Wednesday, June 30, 2010

St. Lucia wildlife

We returned yesterday evening from one week of traveling with Anna’s parents, her two brothers, Jacob and Aaron, and Aaron’s girlfriend, Kelli. Our destination spot, the same as last year, was St. Lucia. The village of St. Lucia, located on Lake St. Lucia, regularly sees hippos walk through its streets after dark. In fact, Aaron and Kelli witnessed one such “urban hippo” while enjoying coffee from the deck of a local restaurant. Last year, Isaac and Moses with their grandparents watched hippos graze on the back lawn of our accommodations. Both years we also went on a boat tour of the lake to see hippos, crocs, and various birds. This year we were fortunate enough to see a fish eagle.

St. Lucia vacation 2010 113 Our greatest discovery, however, came one day while driving back from the beach at Cape Vidal. A mother and baby rhino walked along the road for several minutes—for only us to see.

St. Lucia vacation 2010 203 St. Lucia vacation 2010 200

St. Lucia vacation 2010 199

St. Lucia vacation 2010 204

Friday, June 18, 2010

BBS Sunday School workshop

On 4-5 June, Bethany Bible School hosted a workshop on teaching Sunday School. This was the second of three workshops we are hosting this year in addition to the six curriculum topics we are also teaching. We introduced methods for teaching the Bible which we have used in various settings, namely from our time as youth pastors in the states and at home with our children. The workshop had four main sections over two days. First, Joe led a Bible Study which introduced the theme and spelled out the importance of knowing the Bible. Second, students divided into groups, each assigned a story from which to construct a drama to perform for the entire group. Third, Anna introduced the concept of the Jesse Tree (see this site), an advent activity which tells the stories of Jesus' lineage. It is a great way to learn biblical history. Students learned important stories leading up to the birth of Jesus and constructed a symbol out of available materials or illustrated the story. To our great surprise and delight, the students really got into the craft portion of this exercise.
Isaac also participated. He illustrated the messianic age as described in Isaiah 11, that "the lion shall lie down with the lamb" (he made a great attempt to spell it all out himself in his first-grade phonetic skills).The students then told their story for the whole group and explained their symbol or illustration before hanging it on the "tree".

Mama Booi from Idutywa, a faithful attender of BBS conferences, made a memorable and humorous contribution to the event with her creative retelling of the Israelites' wilderness wanderings under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. She found a picture of Bafana Bafana, the national soccer side (currently competing in the World Cup), and designated the keeper--the only one wearing unique attire--as Moses.We purchased children's Bibles in isiXhosa with funds raised by the children of a supporting congregation in the states. Each participant received a Bible to take back to the children of his or her own congregation.

The fourth activity of the day was for groups to take different verses from scripture and put it to a tune. Our AIC and Pentecostal brothers and sisters love singing as much--perhaps even more--than we Mennonites. In addition to the songs they put together on the spot, many longstanding scripture songs carried this workshop forward. In the video below, several participants collaborate to remember a song which tells the story of God's testing of Abraham.