Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teacher Training- Day 1

Today was our first day of training for the teachers which we held in one of the classrooms at the church.  This is the first year that we are starting the year with some training.  Today we started off by getting the teachers to write briefly what they would like to see happen in this coming year.  Many stated that they would like to be stronger in their faith and also work better as a team.  Each teacher was given a chance to share his/her "dream" for the year and afterwards we told them that they should "meditate" on it in their own time and once they are happy with their dream to print it neatly on a page and keep it with them during the year as a constant reminder.  At the end of this Pastor Xicara led the teachers to the sanctuary for a time of reflection prayer, and dedication.   Afterwards we had the teachers split off into small groups and act out part of a Psalm 1.
In the afternoon the teachers were taught how to do personal devotions.  What was interesting and alarming to observe was that many of them were not sure how to do personal devotions.  For most of them it consisted of simply reading a portion of the Bible and pray. They did not realize that they also needed to meditate on what was read.  The word "meditate" in Hebrew in Psalm 1 is the word used when referring to a cow who is chewing his cud. For those who understand the digestive tract of a cow realize that a cow eats grass and swallows it and the grass goes to the first of four stomachs.  When it is resting it regurgitates the grass and chews on it some more.  It goes through this cycle a number of times until the grass is fully digested. The Psalmist wants us to do the same with God's Word.  This was an eye opener for many of the teachers and it reminded me not to take these kinds of things for granted and expect people to know how to do these things.  One of the things I have learned during my time in Guatemala is to not assume anything.  Many people have a very shallow Biblical background even if they have grown up in the church.  Once again I ask for your prayers for each one of the teachers:  Vilma (director), Alex, Lucero, Arturo, Rosendo, Desiderio, Gloria, Juan, Mario, Salvador, Efrain.  (You can find a picture of each one of these teachers in a previous post on the FRMI blog titled "Introducing the Education Team".  Click on the Guatemalan flag to go to the FRMI blog.)  One of my goals this year is to spend more time praying for each one of the teachers and I hope you will also join me.