Monday, November 12, 2018

Thankful for Transitions

I was going to call this post "Transitions" and leave it at that, but as I looked back at my last post and realized how smoothly God has orchestrated each step of this process since then, I have to praise Him for His goodness.  Transition is always difficult and stressful, but as we settle into a new routine and "home," I again see how blessed we truly are.

My Grammar Analysis class went very well. I taught it as a module this year -- we spent 5 weeks doing 12 class hours per week instead of spreading it out over the course of an entire semester.  This gave us much more consistency with the material, which helped the students stay on track as we built one concept upon another.  It was a much higher workload for me during that time, but I also had a couple of "free" weeks beforehand to front-load most of the prep work.

With 11 students, there was no way I was going to be able to help each one grasp the difficult concepts of grammar and solve the "puzzle" of analysis.  I am so thankful for Judy and Margarita, two of our coworkers who helped me with the practical work.  We were able to split the class into three smaller groups to do the practical exercises.
Applying the principles of analysis to real language
Margarita checks on Julieta's process

Judy guides a group through an exercise

When I finished my classes on October 12, I only had ONE week to prepare for our home assignment!  I am thankful for all of the work that Kaylee and the girls had already been doing to prep and pack.  Because we were leaving for nine months, we once again packed up anything that could be affected by mold or dust and stored it in our air conditioned classroom.  Each time we do this, we have to go through a process of evaluating what we have and choose to take, store, or give away each thing.

Packing suitcases to take and totes to store
On October 19, we flew out of Santa Cruz and went to Canada!  One of the couples that attended the big international forum that Etnos hosted in July was the director of our mission's training center in Ontario.  They invited us to visit and give a report to their students about the work we are doing in Bolivia.  So we flew from Santa Cruz to Toronto and spent four days there.  I don't know if we encouraged the students at all, but they were a tremendous encouragement to us!

We were given two opportunities to speak in their daily chapel.  The first day, I gave an overview of the work that MisiĆ³n Etnos is doing in Bolivia and our current personnel needs.  The second day Kaylee joined me to help share our personal story of how God has changed our plans and worked in us over the past eight years.

We also appreciated the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fall colors and explore their campus!

Finally, on October 24, we made our way to MONTANA!  Over the past two and a half weeks, we have been working to get our feet on the ground and settle in.  We have unpacked most of our storage shed, purchased things that we lacked (like winter clothes for the girls!), gotten me a new driver's license, and are trying to catch up on sleep.  We are slowly trying to transition back into the lives of our friends and family here as well.

A week ago, Kaylee got back to school with the girls after a 3-week break for travel/transition.  Sometimes getting back into a routine is the best way to feel settled and I think it is working.
Back to school after a short break
Of course, when the got our first good snow fall on Wednesday, we had to take advantage of our first opportunity to go sledding in almost three years!  We're thankful for how quickly we adjust back to cold weather!