am halfway considering it! Pray for opportunities to play and for relationships to grow. KEEP PRAYING
- Community for Amy – We had a team serving in Hattieville this week which meant that Amy was busy hanging out with Kimbell as she cooked and having to help cook the Belizean meals herself. I bet the team didn’t know they were going to have an American cooking Belizean food this week! It was a tiring but good week of community! Pray for more weeks like that! KEEP PRAYING.
- Homework Central – So Bella and Christopher have been coming over for some time to do homework and play. Now Bella invited a girl Evelyn from another school to come and do homework. Evelyn brings her brother Jose and their mom. The other night Evelyn’s mom helped Amy press out tortillas! Pray for wisdom in how to teach these kids what they need to learn! Pray that our house can always be a house that is open to others! KEEP PRAYING!
- Financial Support – We are still looking for 3 families to partner with us financially for $25/month.
- Update: We had two families feel God calling them to support us and they have! PRAISE GOD. Keep praying for one more family!
- If you are interested in supporting us financially, please connect directly with Josh or Amy via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Work Activity – I am just finishing leading a team today. We served all week in Hattieville and at the Youth Hostel (a post about the Hostel is coming at a later point). It was an awesome week. We got to build a playground and an awesome chicken coop in addition to teaching the kids about Dr. Seuss all week! We have two trips in October, both starting next week. Pray for smooth logistics and awesome ministry!!
- Visitors – Amy and I were talking and really felt that she needed to have a visitor. So after talking to some here at Praying Pelican we decided that someone will visit Amy in the first of November, just to hang out with just her and the kids. We are so excited to have Linda come down to hang out and we are feverently praying that her visit could be the beginning of a mentor relationship that Amy deeply desires.
- Huge Development – So for some time, our family was wrestling with how can Amy hop on trips and how can we ease the burden of her being at home with all three kids while I am gone. She needed consistency and help. Not that we are giving the impression that Amy cannot do it because well she obviously can but it may help with the kids, give some rest to Amy and allow for some community. So this summer, we were talking to one of the summer staff and asked her if anything ever fell though for her in the States or if she wanted an opportunity to come to Belize and ‘nanny’ she could. So we prayed. She prayed. We counseled. She counseled. And we are happy to say that Michelle will be coming and staying at our house, helping with the kids and hopping on some trips too! Pray for Michelle as she prepares to come in early January. Pray that God would clearly reveal to her how He is going to use her here!
- Date Nights – Continue to pray for our marriage. We did a HORRIBLE job prioritizing dates nights last month. Pray that we are able to do date nights each weekend I am at home this month!
So a lot has happened. We feel like the month of September was a complete blur and here we are heading into October. This we know. We have a team of prayer warriors lifting us up! Thank you! Without your support, we would crumble! Thank you for petitioning our God together for us!