Saturday, 20 September 2014

First Weeks of School

It is hard to believe, we but we are already done with our first two weeks of school for Faith Builders' Educational Ministry! Wow! For years and years we have prayed and dreamed about this, and now, it has become a reality! Here are a few pictures from our first two weeks of school.
Our First Day of School! We have 7 students right now! Our desire and aim is to help these kids grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.

Our students are, from the left, Jonathan, Nyallum, Joshua, Gentry, Hannah, Emmanuel and Brian. The youngest is Nyallum- she turns four next month- and the oldest is Hannah, who is seven. 4 are in Kindergarten, 2 in 1st Grade (Learning to Read) and Hannah is in 4th Grade. 

A school is a big undertaking and requires a serious investment of time, energy, and finances. We were able to buy this photocopier in Douala for our school. It was the smallest one that they had, but works well for our little school. We were using our inkjet printer/scanner, but it was too expensive for the ink. 

We also got a computer for the school kids to use. We have put some educational programs on it and also use it to play learning songs and to reward kids who do well. 

"S reads S S S, Sunfish reads S S S!" Learning the letters and their sounds is crucial to reading phonetically. Brittney does a tremendous job teaching. 

We were blessed to have "Auntie" Elsie visiting us this past week. She is a tutor for various missionary kids in Cameroon, and came out to specifically help Hannah for two weeks, but has volunteered and helped out with Read-Aloud story times! 

PE Time with Coach Jeremiah! Clambering on the rocks in the back yards for one of our PE times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have Music on Mondays and Wednesdays and hope to add computer literacy classes, French and Cameroon History in the future. 

Making Mosaics... the kids have really enjoyed the multi-faceted learning approach, both instructional times and hands-on times. 

Our two Learning to Read Students- Emmanuel (5) and Joshua (6). 

Our Kindergarten Group- Jonathan (4), Nyallum (3) Brian (7) and Carys (1) Gentry (4). Brian's mother is a widow, and he had been attending a village school previously and so was behind. We hope to have him start Learning to Read once Emmanuel and Joshua finish it, sometime around January. 

Running laps around the yard for PE. We hope in the future to get some Monkey Bars and also a half-court Basketball court put in for the kids to use. 

AAAAND Stretch!

It is hard to believe that we are already done with the first two weeks of school! It has been challenging but encouraging to see. Like a journey of a thousand miles, we have begun with the first steps. Much remains to be done, much prayer to be offered, committing everything to God. It isn't our school- it's the Lord's. 

Some specific things to pray about and a few projects that we have in mind...

1- Pray that we can keep making progress with authorization and registration of our school. The government requires it and it is also a stipulation of our resident visas, but it is a long and tedious process. We hope on Monday to take another step, and then we will see what the next step is. Pray God opens doors, and gives us receptive and helpful people in the various offices. 
2- Pray for our our kids' parents. It takes faith to do something strange and different. Pray they have the patience and persistence to stick with things and to value their kids' character and souls above other considerations. 
3- Pray for us to have energy- especially for Brittney who is in the classroom doing the majority of the teaching every day.
4- Pray for our coworkers- Brian and Jael Harris- who will be coming in January. Their help will be much appreciated and perhaps at that time, we can admit a few more students. We have already had some parents ask, but didn't have the personnel or space to handle more kids right now. 
5- Some special projects that we have in mind, for you to pray about and maybe that you might be interested in:
               We'd like to put in a bathroom for the school kids. Right now they are using our kids and guests' bathroom in the house, but for sanitary reasons, for convenience and for privacy, it would be good if we could put in a bathroom for the school kids that is more accessible for the school kids. That way, they wouldn't have to troop through the house to use the bathroom and could even go to the bathroom on their own. 
               We'd like to also get some more playground equipment- either a swing set or monkey bars. These are all pretty young kids, full of energy and enthusiasm. It's nice for them to burn off some excess energy during break time so that they can focus during class. 
Thanks to all who have helped get this project off the ground, who have supported us these last years as we have planned and prayed for it, and who have been praying for us each and every day. We really, truly could not do this without all of you! There is far still to go, but it's always exciting to begin with a BANG! :) 

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