Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Week of "Firsts"

Sami, youth minister, leading the music
1st grade played the best!
Recently a team from Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson, SC spent a week at the Ruth School.  Thanks to their efforts we had a full week of "firsts".  We had our first chapel service where the students learned about the Bible story of Ruth and why the school is named after her. 

The students all received a recorder and learned to play it.  They gave a concert to their parents at the end of the week. (another first - parents open house)
It takes a lot of concentration
The team took the Day Center kids to the zoo and to McDonald's for Happy Meals.  This was a first for the little 5 year olds!  Then it was off to the mountains on a double decker bus for the 1st-3rd graders! This day of "firsts" was topped off with a picnic in the park.

 Our first Sewing Club was fun as the students worked diligently on a fleece scarf project.  They learned to sew straight lines, pin seams, make tassels, and sew on buttons.  They are now eager for cold weather so they can wear their new projects!

Our first Moms' Club of the year was a success with 20 mothers attending.  The school nurse did a program on breast cancer in conjunction with October being awareness month.  One of the team members gave a personal testimony of her survival from breast cancer and some of the mothers were moved to tears.

Yes, it was a week of many firsts - to be followed by 2nds and 3rds as we continue the weekly chapel services, the sewing/craft club, Moms' Club, and the squeaky practicing of recorders.  Thank you Boulevard for a great week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

God Moves in Mysterious Ways . . .

Keith has been recording the New Testament in the Sinti Romany language. The printed version made its debute this spring. We wondered how Sinti, who traditionally oppose having their language written down, would react. A recent message from Germany, where opposition has been particularly strong, states that German Sinti leaders are not only becoming convinced of the need for God's word in their own language (previous attitudes being, "Why do we need that--we can read the Bible in German"), they are also spreading the printed New Testament as language-learning material among their own people. This can only be a God-thing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

An Unexpected Partner

A couple of days ago, we got our reports from CBF of folks who have contributed in the last month. All the names we recognized… except one, a Mrs. Keatts from a nearby city here in Virginia, who had given us a gift. We searched our contact records to see if we might know her by another name. No luck – we didn’t know Mrs. Keatts, but we wanted to get to know her.
So on Monday, I looked up her phone number and called her. I didn’t know what to expect, but certainly didn’t expect the blessing I received in the next 20 minutes!
Mrs. Keatts is a member of a Baptist church in her city, and each week someone reads the names and assignments of CBF missionaries during the prayer time. Our names caught her attention when some names were being a couple of weeks ago, and she decided she would send a check to us.
In our conversation I learned a lot about Mrs. Keatts. She just turned 80 years old, but she said she preferred to call it “seventy-nine-plus-one… that sounds so much better than eighty, doesn’t it??” I caught her just as she’d come in from working in the yard all morning. She has been a prayer warrior and giver to God’s mission work for decades, and she was particularly glad to hear about our work and the trip we will be taking this coming week. I offered to send our newsletter and she told me not to waste the stamp because she’s having problems with her eyes right now and can’t read very well. I told her I’d send the newsletter anyway, and would pray that God would restore her sight. It was a wonderful, funny and encouraging conversation – an unexpected blessing!
I won’t say how much she gave – suffice to say that it was likely a sizable gift for an 80 year-old to make. She didn’t know why our names caught her ear, but we’re certainly glad she heard God’s voice and answered!