Friday, 28 August 2015

Homeschooling Co-op in Bamenda!

We were blessed to be part of a homeschooling co-op in Bamenda which is about a 6-7 hour drive from Buea. It is a great way to visit other missionay families and help teach one another's kids on various subjects and activities. It was a busy, encouraging and fun 2 weeks!

There were Bible devotions every morning to start the day. Here Barry Abbot is leading the KG, 1st and 2nd grade devotions.

There was also story time after each break.

There was a nursery class for Carys' age but she wanted to stay with mommy and daddy...

So I brought her to my 1st and 2nd grade class and after that she went to do the fitness and sports program with daddy. Carys likes to be like the big kids.
I really enjoyed getting to teach Language Arts to the 1st and 2nd graders. We focused on phonics but also worked on antonyms, synonyms, creative thinking and writing with Ghanaian proverbs, etc. 
Miss Bonnie was a good helper during our classes. 

The kids had a great time in music and art taught by great teachers.

Math class with Miss Emily!

Miss Elsie working with the older students on the News Letter.

Auntie Holly's 3rd and 4th grade Language Arts class.

The main topic of this years program was "Talk Fine" or languages. There were different missionaries who are with SIL and other Bible translation organizations who were able to help out with the program. A special thanks to Cam Hamm, linguistic expert and father, who was in charge of these special unit classes!

Jeremiah cooked breakfast almost everyday so us ladies could help prepare the kids each morning. It was a blessing especially when we needed extra time for things like...

Crazy hair day! Hannah won one of the prizes for most creative hair. Her style looked like the Eiffel tower. 

Jeremiah was a big help in the program and  led the fitness and basketball program with Lisa Friesen (picture shown later).

While the kids worked on their fitness...

So did some of us moms! Kelly, Holly and I had a lot of fun doing some hard running, cross-fit, and weight workouts! It was both fun encouraging to motivate and challenge each other as we pounded the pavement, hit the weights, and did other interesting exercises.

Outside of SCA we kept pretty busy too. We went on an amazing hike with several other missionary families (look at previous blog for more pics and videos).

We had games nights with friends (can't believe I didn't get a picture!) and Holly taught me how to make lard from pig fat!

Hannah and I got to visit with some of our Nigerian friends and brother.sister in Christ who live in Bamenda. 
It was good to see some saints we hadn't seen in a while from the Sonac Street Church of Christ which was...
in a Muslim part of town. Pray for His light to shine all around.

Holly and Cam helped me learn more about the ukelele and string instruments in general so we practiced several times with some others during our "off times" at the program. 
The Schilinski family had everyone over one night for a big sing-along. It was a blast! There were some guitars, ukeleles, drums, shakers, and a bango.

The ending of the homeschooling co-op program went really well. Holly and Cam taught the kids a Russian song which they performed for us. 
Valerie Hamm had the kindergarderns tell a story and then retell the story.
Jeremiah and Lisa gave out awards for the students who got the National and Presidential level on their fitness testing,

Hannah was 1 of the students who got a presidential award. Great job Hannah!

A special thanks to these ladies, Ashley, Elsie, Bonnie, and Emily, who invested a lot of time and energy helping the families during the program!
I didn't get a picture of the Schilinski family but I also want to give a big shout out to them for hosting us these 2 weeks!

Our family pic! We just could not get one with everyone looking normal but this is reality. :-)
Here we are on our way back to Buea. We are thankful for a safe trip despite a little car issues due to the auto electrician swapping our almost new battery out for an old bad one when he was supposed to be fixing our lights. Thank God for His protection.

Thankful for such a wonderful time in Bamenda. Now we are back home busy getting ready for the start up of a new school year. More about that in our next blog! Thanks for reading and God bless!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mountain Adventure!

Our family was part of a 2 week homeschooling co-op in Bamenda which I plan to write about in our next blog. Now I want to take time to write a little about an amazing adventure we took with several other missionary families while in Bamenda as well as show some fun videos and pictures!

We thought the roads were bad at first but then they got worse! It was worth it to see God's beautiful creation and spend time with such wonderful people.

Only 3 out of 6 vehicles were able to make it to the top...

And ours was one of them!
Some of the incredible missionary kids that came on the trip. We only get to see other missionary families a couple of times a year so it was a real treat getting to spend time with everyone.
The crater lake, Lake Bambillie, at the top was breath taking! We then hiked to the 2nd highest point in the NW part of Cameroon. 

Some of the guys set up tents for the BBQ in case of rain as it was the rainy season.

A special shout out to Jake Schilinski for grilling up some delicious sausages! 

This pretty lady on the road asked me to snap her picture with me.

Holly had way too much fun driving! ;-D

There may not be a lot of extracurricular activities for families with children to do in Cameroon but there is an abundance of natural beauty and hiking spots!

This is a view looking out at Bamenda on our way back.

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds.” (Psalm 148:7-10)

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)

“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things He has made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Super Summer Summary!

Hey Guys! It's August already and this summer is FLYING past. We will be heading out to Bamenda next week to take part in a homeschooling co-op for the kiddos, but wanted to update you on the the last few weeks really quickly!

My classes at Ekona on Wednesday night are some of my favorite classes to teach. We have just finished up a series of lessons and will be starting a new one soon. 

My favorite students, I have to admit. :D 

For Carys' second birthday, we invited some of her friends over for a little party. Brittney always does a great job making our kids' special day very special. 

Carys loves to read, so the Bible story books she got for her birthday were much appreciated!

Always a big girl, Carys had fun cutting her cake for her birthday. 
August 2nd marked Carys' second birthday! What a blessing she is, so full of life and sweetness. For our daddy-daughter birthday date, which was the day after her birthday,  I took her to the zoo near us. 


Perla Martinez, our volunteer for the past three months headed out on the 6th of August. It was great to have her, and encouraging to see her dive into things wholeheartedly. She was a big help with school and VBS, and made many friends here in Cameroon. Please pray for her as she transitions back to the US of A, that she continues to grow in Christ and is a blessing wherever she may be! Go with God, Perla! 

PTA Meeting! The 1st of August, we met with some of the parents of the kids who will be in school this year. We are expecting there to be 16 kids! Wow! The majority of the kids are from the church of Christ here, with others children coming from friends and neighbors. We met with parents to discuss some of the costs that they will have, the books and materials that they need to buy, as well as our school uniforms. We also thank God for our Non-Profit Association, Hostetter Ministries Cameroon, being approved in time for this new school year. As the school is expanding, there are many expenses and needs for the upcoming year. These include:

A taxi for transportation of kids who stay far away. We are trying to sell Brittney's car so we can help one of the parents and brethren, brother Wilson, to buy a taxi to be using to bring the kids who stay far away to come to school. Some of these kids would have to pay about a dollar a day just for their transportation... this in a country where the minimum wage is around $2,00 a day. This will also be a help for Brother Wilson, as the taxi that he had is so unreliable that he has been spending more time working on it than actually using it- thus we achieve 2 benefits at once. Parents who use the bus service will be spending about $50 per child, but we still need to sell the car, so please be praying about this, as well as for the $600 we will need to add on top. School starts September 7th, so prayers for a swift result are greatly appreciated.

Arranging Classrooms/ Buying Chairs: We've spent about $500 to buy new (to us) chairs for the school this year (you can see them in the picture above). We also spent around $200 on improving lighting, and will still need to spend about $500 on more classroom furniture for the expanding school. Expansion is exciting, but also expensive. We are trying to pass on some costs to parents, such as notebooks, pens, uniforms, transportation, feeding... but don't want to charge fees, as we are a ministry and not a business, and don't want to be viewed as a business. Your continued prayers are always appreciated.

Finally, please pray for one of our students who just lost her father, Brother Celestine to Hepatitis last week. He was a good friend and we are sad to have lost him.

Once again thanks all! God bless and until next time!