Friday, September 9, 2011

Manna Christian School

The first week of Manna Christian School is over, and it was a huge success!  The kids are happy, the teachers are happy, and everybody is ready for a little bit of rest before beginning a new week.  Here are some highlights from our first week of school.
This past Saturday we had an Open House for all of the students and their parents.  The Open House was on our school campus, and for some of the parents, it was the first time they had ever been to Bobita.  The day went really well.  We handed out uniforms, backpacks, and their student handbooks.  We were also able to give the parents and students a tour of the school.  We finished off the day eating a yummy lunch of moro and salami prepared by our school cooks, Ada and Jasmín.  The day was wonderful, and it made all of us really excited about the first day of school.

Uniforms packed up and ready to be handed out at Open House.  Those Walmart bags came in handy!

Student handbooks and planners.

Chad and his disciples: Anderson, Bebo, Carlos, Cristopher, and Wilson.

Audrey and her disciples: Graisy, Estefany, and Jailinne.

Evan and his disciples: Tony and Leandro.

Glenn and his disciples: Renecito, Elio, and Ariel.  

Me and my disciples: Ibelca, Rosmery, and Keren.  Elisa is one of mine as well but she couldn't be there that day.  She takes classes at the university on Saturdays.  

Jordan and his disciples: Ranger, Nataniel, Carlitos, and Angel.

Monday morning rolled around and we were all a little nervous but ready for a great day.  The kids arrived on campus right on time looking so sharp in their uniforms and new backpacks.  (A little side note, but I thought this was so cute.  Each of the kids has a navy polo and a red polo.  They all decided together to wear their navy polos on Monday and Tuesday and their red polos on Wednesday and Thursday.  Precious.)  Surprisingly enough, they were a little nervous!  The first few hours of school they were pretty quiet.  I was kind of surprised by this reaction, but at the same time, I can understand how they weren’t quite sure what to expect.  But don’t worry, they definitely had loosened up by the end of the day.  

Ready for the first day of school in Classroom 1!

Our first student to arrive on campus was sweet little Wilson.  Doesn't he look great?!

Manna Christian School faculty looking snappy in their uniforms!

Arriving at school on the Daihatsu.

Singing the Dominican national anthem like we do every morning.  I cannot express how much joy this time of day brings me.  

Cool backpacks!

Learning some English with sweet Ibelca.  She's so smart!

These first few months of school we are doing English Immersion, so Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are full of English class.  In the mornings we have two conversation type classes that we are all co-teaching where they get to practice the English they are learning.  In the afternoons we have a more focused setting with our discipling groups.  For example, I teach English every afternoon to my four disciples: Elisa, Ibelca, Rosmery, and Keren.  The kids have been learning so much English, and this is something they are really excited about.  I am already so proud of the progress they have made!  On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the kids have Spanish and History followed by English in the afternoons.  Our Math and Science classes are going to start in October after English Immersion is over.  Fridays are a half day of school so we have English the first two periods, followed by PE, and then discipling time.  
Every day of the week we have discipling in the afternoons.  Each kid who is a part of our school gets at least one session a week of one-on-one time with his or her mentor.  The days students are not in one-on-one time, there is a group activity for everyone else to be involved with.  This week, our focus for the discipling time was goals.  In the group setting we talked about different goals we have for our school and played different games and different activities to convey the message.  In my one-on-one times this week I focused on getting to know each of my girls a little better and expressing to them what I want our time together to be.  Please be praying for each of my girls (Rosmery, Keren, Elisa, and Ibelca) as well as all of our disciples.  Being this involved in each of their lives is a role that is going to take some getting used to from both parties, but be praying that these relationship open up spiritual doors that have never been opened before.  We all have faith that God is going to use this school to create strong followers of Him.  
So that’s Manna Christian School Week 1 in a nutshell.  It’s definitely going to be an adjustment, but one that is definitely worth it.  It still seems a little surreal that we started a school.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers and ask God to bless each of the students and each of the teachers every day.  We love you all and hope you get to come visit Manna Christian School very soon!