Saturday, September 24, 2011

Field Trip!!

My grade 4/5 class took a field trip the last day of term. We have been studying Papua New Guinea history this last term and learned that one of the main exports is coffee. We live in a valley that grows lots of coffee and has a number of coffee factories, so we went to tour the New Guinea Highlands Coffee.

My students were good listeners, asked some good questions, and learned a lot about coffee. Mr. Dave, the company's manager, was our guide and teacher.
After the beginning presentation, all the kids had the opportunity to try the coffee. Thankfully their teacher didn't have to try any.

Parker has inherited his dad's love for coffee.

Best friends sharing a cuppa.

After our coffee tasting we went on a tour of the factory. This loft was full of bags of coffee beans.

The coffee is shipped all over the world. We learned that Germany and the US are the main purchasers from this company.

This was the 'cup room' - where coffee beans are roasted and tested to insure consistant quality of the beans.

The students were interested in the roasting process.

This is a vat of beans. Then they travel from here to be checked and bagged for transport.

Here is where the beans end up - bagged and stacked.

And here we are at the end of the tour. We had a great time and learned lots.

Friday, September 23, 2011

PNG Independence

PNG Independence is celebrated by our school in style. This year I am helping out with our student council group and Independence Day is our biggest fundraiser. I baked and "decorated" a cake for our cake walk. It was pretty late at night and this smilely face cake is all I could come up with.
The next morning, Sept. 16th - Independence Day - we began with a pie auction. Some pretty yummy items up for bid.

At NCA we have a unique twist on the "kissing booth". We send kisses - lip shaped suckers and a rubber stamped lip print. It is a very popular booth, and a lot of fun to deliver little bits of encouragement.

One of our other booths was the stocks. You could pay to put your friends in the stocks and then throw wet sponges at them. I had two students send me a "kiss" and two other students put me in the stocks. I think I prefer the "kiss".

Here is a shot of our cake walk. It is the most popular booth at the our celebration. Most PNG citizens don't have an oven and so the chance to win a cake is a big draw.

It is awfully fun to award a cake to the winner!! Here is our student council president showing off the cakes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

August Prayer Letter

School: NCA has begun!

Finally August 3rd arrived and we got to start school. I had been waiting for so long to be back into the classroom and I was thrilled to get started. I am teaching grades 4 and 5 again this year. Right now there are 15 students—8 fourth graders and 7 fifth graders. The class is currently made up of 2 Australians, 2 Germans, 1 Canadian and 10 Americans. Of course most of them know little about living in their home countries. They are great kids and I have been enjoying getting to know them over these first three weeks.

This part of the school year is a little bit difficult. Everyone is trying to learn new routines in my class as well as in music, art and PE. We will all get them down soon. The work load is a bit of a jump from 3rd grade to 4th grade, but they are all doing well.

This first term is shorter than usual because we postponed the beginning of school as we waited for some of our teachers to arrive. Just last week we found out that there is a new national holiday this Friday and so we have lost yet another day. I am not sure how we will get all this term 1 information digested, but I am sure my students are up to it. Plus it will make term 2 seem like a piece of cake. Please be praying for both students and teachers as we try to learn/teach all that God would have of us this term.

Tribal Update (excerpt from Gary and Esther Smith’s letter)

A couple weeks ago some religious leaders threatened some of our tribal missionaries. Though things looked a bit concerning this was the outcome..

This morning after a not so good night sleep I looked outside and saw men walking around our houses to protect us. Then the plane came in with the NTM leaders and left to go get the police men. We all met together and prayed and reminded each other to respond as Christ would respond.

The police arrived at the same time as the delegation. So we gave the floor to the religious leaders and they accused us of all kinds of falsehood and they said we had to leave and gave us a 2 month deadline to get out. The police men then gave us (around 120 people) the floor and they listened to testimony after testimony of how God has changed their lives and that Jesus is the only way to God. I literally cried as a listened to them give God all the glory. The police man had to stop people as hand after hand went up wanting to give testimony!

After these men heard the testimonies one man proposed that we can stay until we finish the translation. They literally changed their demand and said, “We never said they had to leave.” The testimony of God’s working in the lives of these people silenced them! So they even apologized to us and we shook hands. Our houses are still standing and we are safe, but more importantly our faith is stronger!

We are excited to hear of the faith in the Lord that is developing in our new brothers in Christ.

Praise/Prayer Points
• Praise for the many believers in the remote areas of PNG who are growing in Christ.
• Pray for my dear class as we continue to grow academically and spiritually.
• Praise that our 3rd grade teacher has her entry visa. Pray that she will be able to arrive in the next few weeks.