The precious little kittens in this picture deserve their own blog today. The Bacheller's just got them last week, and something happened to them on Monday, a day after we arrived. No one could figure out if they had eaten poison or if one of the children had squeezed them too hard, but it looked as if their nervous system was shot. Their entire bodies were shaking, and their legs were so out of control they could barely walk. Ben and Becky were pretty upset about it, and he took them to the vet to see if anything could be done. They were given an anti-inflammatory, but the vet said if that didn't work within 24 hours, it might be for the best if they were put down.
Everyone was so sad, and we prayed that God would heal them. Within the 24 hour period, they were chasing each other again, albeit with some shakes still, but everything was basically back to normal.
We often forget that God orchestrates everything perfectly, even in our day-to-day mundane activities, or the lives of small kittens. He is faithful in the small things.
We went to our Wednesday church to do English level testing last night. I was not prepared at all for the amount of people that showed up. There were 24 people initially, yet when we were finished the testing, we had counted close to 50 people! It's really great, because some of these people could never have afforded the cost of a regular English-learning school. Through the church, they only have to pay around $5 a month to learn or improve their skill. The majority of people were definite beginners (they couldn't speak any English at all), and then there were about 7 intermediates and 3 advanced.
In order to place them at the correct level, I printed off an basic intermediate multiple choice test with 10 questions (the written part), and then conducted a short 'interview' with questions like:
1. Tell me about your family.
2. Do you serve in your church? If so, how?
3. What do you like about missions?
4. Why do you want to learn English?
These questions gave me enough of a guage to judge their level of comfortability with the language. If we had to speak Portuguese during the interview, I would only ask them questions 1 and 4, just to get an idea of who they are.
I really enjoyed hearing their stories of why they want to learn English. Many of their reasons included travel, to gain knowledge, or to connect with family or friends in the US. One woman told me it was simply because she loves the sound of English (and she loves the accent of English-speakers who speak Portuguese-that made me happy!). One of the oldest women there (I'd guess her to be around in her 60's or 70's) told me her grandsons in the US don't even want to speak Portuguese, so she wants to learn English in order to have some semblance of a relationship with them.
Both Jake and I were really encouraged, and he told me he's really excited about teaching ESL now, especially after hearing why people want to learn.
So far, we will be teaching classes on Tues, Wed, and Thurs evenings, and possibly Sunday School once or twice a month. All the classes are starting next week.
That's all for now...Jake and I are headed to the shopping centre to buy some eggs. Ministerio OASIS didn't have any free-range eggs left for us when we were there yesterday.