Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick Update

Just wanted to give you a quick update on how things are going. The first LST team arrived without any glitches on Monday afternoon (other than the glitch of me being late to the airport and they were standing on the sidewalk waiting for me when I walked up...lame, Cris.) and hit the ground running. They are a very enthusiastic bunch and are already doing a great job of jumping into the culture, church, and reading sessions.

Last night they had their information meeting, which is The Event that we had been so heavily advertising for. In years past there have usually been about 30-40 people show up to the information meeting and we add several readers after the fact. Yesterday it started raining around lunch time and I started getting worried....rain keeps a lot of people home. It's hard to get around on public transportation in the rain, and so I started preparing myself and the team that we might get a lower turnout than we had hoped for.

According to the sign-in sheet at the information meeting, we had SIXTY people show up! What does that mean? It means that sixty people have signed up for LST reading sessions and will begin their studies this week or next. That means that of the 60, 54 were brand new readers who have never participated in LST before, and the other 6 were very special former readers who have come back to continue. That means that sixty people were interested enough in the program to brave the rain and come out anyway...and it means that several others who had confirmed they would come weren't able to, and called today to schedule reading sessions anyway.

The group is in high spirits and enjoyed their first day of reading. Please be praying for all of us...the team as they get into the groove of the very, very intense reading schedule and me as I try to keep my sanity playing secretary for 6 workers and 70ish readers. :) Don't be mistaken, however...I am having an absolute blast. I have the best job in the world and am overwhelmed by the blessings God is already showering on us.

Here are some pictures of the information meeting...

Monday, May 17, 2010

I love my job

For those of you who have never participated in any kind of English-as-a-second-language experience, I highly recommend that you figure out a way to do it at least once. LST provides an excellent opportunity for me on a daily basis. Not only is it rewarding to help others learn and master another language, it's also really fun.

And you're always guaranteed a good laugh, especially when they decide to try out the latest slang or idiomatic expressions they've been learning.

I got this email today from a guy who saw our advertisement and wanted to know more about LST. I replied to his email, telling him about the information meeting next Tuesday. Usually they write to me in Portuguese, I respond in English, and then if they reply again it's usually in English. That's when it gets funny. This email made my day!

Hey Cris,
I'm sure I'll be there and save a seat for me, alright?
I'm looking foward for it! I'm definetely in.

See you buddy.

I don't know this guy, but I do look forward to becoming his buddy. Or...I guess I already am. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For those of you who have been praying....


(Read my previous post if you don't know what you were supposed to be praying for.)

This happens every year. In March-ish I get so excited, because this is going to be the best LST year yet. We are gonna have the best turnout we've ever had!

And then April-ish I start thinking "Ohmygooness. What if no one calls? No, they're going to call. God has gone before us and is preparing the people who are going to come this year."

And then comes May. Oh, May. May is when we can start doing T-minus countdowns to The Start Date. It's when we do our advertising campaign, and this year it was a MEGA advertising campaign. And May is when I start bargaining with God. "Ok, God. Please don't make all of our efforts be in vain. Please send us people. If you don't send us new people to study the Bible with, I'll just call some old readers. Old readers who never showed interest in learning more about the Bible but at least they showed up. I will. If you don't send us readers that's what I'll do."

And then I start thinking more clearly, like this morning at the gym while I was on the treadmill, (it's where I do some of my best praying) and I pray "God, thank you for giving me and the LST workers the privilege to serve you by helping others practice their English and study the Bible at the same time. Please send us people with open hearts, and help us to show your love to them. We know that you know so much more than we do, and you are working in the hearts of each and every person we will meet with. That's enough. We are here to serve you."

And whaddya know? The phone started ringing. And the phone hasn't stopped ringing. It's rung so many times that I have my little speech down pat.

Please keep praying. I know you have been, and I know you will continue to.

It works!