When I applied to teach in the Mercy Ships Academy, I had no idea what I was really going to get to be a part of. I am now in my 4th year of teaching Grade 1 onboard. I am supposed to be the teacher, but I am the one who has learned so much from each of my students.
This year already I have witnessed true courage, kindness, acceptance and love in action. Ben is from Brazil and started in the Mercy Ships Academy after only 1 month of being submersed into English. As an adult I can’t imagine the amount of courage it takes to start a new school in a new language thousands of miles from home. I struggle just to order dinner at a restaurant and he jumped right into 8 hours a day in a classroom that was taught all in English. I have loved watching my 3 students interact. Ben bravely entered Grade 1 in a new language. Adalynn and Emma have been amazingly welcoming to him and have made his transition easier at every possible moment. I am thrilled to see Ben flourishing and his confidence growing not only in speaking English but interacting with people around the ship. I believe that is in large part due to the class that God has put together this year to be a safe place where each student can grow and use their gifts to encourage each other. Each of them models kindness, patience, love and faith every day.
Most of the times that the students are given free time they choose to make cards for one another or for other teachers and crew. Each of them has gifts that they freely share to encourage others. It challenges me to step out and see whom God would have me encourage today.
Here are a few photos from our year so far:
One of many advantages of a small class is getting to pop over to the crew galley to do some baking.
They loved learning about writing friendly letters by exchanging letters with a friendly monster who wrote them back many times.
After learning about Psalm 139 and God making each of us special we made a book to celebrate the way God made. us
We had the opportunity to go and learn from the rehab team how casts are made and experience what the patients do.
Last Friday was Jabulani (Rejoice Africa) Day
The Theme for this term was Benin.
Thanks to all of you who partner with me to serve here in Benin. You are making a huge difference!