Friday, July 23, 2010

PILAT Week One

This first week of PILAT (Program In Language Acquisition Techniques) has been a busy one. After moving in to Missionary Training International (MTI) in Palmer Lake, CO I had some time to get to know some of the other participants of the program.

We began classes right away on Monday afternoon. PILAT is all about helping you acquire the skills to make language learning easier. It's all about methodology and getting yourself out of the "44 sounds" that English speakers use in their language. Each day has class time as a large group. This time is used to talk about specific techniques or methods. It is a time to see how different methods can be done before we practice them ourselves.

Then, it is time for phonetic drills. We are split up into five drill groups and rotate between the various drill helpers. I never knew that it was possible to hear and to make so many sounds! And, there is still one more week to go! My ears are learning to listen to language sounds that I never heard before. I'm sure I have heard some of them in my travels, I just didn't know what they were. And, I definitely didn't know how to say them!

We also have times to work on language projects, being the ones responsible for our language learning. So, it is student driven during this time. We get to put into practice the methods we experienced in a large group, but this time in a small group. Those of us who are attending PILAT prepare the learning projects and present them to our language helper. Believe it or not, I am in the Hindi group & can speak some, but can understand a lot more!

After supper, there is time to relax, do homework, hang out with friends, walk, etc. I've been walking into the town of Palmer Lake. Many of us walk in the evenings. We have seen a bear and a deer or two on our walks.

And, of course, you have to stop at the Rock House for ice cream at least once!

By the time we walk back to MTI, the sun is setting and it is time to check email, Facebook and work on the paper that is due Monday! Then, it is time for bed and if you can't sleep, you can always count the phonetic sounds we have learned instead of sheep!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Staying Faithful

Grant, O God,
That we may never lose the way through our self-will,
and so end up in the far countries of the soul;
That we may never abandon the struggle,
but that we may endure to the end, and so be saved;
That we may never drop out of the race,
but that we may press forward to the goal of our high calling;
That we may never choose the cheap and passing things,
and let go of the precious things that last for ever;
That we may never take the easy way,
and so leave the right way;
That we may never forget that sweat is the price of all things,
and that without the cross,
there cannot be the crown.

So keep us and strengthen us by your grace that no disobedience and no weakness and no failure may stop us from entering into the blessedness which awaits those who are faithful in all the changes and all the chances of life down even to the gates of death; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
~ From Prayers for the Christian Year by William Barclay

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Carpenter's Project

This week I had the privilege of working along side of some amazing people. They were the people who volunteered to work at The Carpenter's Project in Ellwood City, PA. The Carpenter's Project helps those who need work done on their house or property but for some reason cannot do it themselves. Usually the people are elderly, widows/widowers, etc. The work is done in the name of the ultimate Carpenter - Jesus Christ.The I was assigned to crew 18. Our job was to scrape and paint a house for a widow who could not do it herself. The crew leader, Steve Miller, was very knowledgeable and had a wonderful way of building relationships with people and a great encourager! He headed up our crew of eight (more came to help later in the week) as we scraped, primed and painted the house.
I know that all of the crews involved with The Carpenter's project were a witness to a community to what can happen in the name of Jesus Christ. Testimonies were given, lives were shared, the Word of God was spoken. Lives were changed!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The past few weeks I have spent time with several "Superstars." No, you will not see their faces in the entertainment news. You won't see their faces in the sports news. But, they are "Superstars" in my eyes and in the eyes of many others.
They are the campers at Camp Spencer, a YMCA camp for special needs adults. Many of these people live day in and day out with challenges that I pray I will never have to face.
Yet, they go swimming, do crafts, go fishing, go on a nature walk...they have a carnival, a bonfire and a sleep out. With the help of staff, they do all kinds of things that people with fewer challenges can do easily. Even those with wheel chairs and walkers go down the slip and slide!...

I have learned so much from these "Superstars." They love life. They try and when they fail, they keep trying. They are happy. They are not embarrassed to ask for a helping hand...many of them depend on that helping hand for everything! They don't sit around saying, "Poor me..." They accept their lot in life and move on, doing what many others would think impossible.
I know I have been blessed by these SUPERSTARS. I pray God's blessings on them and their care givers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where Do You Get Your Stregnth?

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills--
from where will my help come?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.

4 He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade at your right hand.

6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.

8 The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in

from this time on and forevermore.
Psalms 121:1-8 (NRSV)