Greetings, Ministry Partners!
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:11, NLT)
Another month has flown by. August is over!
The World Race
We had a team of seven World Racers here from August 1-26. I got to spend a little bit of time with them, but mostly I was teaching or working on lessons. If you know anyone between the ages of 21 and 35 who has a heart for missions, be sure to have them check out The World Race at www.theworldrace.org. It’s a life-changing 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries. The work is different in every country, depending on the needs of the particular church or ministry organization the team is partnering with for the month.
During their month here, Team MannaFest participated in many of the church’s ministries, including, construction, food distribution, home visits, cooking for the children’s nutrition program, helping with the Compassion International project, leading worship, visiting with teens, helping Moises with the teen Bible classes, and helping Oscar and Ana with their home group in San Buenaventura. They demonstrated the love of Christ to many people, but they were also the recipients of His love through the people of the IMC. I was very touched to hear how the people gave of their meager means to bless Team MannaFest. It reminded me of the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12 and also illustrates how Jesus could send out the twelve disciples in Matthew 10 and tell them not to take any money or extra clothes. Team MannaFest is now serving at an orphanage in Nicaragua before they transition to Asia.
Four more weeks of English classes completed this month means that we have completed the first half of this trimester, which ends on October 12. The students are doing well, including my new students, some of whom are only 11 years old. I think the real test for them will be the second half of November and all of January when they don’t have regular classes, but we’ll be having English classes. If they still come then, there’s a good possibility they’ll stick with it and eventually become fluent speakers of English.
New Curriculum Development
I have completed the first draft of the scope and sequence chart for the first level of the new English curriculum. I will create a chart for each level before developing the actual lesson materials so that I can make sure the lessons will progress in a logical manner and will include the necessary grammar and vocabulary for each level. I’ve talked with a few people about my vision for the curriculum and they all like the idea. Hopefully, with God’s help, what we think will work actually will.
The two classes of teens that started with me last August will complete the first level of the current curriculum in October, so I need to start the new lesson development at their level and then simultaneously work forward and backward. I don’t want to pay for the printing of any more books for the current curriculum, so as each class completes the workbook they currently have, I want to have the new lessons ready for them. Of course, I might need to include a couple of transition lessons to bring them up to speed with the new curriculum.
Curriculum and Schedule Transition
In order to transition both to the new curriculum and to a new yearly schedule, the next term will only be six weeks long. Then, during the month of December, there won’t be any classes. All the students should enjoy that because their regular school classes will be out, too. I will be spending the month working on the new curriculum and preparing for the teen’s first term of the year. That term will be different for the teens, as they will probably be working through The HOPE Story ESL Curriculum. If we don’t do that, we’ll do something similar.
Starting in 2014, classes will run from about the first week of January through the first week of April, the middle of May through the third week of August, and the first week of October through the third week of December. This will give us three 11- or 12-week trimesters, after adjusting for holidays and mission teams, each year. This also gives me the opportunity to go to the U.S. either in April or September without interfering with the class schedule.
Speaking of U.S. travel, although I would like to spend the month of December in Texas, I’ll be staying here. I can only make one trip, and I need to be in Texas in April for medical and dental appointments. So, I expect my next trip to the U.S. will be at the beginning of April, 2014. That sounds like a long time from now, but I know the time will go by quickly.
Support and Prayer Requests
I thank each of you so much for your continuing support. Thank you for your emails, Facebook messages, prayers, housing, and financial contributions. This is definitely a different lifestyle than I became accustomed to in the U.S. Thanks to God, I have adapted well. However, I am still not used to budgeting so carefully because there is no savings account or “next paycheck” to cover any excess spending. I always knew that God provided my paycheck, and I depended on Him to do that, but that dependence on His provision is much deeper now. If God leads you to be a part of His provision for me, you can make a tax-deductible financial contribution online through The Foundation, or, if you don’t need the deduction, you can make a non-deductible donation directly to me (send me a note and I’ll tell you how; this would be non-deductible for you and non-taxable for me).
Another thing I’m not used to is not being able to freely walk where I choose because it’s not safe. I’ve asked before that you pray with me about this issue. I ask you again to please pray with me that it will be safe to walk between my home and the church building by July of next year, that the areas considered to be hazardous will become safe for everyone.
Please remember when you shop online that if you buy through the links on my website, you’ll be supporting my ministry. Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com both pay me a small fee for purchases made through my links.
If you would like to be one of my prayer partners and haven’t signed up for my prayer partners’ mailing list, please do so here: http://eepurl.com/wVcB5.
Please keep praying!
With love from Honduras,
If you would like to partner with me financially, you can make a tax-deductible contribution through The Foundation at www.tfofsp.org. The Foundation will pass on 100% of your contributions to me. Please enter “Star Ferdinand” in the Comments box.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. -Psalm 18:1