Wow! The internet connectin has been so slow (or else it's my computer) that I've been unable to do this blog for over a week.
ECHO-GENI is a program where three area schools send kids to participate in academic competition. Last Saturday we had the spelling bee. This is a first for our town...inter-scolastic academic competition. It went very well. The kids enjoyed it. It was tense, serious, and yet positive. A young girl from the BREAD OF MAN school won the sixth-grade competition. She was nearly eliminated when she misspelled toilette. The other three remaining spellers made errors as well, so she remained alive. A few rounds later they fell, and she spelled mangue correctly to become the first champion speller in the ECHO-GENI program. ECHO-GENI is sponsored by Asaph Teaching Ministry. I'm working with three local teachers to initiate the competitions which will be expanded next year if all goes well.
We've had no electricity in our church for the past few weeks. That means no keyboards, bass, or amps...or microphones. We tried doing accoustic instruments for a week or two. It was nice, but for the past two weeks we've used only voices. It's amazing to me how distracting an instrument can be to the person playing it. I push musicians here all the time to worship (in spirit and in truth) while they play during a service. I realize I've been doing music more than worshiping lately myself. It's good to 'get back to the heart of worship, and it's all about you, Jesus!'
The house is coming along beautifully. It looks like it'll be finished this week. And we'll be perhaps only $100 or so over budget. They did the floor yesterday. I walked on it this morning. Smooth. I've slept on the roof already, but not yet inside the house. (It has been smoking hot here lately.) Looking forward to moving in next week.
GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD. HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER.
Academic competition is foreign turf for most folks here. Compassion International has been sponsoring some events, and students from the Baptist school down the road have participated. Last Saturday we began an academic competition involving kids from the three schools in our immediate area. Several teachers (and I) have been busy preparing the activities which are designed to be a foretaste of things to come next year. So far, so good. On Saturday the 26th we're planning team competition in the areas of Science, Social Studies, English, and Spanish.
I worked on a video slide show for next year's assembly programs. It's fun, but a two-minute segment took me over four hours this morning...and it's not finished.
I was able to call Mom for Mother's Day. I can't help but wonder if Mother's Day is going to be offensive at some point in the future. It's so traditional, sexually. Anything traditional seems to be under attack. Parent's Day, perhaps.
On Sunday morning our church received a bunch of Bible books designed for teaching kids. They're wonderfully prepared (in color and in good Creole spellings). Samaritan's Purse sponsored them. That's Franklin Graham. This week he stated that Barak Obama is shaking his fist at God. That's apparently a phrase from one of the ASAPH psalms...75....The Message. It's not a position I'd want to be in.
This morning the mason's came and began working on the inside of the cement room. On Wednesday, the steel buildings are scheduled to leave Lancaster. July isn't far away any more!
On Saturday morning folks from town came to help pour the cement roof on my one-room house. They showed up at around 5:00 and were done pouring the roof by 9:00. The masons led the job with head mason Cenord Oxima in charge. There were also a few paid 'mixers' and 'food makers'. Other than that, it was volunteer labor...in exchange for a meal. The deal here in town is that if you help me when I pour my roof, I'll help you when you pour yours (like New Orleans funeral musicians: "You play at my funeral, I'll play at yours."). For a town that struggles with unity, these days are great examples of it.
Missionary in Haiti.