We've started back volunteering in the school closest to the youth center. It's called Colegio Milagros. It's one of the lower income schools in our city. I've been working with one of the two English teachers and helping out in her classes twice a week. It's been great to help, but we've seen so many new faces in the youth center because of it. This past month we've averaged around 3 new people each time we're open. It's been really great to share with some new kids, and encourage the "regulars" to be leaders and make the new people feel welcome.
We've also been playing sports every Saturday for the past several weeks. We've seen that this really helps get kids out of their self-conscious shyness and really start to make friends with the other kids. We usually play frisbee or basketball with them. I say we, but Bryan hasn't been letting me play with them. I can goof around, but he doesn't want me to fall or get pushed over or something. I guess that's wise. I can be a pretty competitive and aggressive player. But it's also been nice to just get time to watch them, joke around with them, and pray for them while they're playing.
We are also really excited about our increase in English students. We now have 16 students! And that number could possibly go up to 26 in the next week. Along with me teaching high school aged kids, Bryan has started a class at a restaurant teaching their waitstaff. It is a very touristy restaurant, so English is very valuable to them. He's really enjoying getting to make relationship with people in their 20's who aren't Christians. They've even come a couple of times and helped out in our Wednesday night English class at the youth center!
There's also an opportunity for Bryan to start teaching the staff at a local hotel that is very popular with tourists. We're hoping to start this next week. We do charge for these classes, but very little compared to formal institutes. The exciting thing is that this month we should have enough from English classes to pay rent for the youth center building. God is using ministry to pay for ministry! He is so faithful!
We also had enough money come in to buy one instrument. We bought an electric guitar that came with a speaker to plug it in to. We are really excited about the kids getting to use this to learn to play. We've been talking this up with the kids, asking who wants to learn to play an instrument. All but a couple are very enthusiastic about it. Our vision is to eventually have a youth praise team that leads worship in our services at the youth center. We also see this as a great way for some of the older kids to take a lead and some responsibility - to make it feel like it's their own. We should get the guitar in the mail this weekend. We are still hoping to buy a bass and a drumset in the near future.
Bryan and I personally are doing really good. We've both said to each other that we are in the most exciting time of our lives. At times this month during the dizziness and almost losing my lunch because of a weird smell, I've thought to myself that I wasn't loving this phase. But it really is true. The baby is healthy as of our last doctor's appointment, and growing well. We are so excited that in just a few more months we will have a new member in our family. God has been so good to us!
Please be praying as we seek God's wisdom for our lives in the next year. We have so many decisions and ideas that we want to do only what will bring the Lord all the glory. Thank you so much for your continued prayers, love, and support.
"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Corinthians 4:20