Although hard to believe, we are rapidly approaching the end of the year. In Costa Rica, the school year runs February – December, and many of our programs follow the same schedule. Tutoring classes will end this week and resume next March once the kids have settled into school again. We pray that the majority of children will pass on to the next grade; many are held back an entire year due to failing a subject (often for failing English). There is no option of summer school or additional make-up work.
Ana Virginia and I have decided to end kinder class on December 5. This allows me about 10 days to wrap things up before I fly to the USA to visit family for the holidays (about a month long visit). We are wrapping up the year with creative activities and playtime. The kids think that addition is incredibly easy, and they just learned how to count 10 by 10…they are working on a sewing project…they are whizzes at solving mazes…they love bouncing the playground balls…I am steadily substituting English for Spanish instructions and they can usually solve it by context….
We just finished reading through the life of Jesus…from his divine birth to his ministry and miracles to his arrest and crucifixion. They were especially attentive during these last weeks as we have read how he was insulted, spit upon, put in chains, whipped, and degraded before the world—though he had done nothing illegal or morally wrong. Please pray that the children will truly believe that Jesus is the son of God, come to save them from their sins. Pray that they desire to obey God every day, and to ask His forgiveness for their wrong behavior.
My Saturday girls keep me constantly on my toes!! Just this past week, I chased them all over the fields in a game of freeze tag. During Bible study/small group time we are teaching a series on emotions, and the girls have been very expressive about their feelings and events in their lives. In addition, we keep busy with journal time, activity sheets and books, outdoor games and songs, crafts, and snacks. We also enjoy puzzles and board games, science experiments and cooking, and acting out the lessons through dramas.
Our end-of-the-year camp will be held January 22-25, 2009. We will take 40 girls and 60 boys (ages 8-11) to Camp Roblealto, in the mountains above San Jose. Daniel from the New Horizons boys program and I are teaming up to plan all activities. The camp’s theme is survival, and our “cadets” will travel through a space journey while dealing with issues of sexuality, violence, and addictions—all of which are daily occurrences for these little ones.
Please pray for us as we work together in this time leading up to camp, and especially as we coordinate and mentor the 15 counselors and 7 support leaders who will be serving the children. Please also pray for the provision of funds to cover the total costs of two camps ($9,500 includes the adolescent camp and the preteen camp, of which we have $3,000). Pray for the campers, that they accept God’s transformation in their hearts and lives.