July 31, 2013

A Time of Reflection

Just 4 Teachers HANDS Team:

This morning we visited Centro de Fe School in Managua. Sandra, the principal, shared her school and herself with us. Every little part of the school and the church - which was physically connected to the school - was being used as teaching spaces. Sandra proudly showed us around, introducing us to her teaching staff and showing off the well used spaces. Once again I witnessed the resourcefulness of these Nicaraguan teachers. There was a class meeting in the upstairs portion of the church auditorium. Even though on a slant, the teacher was able to fit 40 desks for 38 students into the space to conduct a science class. The Phys Ed class was playing chess in a small storage room. Sandra explained that normally under the supervision and guidance of the Phys Ed teacher, they learn and play outside - on the front street. She thanked God that so far there has not been any accidents. In another classroom, a student proudly displayed her project made using hair gel, plasticine and styrofoam. it was a model of a paramecium! i am so stealing that idea! This same class took time to sing a worship song with us that was taught to them by the students of Abbotsford Christian School. Finally, Sandra lovingly led us to the only air conditioned room - the computer lab. She explained how the Abbotsford school connection was made through EduDeo and passionately spoke of the blessing it has been for the students of her school. My mind wondered - imagining how the students from Abbotsford were impacted by their visits to Nicaragua. Sandra teared up as she spoke of the love she had for the teachers whom she had developed a close relationship with from Abbotsford. We wrapped up our time with prayer, and left yet another school connected to ACECEN with much on our minds.

As we left Centro de Fe, I reflected on a comment made the previous day when meeting with the ACECEN facilitators...  "Although ACECEN is greatly empowering the teachers involved in Christian education, due to limited resources, they have only been able to reach 30% of the Christian schools throughout Nicaragua."

In the afternoon, we spent some time as Christian school teachers from across Canada contemplating what we have experienced throughout these past ten days in Nicaragua. We brainstormed what we had discovered by trying to answer a few questions:
* What have we learned about Christian education?
* How has our time in Nicaragua challenged us in our Canadian context?
* How have we grown in our faith and understanding of ministry?
It was an excellent wrap up to an amazing time together.  We have been blessed to have been able to see this beautiful country and amazing people - even if only for a short time - and witness the work that God has begun here.
I will leave this beautiful country being challenged personally: in the way I relate to and raise my family, in the way I teach in the classroom and interact in my school, in my community -both locally and globally. At the moment, I ask myself how to respond intentionally and immediately to my love and burden for Christian education, and to the work that God has begun through ACECEN and EduDeo in Nicaragua.
Submitted by: Vanessa Luloff 

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