This week has been a little different, some training sessions with the teachers and a lot of admin for me and only one day in the buses with the kids. I guess it’s getting to that point of the trip where I really have to set in stone the things that I have done, so I have been busy writing curriculum, useable planning formats, songs, games, translating to Hindi and I feel very much like a one man band doing everything. But I feel capable, not out of my depths and very secure in what I am doing. It is such a great feeling, because I know that I am definitely being used by God, and the things that I am setting in place and training them in are going to have huge implications in such a positive way. It’s fun knowing that I get to be the ‘behind the scenes’ person in helping them reach over 600 kids per day with education, Jesus and food.
Yesterday I had a 2 hour training session with the Kindergarten teachers, it went extremely well. I was so happy with their receptive hearts, and there was an atmosphere that was so glad, and I almost felt them have a sigh of relief as they were so happy to really have something to go with instead of wandering in the wilderness as they have been. The KG teachers are absolutely fantastic and they love to be with the kids, and in this ministry. They are enthusiastic and energetic with the children, but they have lacked such direction since they have not had any training. All the previous training that has been done has been with the teachers who target the 5-14 year age bracket, so they really just felt like they were ‘entertaining’ the children and not really inputting into their lives and education. I shared a new planning format that will help their preparation, and give them direction. I also gave them a ‘mini-curriculum’ with ideas for areas of learning that they need to head towards. They were very encouraged and thankful to have that particular direction, and stoked that I did not leave them hanging with no ideas and gave that extra support. It would be all very well and great of me if I just trained them in how to use the planning, but they would still have that stuck feeling like they didn’t know where they were going, so this way it gives them skills and resources to fall back on.
After sharing all those things, planning a model lesson together and doing a model lesson together, I shared some other ideas in using just a ‘bag of tricks’ as I have called it. It is a bag of toys, objects and a lot of random things like sandpaper, to create discussion, developing language and also using some thinking skills that will hopefully get the children to be more interactive and alive in the lessons.
The children here are interesting, and it is quite hard for me to watch. Their life is hard, it is not fair and there are so many wrongs with it. But the one thing that breaks my heart, is that the children here are completely under stimulated. In the western world, our kids can often be so far over stimulated that it has created this highly stimulated and entertainment driven generation, but here, I can’t even explain it. Some of these children will sit on the small mat hunched over, limpy and lifeless and no matter how much you try and coax them into doing some actions or singing some songs, they will not. Their little lives have created it, they are simply left on the side of the road on a mat and are required to sit there, to not play, to not move. The parents sleep, lie down, don’t move, don’t do much at all and that is the life that is modeled to them. They have seen it from such a young age, and they copy. They have extreme internal boredom and literally no skills or knowledge of how to think, create play, or do anything but to sit. I can’t imagine how it affects you in such a deep way, and by the evidence that I have seen here, I know the type of society it produces. There is nothing healthy about it. It is probably the most tragic thing that I have seen here.
So, going into the slums and teaching has more barriers than you can imagine. They are up against so many obstacles, but they remain faithful, positive and in the knowledge that God has called them to be there and to do His work.
Did I ever mention that they use 75kgs or rice per day? PER DAY!
I have 2 weeks left here in India before I head out to Vietnam to see what is going on there. I am going to take a little break from Vision Rescue work for 5 days and this weekend I will head up to Delhi and see that area. I will also travel to Agra and see the beautiful Taj Mahal…how can you come to India and not see it right?! So that will be a fun adventure, and I have a travel companion as well which will be nice. A mutual friend hooked it up so that is great to have a little company.
I hope that you’re all keeping Vision Rescue alive in your hearts.