Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Science Fair, Youth Day, Goats, and Report Cards

Our school director, Fransisca, has been working ceaselessly in the school and we have been thrilled with all the progress our students are making. Today was our first science fair, and students from pre-school to eighth grade had to present science experiments or explain some biological process to the other students and parents present. So many of the projects were creative, from making acid, creating a magnet with batteries, floating an egg in salty water, explaining the body’s digestion, even to the classic exploding volcano! Shaun and I had to judge the projects and choose winners. It was no easy task when even the first graders were “expertly” explaining the life cycle of a plant!

Rolando explaining how to make acid

Antonio Paredes, Lujan, and Oscar explaining the different types of reproduction in animals

Jose Maria, Abi, and Araceli introducing us to animals that live in the water

Our science fair day coincided with “Day of the Youth,” a very important holiday for young people here in Paraguay. Once again, our friends from Super Alegria (a local supermarket) showered us with donations for the event. The young people (6th grade and up) ate hamburgers (loaded hamburgers which here include a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and cheese) and had soda and a cake. They spent their afternoon playing soccer and volleyball games in the children’s home and each received a t-shirt with a Bible verse and their name as a gift. What a wonderful tradition to celebrate youth for an entire day each year!

All our youth with their new t-shirts

We can’t fail to mention the donation that our generous friends in the grocery store presented us with last week. They told us one evening that they wanted to give us a couple of goats, because they heard we were looking to buy some more for the home. The next morning they showed up at the home to deliver three goats, one being a male and one pregnant female. We have begun our goat project in hopes that these low-maintenance animals will help save us time and gas money in mowing our large property. Our oldest children are in charge of tying up and watering the animals during the day and returning them to their shelter in the evening. We now have a total of three females (two pregnant) and one male. Milciades (head of maintenance) is working now on a house made from recycled materials for these additions to our farm.

Finally, report cards were handed out this week and I am proud to announce that in the second grading period, three of our girls from the homes received all A’s. We are so thrilled for Soledad, Nayeli, and Rocio. They have worked hard and will each be treated to an individual dinner in town as a reward. We also had five children that earned all A’s and B’s: Marcos, Lorena, Antonio Paredes, Lysandry, and Ever. They will go out as a group for dinner in town to reward them for their hard work! The academic level in the school this year has been significantly more challenging for our students, and we feel proud that they are adjusting and even excelling.

Our straight A's group: Rocio, Soledad, and Nayeli

Please be in prayer with us for following needs:

New teachers for the coming school year (Paraguayan school year runs from February through November): We will be adding a few teachers to our staff as we are separating the grades that are currently taught together and adding ninth grade. We are currently conducting interviews and praying that God will send the right, capable, passionate teachers to our staff.

Funding: The Lord has been faithful to miraculously fund the ministries this year month after month. Legally, every December, Paraguayan workers have to be paid a 13th salary in addition to their December salary. It is a sort of bonus for workers- something that was very strange for us to understand when we first moved to Paraguay, but something that is an absolute legal requirement. This means an extra $6,000 will be needed this December to pay our staff in the school and children’s home.

Deliverance for each child from their past: Many of you have been praying with us for the lives of the children in our home and we can honestly say that we are seeing God’s hand working in the lives of the children that most desperately needed his touch. Continue to stand with us in prayer for their lives. Please see my last blog for more information on how to pray.

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