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04 October 2016


In September I started teaching English in the elementary school located in the Mexican neighborhood where we serve. I'm in the school once a week for a morning, rotating through three classes of 3rd through 6th graders. As would be expected, they look at me with mix of amusement and curiosity, this odd gringa lady who comes in speaking English. Slowly very slowly, we repeat basic vocabulary over and again. I see them laugh, and know that they are laughing at themselves and they are laughing at me. That's ok. I'm teaching as a volunteer; my primary motivation is to know these kids, to build relationships, to be familiar in the neighborhood where we serve. I want to show them Jesus over and again, on repeat just as much as those simple English words.

This week during the morning break time, what would be called recess back in the day, I sat outside the classroom, sitting on the sidewalk in the morning sun, reading my book. A sweet young girl accompanied by two friends, dressed in the white shirt-white skirt-black shoes-uniform of the day, from my first class comes over and holds out a can of apple juice, and says to me in Spanish, "This is for you." "No thank you," I tell her, "I am fine. I have my water." "No," she answers, "It's from him." She nods her head towards the little boy standing down the sidewalk. "OH!" I said, beginning to understand. "Well, thank you." She turns and says to the boy, "GRACIAS, ALEJANDRO!" I too look over, hold up the can, grin at him, and repeat, "Gracias, Alejandro!" He looks up, flicks his head in a non-verbal "de nada" and runs across the cement. The girls giggle and turn and leave me to my morning juice break.

I am still smiling.
Maybe this is progress.

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