(We didn’t take any new pictures today, so enjoy a recap of our team members!)
Still reviving from the jolts of the adventurous bus ride last night and recalling our group’s energetic rendition of the Indiana Jones theme song, our team fully embraced the next (air-conditioned) leg of our journey: a 3-day “Teachers Training” session. It was first conceptualized by Matt, Jeff, and John three years ago, when Riverside was experiencing a high turnover rate of its teachers. These three, instructors themselves, decided to implement some basic team-building activities to help the teachers, many from the state of Kerala, feel purposeful and united. Since then, it has developed essentially into a discipleship program, since the leaders firmly believe that if these teachers are on fire for Jesus, that love will overflow into their lesson plans and interactions with students.
While our construction team was still hard at work painting the students’ dorm, our college team helped facilitate the teachers training. We participated in “speed dating” with the teachers, learning more about them and their desires for the school. We played a rowdy round of Bible Pictionary, giving both an example of games to use in the classroom and an integration of faith and learning. These activities were cushioned by lessons by the leaders: Jeff spoke on how and why to achieve intimacy with Christ, John explained ways to describe our relationship with God (potter/clay -> bridegroom/bride), and Matt gave a compelling talk about what it means to be OF Christ (He is our source and substance!).
In the morning, the president of the village visited us, showing her support for the school and hospital. Since the Christian school has had issues with the local government previously, this new president and her support are a breath of fresh air. She was a wonderful encouragement for us all, and we were able to pray for her as she faces resistance from male Hindu leaders in the community.
It was wonderful to talk with the dedicated teachers more, and to hear their heart for Christ and for their students. Once our day was over, we also got to team up with them to prepare for Chairman Solomon’s next request, decorating the classrooms of the school building! Some of our themes so far are “Under the Sea,” “Creation,” and “Saris.” It will be fun to be creative for a little while, even if the available supplies are drastically different!
Please continue to pray for Mike, who is still sick in bed and very disappointed about missing out on his intended tasks. May the Lord heal his body and encourage his mind! Keep the teachers in your prayers as well, as they prepare for school starting next week; that they would be excited and encouraged by this training. Thanks for reading!