Exam Week

The teachers of Diospi Suyana school

A few weeks ago, Colegio Diospi Suyana had its first exam week.  I was worried about all the kids trying to take their exams in Spanish without any help and the director generously agreed to my coming to school for the week to go from classroom to classroom, translating and helping.  It was a great experience.

Sarah and Noah, our first graders, didn’t need any help at all and did marvelously on their exams.  It really helps to be young– language comes more naturally and the material is not nearly as difficult.  I enjoyed seeing Sarah in her class, working hard, but I would just peek in and wave and then see her at recess.  Annie and Sydney, in third grade, were fun to work with because they are, to generalize, girls, and they want to have complete, neat papers, and they try hard, and they work together.  They had a couple of light-bulb moments, especially in math, when they had to fill out some addition and subtraction tables/ puzzles and they figured out how it worked.  I wondered how they had faked it when they did it in class.  Peter really impressed me by his perseverance.  Several of his exams were long, really long, and we had to translate a lot of it too, and he pressed on with good attention until the end, day after day.  Of course, he was most excited and knowledgable about science, but I think he liked studying the night before and then watching how much he knew on the exams.  Good lesson to learn.  David and Benjamin did amazingly well with tough material in another language.  Their different personalities really amused me in how much they wrote on their tests.  Neither seemed stressed by the challenge.  During some of the practices before their tests, David really participated and shouted out answers (some of them wrong).  They both did really well on their dictation and understanding (without formal instruction) how to spell Spanish and to add accent marks.  I was impressed with each kid’s Spanish.  They have learned an amazing amount of vocabulary, grammar, conversation, and listening, which is the goal that we parents have set for this year.

I was pleased to see how well most of their classrooms were run, how well behaved the kids were, and how fair the tests were.  Praise God for this encouragement and the chance to see into their lives in a way I would not have been able to otherwise.  I think it was good for them to see how much they can accomplish and how God has helped them.

Helping Colegio Diospi Suyana

The missionary community here in Curahuasi is really excited about the opening of the Diospi Suyana school on March 17th.  Our four kids will be in first, third, fourth, and fifth grades and I will be teaching as well.  The facilities and the quality of education offered will be far, far above what is available here currently, and most importantly, this is a chance for the kids who attend to get training in the Bible and see the Christian life lived out.

Although the composition of the school will be 90% Peruvian, the directors (one German and one Peruvian) have made provision for the missionary kids who will be attending.  Every day the foreign kids will have their own class time from 11:40 to 1:15.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, yours truly will be teaching English language arts, a little American history, and giving support for the task of attending school in a second language.  I am really excited about the opportunity and I also see the difficulties therein.  I will have eight students, two in each grade, and I think we will all be in one classroom.  That is a lot of needs, difference in abilities, and responsibility, folks.

We have decided to order Sonlight curriculum for teaching language arts.  I am going to go ahead and order the core curriculum (that means teacher’s guide, curriculum guide) for each grade that I am teaching next year, even though it is my understanding is that they overlap.  I am hoping to set this up as clear and easy to follow as possible so that others can come in and take over if I move on to teaching ESL to the Peruvian kids in the future or in the case that some moms may want to borrow the material for homeschooling.  We will order an extra set of readers so that each student can take the books home and keep up with their reading.

There is not really a budget for the missionary kids, so what does all this cost? Each grades’ curriculum is $400 to $440, for a grand total this year of $1646.  Each extra set of books costs around $160 (times four).  With shipping, I ordered $2427 in materials.  Wonderfully, my dad is coming to see us in April, as are some other American visitors, and we will coordinate getting them into the country that way.  If we get extra money, we will buy curriculum for future years or books for the school library.

If you would like to contribute to the purchase of this original set of curriculum, that would bless these dear kids (and their teacher!).  You can send a donation through this website: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=4d6052

We would also love donations from people who have used this curriculum and still have an old set lying around their house. By faith, we will be teaching missionary kids for years, so we’ll accept any and all grades’ curriculum or readers.  We will put the books we receive in our new library!  Our address here is:  Allison Caire- Diospi Suyana- Apartado 210- Abancay, Apurímac, Perú.

I am so proud of all eight of these kids and how well they demonstrate Christ here in Curahuasi.  Like Paul in Philippians, I eagerly expect that God will help me to serve them faithfully as a teacher.  Please pray for us as we try to learn together!

Please Pray for the Chiang Rai International Christian School

This post on Facebook comes from some friends working in Thailand.  Brent and Julie Pennington have been good friends of ours for decades, and we respect very much what they are doing in Thailand.  God has used them to build a Christian school in Chiang Rai Thailand through which they are influencing the youth and culture for God.  What a blessing they are to us and to so many.  Please read the note below and pray for them as Brent requested in regards to the work they are a part of in Thailand.
Dear Friends,
Welcome to a new phase in the journey of building a school, loving a community and waiting for God’s kingdom come in Thailand as it is in heaven.Last week, the highway department informed our school (Chiang Rai International Christian School) of the need to build a significant road through our campus. While we became aware of the road earlier, the surveyor for this road assured us that the government deferred to schools and that the road would, at most, cut off only meters of our property. Fast forward to this week and the city’s change of plans. The proposed road now cuts through a major portion of our property and will require tearing down three of our four buildings (new elementary building, cafeteria/classroom building, and library). The fourth building will be meters from a large road. Uhhh…this is bad news.

The good news is you are a part of the encouraging body of Christ, and you pray! Recognizing the many down sides of this news, here are the positive realities that you can pray in…

1.) Pray that this highlighting of our small school will allow God to be glorified in how we choose to honor authority and live with our eyes fixed on Jesus.

2.) Pray that our conversations as teachers, administrators and students would focus on remembering all that God has done for us in the past while believing that He will continue to lead us and make a way where there seems to be no way.

3.) Please ask for God to give us favor as we interact with the Thai government officials and work to find a solution that both protects our school and allows for a new highway to be built.

4.) We are reminded that CRICS is only as strong as our teachers. Thank God for our teachers and ask God to give us the teachers we need next year, especially as we walk through these challenges.

As we continue to focus as a school community this year on the truth that Jesus is the Light of the World, please pray that we would be radiant as He puts us on a pedestal to shine in this community.
Peace of Christ,
Brent Pennington

Diospi Suyana – The school project

Please pray with us that the Diospi Suyana School is finished in time for the upcoming year. It is something that is really important to us, and I think it is important for the community. The schools here are OK, but they are problems. A school with higher standards along with a loving environment centered on Christ would be a blessing for us as well as the community. Here is how the school is progressing. From the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

School Construction: A Race Against Time

Working on the preschool and gym

Dear Friends, The gym construction progressed nicely this week. After being busy with form and reinforcement work in the bleachers area for the last three weeks, we finally moved on to pouring the concrete for the slated sustaining structure. The pillars are also coming along and the two brick layers just finished the first parts of the walls. Now, you can finally tell what we are building, which is very motivational for the whole team.

The window frames for buildings 3 and 4 are almost finished, the only thing missing: the window glass. Since we like the work the window installer has been doing, we will also have him do the science center.

We are still somewhat concerned about the roofing, as that work just keeps dragging on. Three quarters of the roofs are finished but quite a bit remains to be done, including the gutters.

We have kicked off the preschool construction with the foundation work.
Greetings from Curahuasi!

The construction team, Johannes and Udo

Friends and Spanish

The boys with some neighborhood kids in our backyard discussing teams for football.

The boys with some neighborhood kids in our backyard discussing teams for football. This picture was taken from the backdoor of our house.

We are thankful that our kids are learning more and more Spanish and the boys are even making some Peruvian friends. There are some local boys that are very friendly, and they will come by the house to play with Legos, Nerf guns, or if I kick them outside they will play soccer. I am thankful for their kindness and interest in being friends with David and Peter. All the kids want to learn Spanish, and the more exposure they have, the better their language skills become. This week all the kids will start attending a local school called Jesus is the Good Shepherd. All the boys that come to our house go to that school as well as many of the missionary kids. Please pray for our kids that they will all be calm in the presence of so many new kids and so much spanish. We are hopeful that this crash course will help them in their preparation for the Diospi Suyana school that will open in February. The Diospi Suyana school will be in Spanish, but it will have a German curriculum. Along with their time in the Peruvian school which is primarily aimed at the kids improving in Spanish and making Peruvian friends, we will also do some homeschooling, especially in mathematics and language arts. The kids need to get up and running in Spanish as soon as possible, so also please pray that they will learn well, and that they will make many friends.

The Man with the Good News – From Diospi Suyana

Another bit of good news from the Diospi Suyana website.  We are excited about the school that is being built in Curahuasi, Peru.  It hopefully indicates a good education for the young boys and girls growing up there.  It also will likely mean a good education for our children as well.  It will be interesting to send our kids to a school where the teaching is in Spanish, and the education is based on the German educational system.  I am not sure where that will leave our kids, but I hope that leaves them well educated with a mind open to the world.  I am thankful for the Christian education, because as I hope they develop this expanded world view, I hope even more that they will see the glory of God in what they learn, and that they will wish to be a part of the good work that God is doing in this great world that he has created. Continue reading