June 7, 2008
Yes, it's these two again. I need to take a new picture of them, but this one is so cute! We drove over to the east side of Phoenix yesterday (actually Mesa, AZ) to fetch them from their first week on the East Valley/Rim's summer mission team. They were assigned to a church to help with their Vacation Bible School. The VBS director met us when we walked in and told us this story:
When the teen missionaries arrived, they found out that the man who was supposed to teach the third and fourth grade class had an emergency and had to leave town. This left them with no teacher for that class. Bethany, 18 (on the right), was teaching the fifth and sixth grade class and their other team partner was teaching the first and second graders. Emma,16 (on the left), is a newbie to actually teaching in VBS. Her assignment last week was to be a helper in the Kindergarten class, not the main teacher. Last summer she helped in the fifth and sixth grades, but only taught the lesson two days and the lead teacher prepared everything.
So she volunteered to lead the third/fourth grades for this church. The director said the teacher had probably prepared each day's lesson, so she just had to teach. But when they got the materials, there was NOthing prepared. (and to lead a class of 9-10 year olds for 4 hours each day for a week, you have to have things prepared!) So in one day, she who had never done this before, had to prepare the materials, decorate her room (Hawaiian theme) and get her nerve up to teach the class. Her sister told me it was extremely stressful on Emma to get all of that done, but she did it and she ended up having the largest class with 12-15 kids each day. She is a real trooper! And it turned out that she just loved the week. She loved teaching and loved the kids!
It is amazing to see your kids grow up right in front of your eyes and to do things you really wondered if they were up to doing! Bethany has taken leadership roles in past Bible Schools for years, we knew she was a great leader, but this was Emma's first time to actually lead. Bethany told us the whole story over again when we saw her. She was bragging on her sister. Her job this summer (I told her before they left) was to watch out for Emma. Now we know she is up to doing whatever the tasks are this summer. We are so proud of them both, but really Emma shined last week stepping up into leadership!
So we picked them up yesterday afternoon. Then this morning they had to be at the church by 9am to leave for their mission trip! They are going with a group of about 12 from our church to meet up with World Changer's organization in Gallup, NM to help do home repairs and other hard work for people on the Navajo reservation there and also around Gallup.
Please pray for them this week as they so this hard physical labor and also that they will shine as witnesses for the love of Christ. This is a very hard culture to break into and be an influence in, but God is a great barrier breaker!