Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heart to Heart English

The Saturday morning classes began today. The students consisted of several "typical" children from a local orphanage school as well as some children with minor physical disabilities. For instance, one boy had a leg that was 8 inches shorter than the other leg. Another boy struggled to walk, and another child had difficulty speaking, but they were all clearly educated.
Their English was much better than I had expected. I quickly had to adjust my lesson plans. Here, a few of the teachers are helping me demonstrate an activity.
The children enjoyed some of Molly and Hudson's Sandra Boynton books.
We hope that this current project is only the beginning of our Heart to Heart English classes. In the coming months, we want to make further inroads, blessing children with moderate and severe disabilities -- those disabilities which have prevented them from receiving a formal education. We're excited that at least one child with Cerebral palsy will join us next time, as well as a child who has not been allowed to attend any kind of school. All in all, this day was an exciting start.
~ Kevin

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Training Day

After a year of planning and anticipation, today was the first day of our Heart to Heart English classes for children with special needs (though the students themselves won't arrive until next week).
Today was training day. I taught more than a dozen primary school English teachers from three different schools. Even for those teachers who teach children affected by disability, this was their first time to receive any such disability training.
It is quite amazing to see the technical resources available to this primary school. I could draw on the screen with a special pen.
I'm standing with the principal in front of the primary school. Thankfully, she was very pleased with the morning training.

I'm also working on a textbook for the Heart to Heart English classes. The two characters above will likely be on the cover of the booklet. Molly has enjoyed watching to see what new characters I will draw.
~ Kevin

Thursday, April 4, 2013


We wanted to share some scenes of our Easter day. Here's our best family photo -- sorry it's a little blurry. (Getting the kids to sit still is next to impossible.)
Molly & Hudson were excited to wake up to new Easter baskets! Kevin's mom sent a box last month for his birthday and included a few Easter surprises, including these baskets, plastic eggs, Easter pencils and a puppet glove craft. I added toy binoculars, Dove chocolate and cute socks.
We headed to our International Fellowship and had a very special worship time. Kevin ended up being in charge of children's church and took the opportunity to record an Easter message from Molly and Hudson. They send a shout-out to our Texas church, Bridgepoint Fellowship, but also include "all people" and "everyone in America."
After fellowship, about 14 of us went to lunch together at a nice Western restaurant nearby. I ordered penne pasta, the kids shared beef fajitas and Kevin had a hamburger. Quite the varied menu!
Then our family rode with Paula and Sherri to the orphanage. Hudson had just fallen asleep in the car as we pulled in, so he and I stayed outside while the rest spent about an hour with Teddy. (Sadly, the orphanage only allows Paula to see Elizabeth once a month now. They say it upsets her emotions too much, but we are praying for breakthrough here.) Kevin played five games of Chinese "go" with Teddy.
Pictured above: Sherri, Teddy, Kevin and Molly. Teddy is in the same room as this little girl Molly and I spent time with on our last orphanage trip. So Molly enjoyed trying to play with her again.
When we got home that evening, we had fun watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs around our living room. Molly was particularly inspired to sing a few songs before bedtime. This is "Amazing Grace," sung with gusto:
And I'll close with her rendition of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" -- although clearly we need to do a better job of teaching her the lyrics.