Friday, January 30, 2009
Yesterday, in the afternoon Leah and I headed to Clarkston for the children's choir.
The children seemed restless. Maybe they were just tired and hungry. We are going to try feeding them before choir each week so that they will not be hungry during the hour that I teach them. It still went well. There is always someone who acts out some and then that person becomes my helper at the front of the class. Some kids actually like the extra attention but for others it embarrasses them and makes them behave.
During choir a man came into the mission. He seemed upset but his English was very poor. He was Burmese. He kept saying something about 911. One of the volunteers and Mr.Bennett were trying to help him but we didn't have anyone there who could translate for him. It was loud and distracting for the children. At one point the man came and wanted me to give him one of the music books. I just smiled and laughed. I am not sure that he really understood what we were doing but he watched the children singing for awhile. Finally Bennett sent him on his way. I ask later if they ever figured out what the problem was. He was extremely upset about living here in the U.S. He hasn't been able to get a job. He has no food or money. He is about to be evicted from his apartment. He kept asking for us to call 911 and have the police fly him back to Burma. Refugee resettlement only provides for new refugees for 3 months. During that time they are suppose to be getting a job. In today's economy with regular Americans losing their jobs many refugees are just not making it. In every home that I have been in this week, I have been ask if I can help them get a job. Even highly educated refugees can't get a job. It is very sad! They are in desperate circumstances. They have come to America because it is the land of opportunity, a place they have heard about and dreamed about and they are struggling emotionally, physically and spiritually. Please pray for the refugees!!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Mark and I went to Clarkston tonight to check on an African Mom. She had called one of the other Missionaries and said that her 3 month old baby is crying all the time and has stomach problems. I checked the baby. She has an umbilical hernia but it looked okay. The baby was happy and responding appropriately. I think the baby may just be hungry. The few times that I have watched Mom breastfeed she only nurses for a few minutes at a time. I can't seem to make her understand that she needs to feed the baby for longer periods of time. Her English is poor. I will see if I can get someone to come by again who speaks her language. We had a good visit. She is a precious Mom with 2 wonderful children. Her life here is hard though as a single Mom and she is lonely.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday we took the day off and took Leah and Deborah to the zoo. It started out
a little cold and wet but after awhile the sun came out and it was a very nice day. We finished the day by getting pizza at a pizza place in Grant Park a few doors down from where Ruth and all the Fetner's live. It was a fun day.
Sunday, I stayed home from church with a migraine that started Friday. Everyone else went to church and passion play practice.
Today, I went to Chamblee. I checked on an expectant Mom. She looks good and says she has had a good week. I went up to a Bengali apartment to teach a Mom English. An Uncle, Aunt, and cousin, were there as well. They served me spicy noodles and tea(chai). There were lots of kids doing homework at the mission and helping Mr. Tim with his newsletters. Tim and I sat down to discuss goals and plans for my ministry.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
All this week I have been at training at North American Mission Board in Alpharetta.
It has been intense. I leave the house about 6:30am. Training lasts all day. Last night I had to go straight to church, teach children's choir, go to adult choir practice, then stay for passion play practice. We got home about 10:30. I was up until after midnight planning out children's choir for tonight at the apartment with the refugee children. I am hoping too rest up some this weekend.
Tonight was awesome and made all the effort worth it. Mark, Leah, Deborah, and I brought 8 boxes of pizza for the kids supper. Creatively we stretched the pizza so that all the kids got 2 pieces each. They were very grateful. We got a late start singing. First we did a loud silly song called "Dr. Knickerbocker." They loved it. Then we started working on a song from last week, "Step by Step." They did a great job remembering all that I had taught them before, so we started adding hand motions. As I looked around the room while I was singing with them, directing, and doing hand motions, I just gasped in awe. Here in this very room, in an apartment complex, represented by 28 different countries from Somalia, Ethiopia, Burma, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and many more, there were literally a room full of children singing praise songs to God. Wow, Wow, Wow!! How blessed I am to be a very small part of what a very big God is doing in the lives of others.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I finished ESL training this Saturday. It was 2 Saturday's of very full training sessions on how to use ESL for ministry and missions.
Today Sarah, Leah, and I went to Azalea Place in Chamblee. I finished all the teaching that I had for the expectant Mom. I will still check on her each week. The baby is due in 8 weeks. We are having a baby shower in a few weeks. I also went by to see the Mom from Bangladesh that I am teaching. Her children told me that she had forgotten and was at Walmart. We spent a little time with the kids. I left them with the English lesson papers that I had prepared so that they can give them to their Mom. Maybe I can get back by on Saturday.
This week I have North American Mission Board training for the rest of the week. Tonight I have been working on my homework for NAMB. Please God help me to stay strong and healthy and help me through this hard week!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This evening we started the refugee/immigrant children's choir at the mission in Clarkston. We had over 30 children there. They did an absolutely great job tonight
learning new songs. Mark, Deborah, and I, had a really good time with the kids on this very cold evening. I told Bennett that these kids did a good job for their 1st time. I was so impressed. They were just as good as the church choir kids that have been singing in choir for a long time.
Monday, January 12, 2009
This weekend was very full. I took an ESL class from 9-6 on Saturday. Sunday, we sang in choir. We heard a wonderful message on "Waiting on God." After church we attended a meeting with the Ethiopian short-term mission team about their recent trip in December. Afterwards we went to the Atlanta Passion Play company meeting. When the APP meeting was over we went to the cast party for "Here's Love" the play that Mark, Leah, Deborah, and I were in at Christmas at First Baptist Atlanta.
Today, we spent alot of time doing school. Spencer and Lianka were here. Late this afternoon, Mark and I went to Chamblee. I met with an expectant Mom. Her baby is due in 9 weeks. I really only need to finish up teaching her about newborn care and safety. She is getting excited about the baby.
Mark and I went over to a Bengali family's apartment. I spent some time teaching Mom English. She knows English. She can read and write English but she can't speak it. I encouraged the daughter to spend 10 minutes a day talking with her Mom in English. We enjoyed some wonderful food and tea with them. Mark and the son played basketball. The Dad has been out of work. He found a job at a gas station in Macon. He hasn't been home the last several times that I have visited their family. While I was teaching English tonight, they were teaching me some Bengali. Mom tells the children to call me Aunt Cathy. She says that we are sisters.
I really enjoy spending time with them.