This week we've reached over 100 degrees on the heat index every day.
I like to think I've climatized to the heat by only requiring a ceiling fan going in the kitchen during the day and an occasional oscillating fan circulating the air after supper, but this week I've had all 4 of my fans blowing on high non stop. Something about the lack of breeze and sun intensity has caused me to sweat from sun up to sun down (and then some). The cement guesthouse that we are all living in has somewhat of an absorption effect as well, which turns the spaces between our brick walls into solar ovens... The other morning I was convinced that it would be possible to fry an egg on my tile floor... Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating, but you get the picture. The heat has also created some very warm mornings in the classroom, but the kids have definitely been troopers. Despite needing a few extra excuses to refill their cups with ice, they have been plugging away consistently through their work, which makes me feel increasingly confident that we will reach our school end by June. After the earthquake, we pretty much had to write off the entire month of January coverage, which left me worried that we wouldn't get through everything in time. But with the Lord's help, the kids are progressing very well. Thank you for your continual prayers are we work through our final months of the year. To God be the glory for getting us to the end!
In addition to the extra hot weather, our beach day couldn't come at a better time. The kids have been working up towards a total of 50 bells (which they receive for coming to school on time both first thing in the morning and after recess). At last we have reached our total, so we are all looking forward to taking a day out of the classroom to the sunny Carribean shores on Friday. It can't come soon enough!
An additional highlight to our week happened today. A few days ago Grayden informed me that 2 NFL players would be visiting the Mission to see for themselves what action has been taking place here, as well as evaluating the needs around the villages and how they can get involved (check out the news report here). Without much thought, I suggested that we should get them to come to our class, and I immediately set myself up for some high expectations... The kids were all over it. Now it was just a matter of me finding a way to make it happen...
When the NFL players arrived this past Monday, I peeked sheepishly out into the guesthouse area where Winston Justice and Quintin Demps lounged with their entourage of camera crew guys and fellow football friends. Somehow I had to find a way to ask them to take time out of their busy 4-day schedule to come and say hello to my students. It sounded so easy in my mind when I told the kids that I would ask them myself, but I was easily intimidated by the reality. Luckily, I found my way in through Otis, who is one of the Mission staff who works alongside Brad on the State side. He has toured many pastors groups over the years and had come to guide the NFL players during their time in Haiti. When he walked into the side room that I was hiding in, I presented my request, and it wasn't long after that until word spread throughout the players and it was confirmed that they would make a stop in to our classroom.
I could hardly wait to tell the kids, and we anxiously awaited their arrival this afternoon.
I have to admit, I am not much for watching football, but after today I have definitely become a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Winston and Quintin totally stole the show for the kids and I. They gave their testimonies, answered questions that the kids had prepared, and passed out autographed footballs with their team emblem.
I was so thankful to the Lord for allowing these two gifted athletes to see the value in taking time to come to our classroom. It truly meant the world to the boys, and I think I can speak for the girls in saying they were pretty impressed too! ;)
To hear them speak about the importance of living out a real faith everyday, and trusting the Lord as a guide through each step of life was a wonderful testament and impact on all of us. In the world's eyes, they are heroes, but sitting across from them today, they pointed us all to the true Hero in all of our lives. I praise the Lord for the way He uses each of His children as vessels to point others to Him, including big, beefy, 6-footers who like football. I can't wait to de-brief with my kids tomorrow!