Friday, August 8, 2008

"My Beautiful Students"

‘My Beautiful Students’

This is what Jenn calls her class every morning…”My Beautiful Students”. And that is what they are. Let me give you a thumbnail sketch of the incredible people we have shared a house with over the last two weeks.

There is ‘the couple’…Aline and Robson. Aline is a quiet, beautiful young woman who has become the ‘mother’ of the group. This is unusual because she is not the oldest but because she is part of a married couple who have taken on a parental role, in the best of ways. She and Robson are both from Brazil and feel God calling them to either Indonesia or Myanmar. Aline prefers one on one conversations to loud group games. She LOVES movies and if she had her way, every night would be a movie night. She is a natural caretaker.

Robson is gifted. He is an artist and he is naturally curious. He is the one who always has a question, who always wants to know more. He has a very gentle nature but also a very sharp wit and can make you bust out laughing at a moments’ notice. He has served the team as an interpreter when we go to town or need to do something that would be very difficult for us English speakers…like buy tickets in the bus station. He loves God and has a deep desire to serve.

Daniel is from Chile. He is also talented. He plays guitar by ear. He has often played for us during our breaks and his range can be anything from Bruce Springsteen to an impromptu tango. He has given us many occasions of side splitting laughter as he is also a natural comedienne. He has impressed us with how much of a gentleman he is. “Ladies first” is an expression we hear at mealtime, when walking through doors, etc. When we are in town he keeps a watchful eye on all us and is concerned for our safety. He senses God calling him to work with Muslims. He plans to leave Chile in October to begin his work in the Middle East. He jokes about having five wives there but then we reminded him that with five wives comes with five mother-in-laws. He has decided that one wife is more than enough.

Irene is a nurse by trade. She lives in Guatemala. Her nickname is ‘Baby’. She is the tiniest of the group but there is nothing tiny about her love for God. She is very quiet but surprised us all by her performance in the Little Red Hen. She had the lead part and really put herself into the role. She will occasionally come up with a saying like “I have my limits” and we will all look at her and say, “Where did you learn that?” She feels God asking her to serve in India.

Carolina is from Mexico. She is a natural leader. Through her conversion some years ago, each of her family members has come to Jesus. She has a fascinating testimony. She is very competitive at games and also very talkative. She became our weatherwoman. I would ask her is the sun would be shining today…she would look outside and ‘not yet’.
She, too, feels called to India.

Cristy is also from Guatemala. She is a petite girl who is a loves to dress nicely! We have been envious of her clothing. She has an incredible grasp of English. She studies hard and writes beautiful letters to the team. Her pastor and church are very supportive of her and proud of her decision to follow God’s calling. Her desire is to go to India and minister to Muslim women.

Fabiana is from Brazil. She is a very gifted debater. During our debate time, she looked and sounded like a seasoned lawyer. She is very articulate and can certainly hold her own in any conversation. Fabi believes God is calling her to Tunisia.

Finally, last but not least, is Ricardo, who is also from Brazil. He is a wonderful musician. He is a husband and a father. He only was with us for five weeks but he left an impression. He is trying to get a visa so he can come and study in the states. He has been accepted to a university in Texas to study classical music composition.

That is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the students. They are awesome people who have each left their imprint on this team and the teams before us.

We had our last official class session this morning. We have spent the afternoon hanging out and packing. Tonight we have a special treat as Sue makes homemade pizzas and tomorrow morning we will surprise them with a breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls (again, compliments of Sue ) and pancakes and maple syrup. Then we will go into the city to do some shopping and tomorrow night is our graduation. After graduation we will be boarding the overnight bus to Rio. Three of the students will travel with us…Irene, Caro and Cristy. The rest will leave Sunday morning (when they found out when we were leaving Saturday night instead of Sunday, they tried to get their tickets changed to leave in the evening as well, because they said it would be too sad to wake up in the house without us).

I will try to blog tomorrow but it may be too busy. If I do not get a chance to do so before we leave, we ask for your prayers for safe travel home for both the students and the team. I will blog again, either here or once home to give the details of the end of our adventure.

Please know that the students and the team have felt and greatly appreciate your prayers for the program. It has been a wonderful 6 week experience. Thank you for the great work done by Team One and Team Two to get the ball rolling and to Team Three for finishing well. And, thank you for support of all the team member’s families as well as though who supported us financially.

So…for now….thanks and God bless,
Alice, Deb S., Pam, Sue, Jeanne, Lisa, Jenn and Deb


todd and mona said...

Aline you cut your hair, it looks beautiful!!! Everyboby looks great! Miss you all~ Love Bianca