Hello! Please receive a huge hug from me and an enormous THANK YOU for your continuous support in the work that God is doing here in Spain. It has been an amazing but arduous last 6 months that has incredibly rocked my world. My prayer is that after reading this newsletter you will continue to pray for the work God is doing through our school and that you would feel encouraged that this is part of your blessing as well!
On January 11, 2021…
OUR Christian school opened its doors!!
Remember you are so much a part of this as I am – it’s OUR school!
There are so many wonderful things happening at our little school! Here is an overview of what I am sharing in this newsletter:
I. Our 12 Little Disciples – a testimony of our first 12 students.
II. Planting Seeds – the eternal investment happening in our school has been amazing!
III. Photos and a Video of our School – take a tour of our school, see the fruit of your prayers and support!
IV. “Say YES even if you’re not ready ” – faith lessons on the field and a reminder in Isaiah 6:8-11.
V. Prayer Requests
Our 12 Little Disciples
All the prayers, preparation, and time invested brought us to our first day of school on January 11! I was nervous but very eager to receive the students God brought to our Christian nursery school. We started with 7 children on our first day, and it was beautiful to see cute little smiley faces enjoying their new classrooms. A few weeks later, we enrolled more children and we were at 12 students. We remained with our “12 little disciples”, as we tenderly called them, for various months. The Lord impressed it upon my heart to not seek growth but rather to establish our school vision and culture with our “12 little disciples”. So, we did just that! We loved on the children and their parents, some parents began sharing prayer requests with us, we opened up the school so that parents can enter and see what their children were learning, we gave lots of hugs and received so many more from our little 12! As we were doing that, we were hearing from parents and friends that the schools here are not like that at all, that we were a very different school than the rest. Parents began telling us that they felt very welcomed and they appreciated the warm environment they felt throughout our school. And that was confirmation – our prayer had been that our school would run God’s way, reflecting His love to all those families. It meant that our school would be different…and that was ok!
God has often reminded me that what is happening in our little school is an investment for eternity. More than half of our kids do not attend church nor come from families that profess the Christian faith. In light of that, please read the testimonies below, seeds are being planted in the little hearts of the children, and the ground is truly fertile.
Our full-time teacher, Steffi Scherer, who has been an incredible blessing to our school and to me, is a licensed teacher who goes through fun and interesting academic activities with the children. The kids love learning with Steffi! In addition to the academics, she goes through the Bible with the 3 – 4-year-old children after lunchtime. When Easter was approaching, Steffi told the kids, “I want to introduce you to my best friend, his name is Jesus.” For a week leading up to Easter, they went through the life of Jesus, culminating with His death and resurrection on the last day before Easter break. Many of the children had never heard the gospel message, had never been exposed to the meaning of Easter and had never heard that Jesus desired to be their friend and savior. From Easter to this very day, the most anticipated time of day is the Bible reading time!
One day during this Bible time, Steffi sang the traditional children’s hymn, “Jesus Loves Me This I know” with the children. A little boy then asked Steffi, “Can we change the words to the song? Can we sing, ‘Yes, Jesus protects us’ and ‘Yes, Jesus comforts us’?” This is a 3-year-old boy with a tender heart towards the Lord! But how could this be, he is so young?
What I have learned is that the world has not underestimated children’s responsiveness to earthly things (i.e. video games, cartoons…), then, as Christians, we shouldn’t underestimate their receptiveness to spiritual things. With that perspective in mind, we have taught the children to pray before meals and for each other, and very often they will now remind us to pray for any children that are ill. They have recently taken prayer to the next level: as we were learning about bugs last month, some children found a dying bug on the floor and they quickly ran to Steffi and said, “Just like Jesus healed many people, we want to pray and ask Him to heal this bug too”. As they each earnestly prayed for the bug, we were all impacted by their initiative to pray!
The seeds are being planted at home as well. Parents have told us that at home their children will sing our “Thank you God” song before their meals and some have even prayed with their parents. With sincere gratitude parents have noticed a change in their children and thank us for the genuine love that freely roams through out our school. We know it’s God’s love for the little ones and it is so beautiful! We are praying for the Lord to continue to use our little disciples to share what they are learning at school!
Photos and Video of our School…
Currently, we have children from 1 – 4 years old. The Lord saw it best to start from the very little ones (nursery/preschool level) instead of the elementary level like we intended to at the beginning. We were reminded that we are doing things His way, and He is allowing us to help set a loving foundation in these children at such an early age. Enjoy the photos of the children learning and having fun! In addition, I would love for you to take a tour of our school and learn a bit more about the vision. Please see the video link below.
0:00 – 0:43 Intro
0:43 – 2:07 Local Pastor’s greeting
2:07 – 5:03 Tour of the school
5:03 – 7:13 Info on how to get involved
7:13 – 9:00 Local Pastor’s encouragement
“You can say YES even if you are not ready.”
This is what the Lord placed in my heart after praying about a decision I had to make for the school. Let me give you some context: The first few months as the director of the school were very tough. I asked the Lord for A LOT of wisdom because I have never done this before! Therefore, dependence on running the school God’s way was the only answer I had, and truly it’s the only answer I still have. As the school began growing, I had to decide to lead the 1-2-year-old toddler classroom as I was the other licensed teacher that was at the school every day. Yes, the 1-2-year old toddler classroom! Your girl changes nappies at record speed, is putting 9 kids down for nap time, and has obtained mad reflex skills that prevent accidents from happening! I also have to say that everything I just mentioned is alongside amazing volunteers and staff that I have the blessing of working with and that help me tremendously! I really believe that the Lord has given me the grace needed to be with the very little ones, and at the same time, the grace to carry out my responsibilities that come with overseeing the logistical and operational functions of the school. There is so much to be done on a daily basis, therefore, I wasn’t ready for what was coming next….
Parents and friends began recommending our school and as a result, we received many enrollment requests. The majority of those requests were for the 1-2 year old classroom! As I was experiencing a season of being stretched by taking on the little ones and leading a new school, guess who was praying to say NO to potential new children?! As I continued to pray about it, I was being honest with the Lord in telling Him that I wasn’t ready to take on more toddlers. On top of that, my plate felt extremely full with all matters concerning the school. I didn’t feel ready to take on more.
The Lord’s response to my prayer was very gentle but convicting, “You can say YES even if you think you are not ready.” Although, in my understanding, it made sense to say “No”, I knew in my heart that the Lord desired to teach me how He provides the resources, the people, the wisdom, and the strength to carry on His mission. He also assured me that the equipping, the grace, the wisdom, and the Holy Spirit’s power are mine through Him to fulfill His purposes. My faith was stretched as I had to believe in real time that He would provide what He said He would. And He has thus far! Taking on more didn’t mean doing it all by myself – the Lord has provided more help, strategies, and insight after saying “Yes”. He also assured me that others learned a similar faith lesson: Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Jeremiah…can you add other names to that list? Maybe you can add your name on there, has He ever taught you a faith lesson like this? Perhaps you are getting ready to step out in faith and you are gaining the courage to say “Yes” even if you don’t feel ready. If that’s the case, please let me know, I would love to cheer you on through prayer.
In this season, I found comfort in Isaiah’s example. Isaiah 6:8, “Here I am Lord, send me”, are words I have prayed with all my heart, this time, however, I was challenged and encouraged with next verses (vs. 9-11). Isaiah finds out what his assignment will be… and his response was, “Lord, how long?” I was so thankful to see a bit of Isaiah’s humanity as his question was a valid one. How long would Isaiah have to preach such difficult words to the people God called him to? He was commissioned to a very challenging ministry but he didn’t take back the words, “Here I am Lord, send me” nor did he add a disclaimer, “Send me only if I approve of the calling and only if I agree with the way my faith will be stretched.” He didn’t do that, Isaiah remained faithful and obedient to God’s mission for him! In my humanity, the stretching of my faith and character are not always pleasant but I can take God at His word and trust that it’s not my readiness nor my skills that will fulfill His purpose. It’s His mighty resources given to me by His grace that will enable me to live for Him. So let’s pray for each other, for the Lord to give us the strength to remain faithful to do everything He has called us to do, no matter how difficult it may be. Let’s keep running this race set before us with prayer and God’s strength!
Thank you for sticking around until the end! Thank you so much for being a part of this eternal investment. Thank you for your support and your prayers. Everyone at the school truly feels your prayers, they are sincerely powerful, so I kindly ask you to please keep them coming!! If you have any prayer requests, if you would like to know how to get involved in the work here in Spain, or just want to say hello, contact me via email, WhatsApp, or any of my socials. You are very much appreciated, love you all!
God bless you,
1) We currently have 17 children enrolled; please pray for them and their families; that those that do not know the Lord would come to know Him.
2) We need more volunteers! Please pray that the Lord would bring the right people with a heart for children and God’s vision for our school.
3) We are praying that the Lord would provide the funds to add the following to our staff:
– Another full-time teacher
– Someone to prepare the snacks and lunch
– A janitor/maintenance worker
4) Please keep all of us working in the school in prayer. We are all doing so much in light of the help we need. “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Neh. 8:10) is the verse that I have been holding on to in this season and one that I have been sharing with the staff.
5) For the Lord’s continual provision over our wish list items and projects that still need to be done in our playground, classrooms, and other areas of the school. If you are interested in receiving a copy of our wish list, please let me know 🙂
6) For my family: for continual protection, strength, and blessings over them.
7) I am almost hitting the 2-year mark since I’ve left and been back to the US. I would love to take some time to see my family, friends, and all the churches that support me. Please pray for that opportunity.