Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another School Year

Back in Guatemala for year 2! I have been back for about two and a half weeks and so much has happened. From getting my wisdom teeth pulled (yes, here) to school starting. It has been an eventful and tiring couple of weeks.

Summer was not entirely restful, but it was a wonderful time with lots of family. I was blessed enough to get to see a lot of my family from California to Pennsylvania, and my cousin even came to Texas for a couple weeks. It was so great seeing everyone and spending time with them.
Almost all of the Ellsworth cousins in Texas!
Best friend!
The end of the summer went by very quickly. I returned from visiting my boyfriend's family in New York and my grandparents' in Pennsylvania on July 23rd, my parents and sister returned from Africa on July 24th, my boyfriend then SURPRISED me in Texas on July 30, celebrated my birthday on July 31, then flew back to Guatemala on August 1. I had a day to get settled into my new apartment, which is in the same building as last year just a different apartment, and then woke up early Saturday morning to get my four wisdom teeth pulled. You may be wondering why I chose to get the surgery done here. Well, it was $450. The surgery went very well and healing was very quick. I got the teeth pulled on Saturday and was able to attend the first day of returning teacher orientation on Tuesday. I am already eating and talking completely normal. It really was a huge blessing to have such a talented, low-costing oral surgeon here. He did a great job and I'm very grateful to have them out!

Living room of our new apartment.


My room. Not many closets in Guatemala, but I get a desk!

Not much has changed around here since we left in May. It still rains every afternoon, it's still noisy, there are still marching bands practicing allllllll the time, buses still have way to many people crammed into them. There are so many things that are inconvenient and even annoying, but I am so blessed to get to be here doing what God has for me for another year. We started school last Tuesday. I am still teaching third grade and I have a new class that just moved up. I have been so excited all summer to begin my second year, having a year of lesson plans saved, and looking forward to it being a lot less stressful and not having to do quite as much. However, that's the thing with teaching, there's always ways to make lessons better and decorate the classroom more effectively, etc. I have been almost just as overwhelmed with all the improvements and changes I wanted to implement this year.

The view of Xela from our balcony.
We were surprised that there wasn't much rain when we first arrived, but it has been pouring for hours the last few days. I love it :)
I'm so grateful to be doing something I love and feel called to do. It's so much fun working with kids and teaching them about God. Most of them are so  hungry and excited to learn. The third grade Bible curriculum is the life of Jesus. It's incredible getting to tell stories of Jesus' life in school and even more getting to share the gospel in my curriculum every single day.

My classroom!
IAS has selected the theme of the year, "Jesus is a Verb Not a Noun." This idea originates from a song and it is our theme in our chapels and school mindset for the year. The idea is that our students and staff would realize and focus on the fact that being a Christian means we are to be like Christ in how we treat people and serve others. Please pray that this theme would be studied deeply by the teachers and maintain a focus on Jesus Christ and the gospel. Pray that our presentation to the students would be the way God intends and that it would cause movement and life change in the lives of our students. Also, I am in charge of the first elementary chapel this year within this theme. Please pray for guidance for me as I present this to very young ears--that I'd present it in a way that makes sense to them and in a way that focuses on Jesus.

It's amazing how quickly life goes by. I like to think about what I was doing exactly a year ago...two years ago...and it's just so incredible to look back on the journey that God takes us through. There are so many things that He has allowed me to go through and experience in the last 23 years that have brought me to this point. Even though I didn't always have vision or a sense of purpose, He had one for me. He always knew I would be in Guatemala teaching for a time, and He knows what I will be doing in a year from now. I'm so grateful to be able to rest in that and just focus on teaching and serving Him now. Thank you for the many prayers and the blessings I received from being in the States this summer. I am blessed and grateful.

Missing you Liz!