Saturday, June 22, 2013

Raising Young Artists

 Dearest Friends and Family! Greetings from far far away!

Praise Reports!
Thank you all for your prayers, I am doing much better health-wise, and most of my kids are recovered from this this epidemic!

As a teacher, I've learned so much from my kids.. And God has used them to speak into, and touch my life in ways I didn't think I would ever be touched.
God has also given me a mothers heart towards them, seeing that most come from broken families, He's been using me to speak life and love over them.

While teaching here I've noticed how the other teachers and students treat the children who have certain disadvantages or issues such as ADD, behind in school years, louder in class, "trouble makers," and so on. 
I began praying for the teachers and children in these situations, and God showed me that this was the reason he put me there in the first place. I am an artist, and everything I teach is art/creativity based, and this method of teaching has opened miraculous doors to these children's hearts and minds!

Raising Young Artists..
Jonathan is one of the "trouble makers" as they would call him. None of the other teachers can handle him, but I've realised more and more over time that it's because of the children like him, that I am here. 
Jonathan is ADD, hipper active, and will shut down immediately when people speak directly to him, or call him out on things.
I would observe him in class with other teachers, and begged God for ideas as to how to help him, and all the other kids similar to him! And He gave me an answer! 
One day during class I took him by the hand, and led him over to a small table next to my desk. I pulled out a blank sheet of paper, and a few coloured pencils, set them in front of him and asked him to draw me a beautiful picture.
I continued class normally as though nothing would be different, and all the other children did as well. I had never seen him so quiet, peaceful, and focussed before. 
I began doing that with other children, and soon we'd end up having full-on art days! We'd speak in English together, learning new words to the art supplies and I'd allow them to go crazy with their imagination! 
The moment I began to allow them to express themselves through Art, they began opening up and blooming in every other way, their grades were getting better, their behaviour in class began changing, etc.

They are Artists... They aren't sick, they aren't mentally challenged, they aren't problems! They are simply Artists! 

 Jonathan drew me a picture of the jungle with lots of animals he's never seen before other than in storybooks. The children who had the worst grades academically, and worst behaviour of all made the larger, more creative and expressive collages. 
Their strengths might not be Math, or History or Science, they simply have other strengths and I know God has set me here to protect that, so that they aren't shut down by people who simply don't understand where they are at.

Before a lot of this happened, I had been going through a hard time trying to understand why God had put me, a young MK (Missionary Kid), with no degree or back ground in teaching, in such high position in these kids's lives as this. 
But soon after the first Art session with the kids, the director found me and asked me how everything was going, to which I responded with the entire story on my newly discovered young artists, she came and looked at their work, and later took it to the school founder.
He later came and spoke with me on the decision the church leaders, him and the director had made.
He told me that they had noticed that there was a difference in my children, and the other children at the school. They had seen that obviously, something I was doing differently from the other teachers, was making a great difference in their lives, and they have asked me to begin lessons with the other teachers, teaching on everything I've been doing and showing them how to teach the same way.

All I could think of was Jesus telling his disciples He was going to make them fishers of men... 
He's set me now as a Teacher of Teachers, and now I see why God brought me here.

Prayer Request..
*I am very nervous being the youngest teacher at the school (the closest one to my age is 13 years older than me), And I never thought I would EVER be in a teaching position much less teaching my elders. Please pray that God would be glorified and would be the one teaching through me. 
He has been the one behind any right decision I've ever made for these children's lives, please pray with me that it would stay the same with this, and that I would be granted wisdom and favour.
*I've been looking for a time in which I'll be able to leave to go to Chile.. it's been a very long, on going process, and I haven't been able to leave the school for lack of a replacement, in order to make this trip, but there will be a 10 day break in July, and I am praying very strongly that God make this trip possible during that time.
*Also please keep in your prayers God's provision. It's been a complete walk of faith this entire time, and the need it always there, and I know that God is faithful, He always is and always will be, so please pray with me for this area.

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey, and reading about the things that go down over here, it's a huge blessing to know that I'm not alone in this!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hola Con Todos!
It’s been a while since I have written you all with an update, because there has been so much going on!
Where to begin…
First off I pray that you are doing more than well, and want you to know that you are in my constant prayers! I also want to deeply thank you for taking the time to pray for me and the work I am doing here, it is very encouraging to know.
I want you to know that your prayers have been effective and God’s grace has been with me immensely throughout these past two weeks!

  As you know, among other things I am teaching Kindergarten Education at a Christian School which was founded by other missionaries as their mission work here in Peru, and seeing that the children mostly come from very poor or struggling families, they are malnourished and ill most of the time, especially now that we are going into the “Dry Season” (very dry during the day, and freezing at night- frosting everything by morning) which brings a number of sicknesses and is hard on everyone, and seeing that my children are 3-5 years of age, I am more of a second “mom” to them rather than their teacher.

 Many of my kids were vomiting, and had high fevers and coughs for the better part of the past two weeks, to the point where I wouldn’t even teach anymore, I would just spend the day taking care of them, and trying to get them better. It was very sad to see how even after I would call their parents to come pick them up, because their child needed to see a doctor, they still wouldn’t come. And the same would happen the next day, and the next.

These past two weeks were very challenging, not to judge the parents, not to be upset with them but just to
It was a true and full answer to our prayers! And now a lot of my kids are better, and the rest are getting there!
But the “Day of the Family” finally arrived, most of my kids were able to perform along with the other classes, and our Pastor was able to share a short message and pray over everyone, there was lots of food and drinks, and the place was packed with families!
love them… It was a very intense time of prayer for my kids, and their families. I knew that God had big plans for this event we were preparing for, and that was why the enemy was attacking so hard.

Here in Peru we celebrate the “Day of the Family,” and our school has seen this holiday as a way to reach out to the school families, and teach them of God’s love and the importance of a God centered family. So we put together a sort of presentation, and each class brought a dance or a skit that had to do with God+Family. So I put together a little dance with my kids! However, two weeks or so before the presentation many of the students and teachers were very sick, but a lot –if not most of the parents here send their kids to school no matter what, so they can have a “better future”…

However, sometime during the two weeks of this sickness spreading around, I got sick as well. I was praying daily for God’s strength and mercy, because if I wasn’t there for the kids, no one else would be, And God really carried me through daily, but this last week has been extra difficult.
The day of the event was the hardest, I was praying all day and God carried me through, but as soon as it was over, I came home and wasn’t able to leave my bed. I had been vomiting nearly every night, along with fevers and sinus infections, and by then I could barely stand.
A volunteering friend of mine was able to replace me yesterday and today, and is willing to replace me until I am recovered enough to teach again.

So please keep these points in mind and in your prayers!Please pray that God would fully heal me and give me strength to take care of these children once again!
Also please pray for time… It seems that there is too much to do, and not enough time to do so: There’s a medical team here with CERT International (Christian Emergency Relief Team) and I have been Translating on medical campaigns out to remote villages with them for about 10 years or so, they are low on interpreters and I am not even well enough to help them as it is. As well as the Trip to the boarder that I need to make, God was faithful to provide the means, but there is no on I can leave the responsibility of taking care of my children at PROMESA ( The School).

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, because they really do make a difference!
God bless you immensely and watch over your every step!

As for now, I currently am working on getting a Long term Visa in order to obtain a Residency here, but until then I’m not able to get my own permanent bank account here, so any of Your tax deductible offerings may be made through:
Gateway Missions
PO Box 40
Hockley, TX 77447
And please be sure to include a note saying that it is “For Bud and Laura Lenz” (My Parents) While writing me a separate email letting me know of the deposit, so as not to mix offerings up.
For non-tax deductible offerings, you could also deposit through paypal:
including note indicating it’s for Rachel Lenz

At the Orphanage El Arca 
 Playing with one of the baby girls!

Happy Mothers Day!
My dad drove all night from the jungle to surprise my mom for mothers day! She wasn't expecting any of us to be home!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hello Hello!
I hope this letter finds you in good everything! I hope you are doing well!
It’s been a long couple of weeks, and I really want to thank you all who have been supporting me in prayer, it has been carrying me through!

There have been a few major changes and things along the road that have had a rather stressful effect on me, so you can see how your prayers have helped greatly.

The greatest most recent event has been with the school I am teaching at. Ever since beginning the school year I have done everything possible to walk uprightly, in the light, and teaching Godly principals, standards, good morals, and discipline- something Peruvians aren’t usually used to. I’m not easily swayed and my goal this year with these Children is  to establish a Godly, biblical, solid foundation in these children, that will last them a lifetime- ALSO something the majority of Peruvians aren’t familiar with.

God is good, and has allowed this relationship with the children to grow, however, the enemy always looks for a way to slip in.

Up to now, I have developed a good relationship with all the children. I kind of like to think of it as the kind of relationship we have with God, as well as the one I had with my parents growing up: Loving, kind, graceful, yet a fearful, obedient and respectful one as well.
There  is a family who have been a thorn in the school’s side for a while, and they have been coming around, looking for any possible way to find something wrong with me.
Long story short, they managed to approach the director of the school twice, stating that they wanted her to do something about… me.

So a meeting was called with the parents, and after the meeting was over, The director pulled me aside with the founder of the school, and told me they were very grateful for the work I was doing, they said my children were the happiest children in the school, the most well behaved, and she had seen on a daily basis the children running out to meet me, and kissing me on the cheek goodbye. 

When she had asked other teachers around the school, she had only heard good from the other teachers. They are now asking me to put together my entire “disciplinary/child training” curriculum, and it will be applied  to all classrooms, because they want to see the same difference in the entire school, as they see in my students.

God is good!!! It is truly a blessing from God to have been able to make such a good connection with the director and founder of the school, and with the children, and I know God is going to continue using this relationship!

However, there is a pressing matter at hand, in order for me to be able to stay in the country, and continue influencing these children’s lives.
I am currently living on a tourist VISA, and in order for me to stay, I need to get a “Workers Visa” which would give me more time to work on my Carnet. But in order for me to get it, I must leave the country, and I’m already over due on my tourist Visa.
I was supposed to have left the country over a week ago, but finances have been extremely tight, and time is scarce. I would really appreciate your prayers for God to provide a way for this very urgent trip to happen!
You are definitely in my prayers!
God Bless you abundantly!

As for now, I currently am working on getting a Long term Visa in order to obtain a Residency here, but until then I’m not able to get my own permanent bank account here, so any of Your tax deductible offerings may be made through:
Gateway Missions
PO Box 40
Hockley, TX 77447
And please be sure to include a note saying that it is “For Bud and Laura Lenz” (My Parents) While writing me a separate email letting me know of the deposit, so as not to mix offerings up.
For non-tax deductible offerings, you could also deposit through paypal:
including note indicating it’s for Rachel Lenz