Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Classroom












One of the highlights of my mission to Vietnam was the two trips I made to watch Nhanh teach her classes. Nhanh, who Tom called Mango, is the sister of Ray, who has started a school at their home about 45 minutes away. The local authorities have banned the church from meeting in their year old building on the river and in the process, have kicked Nhanh's class out of the building as well. Not to be deterred, she arranged for the class of seven to meet in the home of the only boy among the students. His mom is so proud of him! She pulled out a number of certificates for me to see and fawn over! You will see I was very impressed with the way Nhanh teaches English. These classes are free and they were set up to make connections so the church could grow. The pictures are from my two visits, on July 21 and July 24.

Later in the afternoon, I rode with Ray to watch Nhanh, her sister, teach.
The children, each of whom are exactly twelve years old, cannot get to the house where we normally meet so she goes to them. They have no desks or chairs and are meeting in the house of the one by in the class. They had been meeting in the church building on the river but the police forbid that as well as worshiping. Nhanh says they are incredibly poor but hard working! They are the most photogenic bunch of kids I have ever seen! We practiced greetings in English and I went around the seven of them and asked questions and they had to answer in English: how old are you, what is your favorite color, do you have brothers and sisters? They are diligent in their efforts! Nhanh is a very creative teacher and I hope to visit this class of hers again this coming week!

Three days later:

Nhanh picked me up early this morning and we went to her class by the river very close to the church building which is off limits for now. The trip was an adventure itself, riding through the back roads on the back of a scooter driven by a girl who weighs 100 lbs. The road is really not much more than a path hemmed in on both sides by water or walls or fences or trees or brush or you name it! I told you on Sunday these children are very poor and sat on the floor with no furniture. Since Sunday, Nhanh was able to go out and purchase four small, close to the floor tables for the seven students. The kids were so excited! She bought ones that are covered with English number-alphabet-days of the week, and were colorful to boot! Nhanh taught a terrific grammar lesson out of a textbook provided by Mui Hoang, a wonderful sister-in Christ from Singapore who raises support for the teachers. It was a very in depth and brought out some ideas about English that I haven't considered. The kids did homework in class and squirmed while Nhanh graded them. I did a conversation lesson by having each come up and ask me for a piece of gum. We also gave out WCS t-shirts, which they loved. This group has been my favorite of all the classes I've been part of. The mother whose son is the only boy in the class and in whose house we meet told Nhanh that one of the little girls doesn't have either a mother or father and lives with her grandmother. Nhanh wants to get her some school supplies which we'll be able to make happen.
PS: We were able to make it happen for the little girl and her family although they remain in a precarious state. Thanks to all of you who were so generous and sent funds to help in these desperate situations!

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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