Monday, April 04, 2011

2011's First Semester Classes

Classes have been going well this semester. We are actually half-way through the semester!

Julian teaches Apologetics on Thursday nights and has 20 faithful students in his class. He is challenging them to really think about how to respond to people who attack the veracity of the Christian faith. They find it hard, but rewarding.

On Saturday mornings I co-teach a class for women. Our focus has been our ministry as women in the church, especially directed to wives of elders and leaders. The two women on the far right are Consuelo and Amanda, also co-teachers. The other two teachers are not pictured. We split the semester into 5 modules, each one of us teaching 3 or 4 classes in a row. My  module is over, so now I get to sit and learn along with the 16 students enrolled in the class.

Bill teaches New Testament Survey on Thursday nights to a class of 28 students. They have just finished the book of Romans... hard to teach that in one 2-hour class! As an overview class Bill has to keep things moving and focus on the bigger overall themes of each book. The Institute offers in-depth book studies as well that many of these students will eventually take after they finish their survey courses.

Gilberto teaches Hermeneutics on Saturday mornings with about 20 students in that class. This is notoriously the hardest class we offer and the teacher often has to "un-teach" many of the bad habits students have picked up about how to read and interpret the Bible. For many this class is life-changing!

 On Tuesday nights Bill teaches an Introduction to Biblical Languages class for leaders and Bible teachers. There are 9 students in the class, here they are below taking a quiz. The purpose of the class is to understand better how we got the Bible and an overview of the Greek and Hebrew languages. Eventually, if there is enough need and interest, courses in Greek and Hebrew will be offered.

The other two Institute classes are held at a different location, way in the south of the city... so no pictures of them! There Sergio is teaching Old Testament Survey and Jose Luis is teaching the book of Galatians.

long time, no blog

 This blog is going to be a bit "random"... I haven't been as good lately about taking pictures!!
So, here's a brief view of some of my daily life stuff:

This is the corner where I wait every Saturday morning at 8AM to be picked up by a woman in my Institute class. From here it takes about 15 minutes to get to class, we're usually there well before the 8:30 AM start time. (This is about 2 blocks from our apartment... it used to take me 5 minutes to walk, with 18 extra pounds it's taking closer to 10!)

After my Bible Institute class on Saturday mornings I head out to our prenatal class in the north end of the city. I usually have an extra half hour before Bill arrives to meet me... this has been my weekly tradition! (I sometimes ask for Decaf, but I think what I really get instead is lactose-free milk =D.) Bill shows up at 11AM for our 2 hour class... only one more to go!

I walked home through our "barrio" from a bridal shower at our church last Saturday and found this curious - it isn't the norm, but it isn't surprising! This must be a new hole-in-the-wall restaurant, advertising their food with music. The guy in the street is dancing! They were pretty loud and though didn't have many people here, most people within 4 blocks were paying attention... Saturday afternoon is a busy day in the barrio - with most corner stores hosting groups of 4-10 men sitting outside drinking beer!

This is the fruit and vege store I like to shop at. It is much cheaper than the regular supermarket and is more like a farmers' market, so the quality can actually be a lot better (although it doesn't always look as pretty!)

Sometimes we crave food items that aren't available here... some of them I have figured out how to make, for example - English Muffins:
& Pita bread (not pictured) with hummus: (fyi - Pita bread can be bought here, but I like to make my own, it's pretty easy!)

Church life has been ticking along... I've been working closely with this woman, Maria Teresa. Together we have been discipling a younger woman for the past 6 months. We have one session left next Saturday. My other "girls" have been a little harder to meet with lately - their work and study schedules don't leave them with much free time.

On Sunday mornings I often hang out with the greeting team (not always these girls) - we use nametags to help us remember each other, it is especially helpful when there are new or visiting people, both for them and for us! Currently we have about 230 adults who regularly come, but usually about 150 at a time! One of my roles at church is to maintain a directory and prayer list, so I find that hanging out here and greeting people as they arrive helps me know who is who and who to include.

Life for me these past few months has been all about classes, home keeping, church and BABY stuff. And I think that order of priority is about to be turned upside down! Here we are at 7.5 months, only 6 weeks to go!

I really enjoyed "attending" a baby shower for us in California... via Skype! Some women from our home church met at my mother's house and I joined them online. I know I will enjoy all their generous gifts eventually, but what was mostly special for me was to see them and talk to them... it almost felt like I was there. (My sister has also been hosting a different type of virtual shower... my family has had to be creative with us living all over the place!!)

PS: Our weather this year. More days like this than not! Rainy season seems to be never-ending this year. On days like this one I miss my mountain view!