I've spent twenty minutes every Tuesday afternoon this school year reading Charlotte's Web to eight first, second, and third graders. By now I've hopefully mastered Charlotte's calm voice, Wilbur's frantic concern over being turned into ham at Christmastime, and Mr. Zuckerman's amazement at the words in the web. And of course I've also mastered getting out of character just long enough to spot paper airplanes in the making, get them into my possession, and promise to give them back when reading time is over.
Yesterday we all watched the movie together, even the older kids. One little girl, one who hardly ever answered the questions I asked after each chapter even when I called on her, crept up behind me to remind me which words Charlotte was about to write her web above Wilbur's pen. A first grader next to me looked over with wide eyes and a frown as Charlotte passed away. I even saw my rambunctious paper airplane makers whispering to themselves the next major event in the story!
Sometimes I read ahead enough to be able to put a few words into my short term memory which allowed me to look up at the story's listeners for a quick second. I still remember how they sat on the edge of their seats, pausing from their coloring, and looked intently at the front cover of the book as I read the passage about Fern and Avery swinging in Mr. Zuckerman's swing:
"You climbed the ladder to the hayloft. Then, holding the rope, you stood at the edge and looked down, and were scared and dizzy. Then you straddled the knot, so that it acted as a seat. Then you got up all your nerve, took a deep breath, and jumped. For a second you seemed to be falling to the barn floor far below, but then suddenly the rope would begin to catch you, and you would sail through the barn door going a mile a minute, with the wind whistling in your eyes and ears and hair."
At the end of that chapter, I asked them if they liked swinging too. A couple of them didn't answer and just looked at me, at least two or three kept on coloring their pictures of Wilbur and Charlotte, and several nodded quietly.
I only got one enthusiastic yes, from my most loyal paper airplane maker. He didn't draw very many pictures during reading time, and the ones he did draw he wanted to take home so I never saw what they looked like. But I saw his eyes shine with excitement and comprehension of Fern and Avery's thrill in that barn when I asked that question. I've held onto that yes.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Here are a few snapshots of some of what has been happening here on the Yakama Reservation. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement as we serve with Sacred Road.
The Sunday School class I teach is a real highlight of my week. I teach the 3rd - 5th grade girls and we average about 10-12 girls each week. I love these girls so much! We have a Bible story and make a craft related to the story. We are also learning some verses together. Please pray that each girl might know Jesus personally, find their hope in Him and understand He has a special plan for their lives.
Working on crafts in Susie's Sunday School class
Emily and I both volunteer in the after school tutoring program (Kingdom Kids) each week. This is Jesse Dempsen who coordinates this ministry. The children loved this science experiment!
|This cute kid really enjoyed the science experiment too|
|Even my mom made it over one day to visit the Kingdom Kid's tutoring program!|
|Everyone got to carve a pumpkin at Kingdom Kids!|
The children LOVED Darren's spiderman mask he wore to the Fall Festival at Sacred Road.
This is a special little girl dear to Emily's heart. They made paper snowflakes together.
It was a blessing to have her around during Christmas.
This little preschooler was an angel in the story of the Nativity at our Christmas service. The children acted out the story and loved participating in this way. It was a very special morning with a delicious Christmas meal we all shared together afterward.
We have enjoyed lots of visitors in our home including this little cutie who stayed with us for a week and really took a liking to Rachel.
This is an early morning sunrise from our front porch.
The beauty of God's creation here on the Reservation is breathtaking.