This morning began our fall adventures of new responsibilities and schedules. I had my first class back with Alessandra this morning. It went very well and it was a joy to see her again. She remembered all the things we had planned for August and made sure to ask about them. I had to read an article outloud this morning and then answer some questions. I told her it was most helpful to have her correct me on my pronunciation because I told her that when I read outloud at home I never know if it's right or not. She then asked what I read in Italian and I told her my Bible. She was impressed because she said she reads the Bible sometimes and it is very difficult to understand. The language in the translation of the Italian Bible is very difficult as it uses a tense not really spoken and often doesn't flow with as much ease as we find in our 10 zillion English translations. Anyway, it was another small door of opportunity to share with her the importance placed on reading God's Word. Thanks for praying for my time with Alessandra (and the language too).
So here comes the real kicker for the day. While I was in class Jonathan got a phone call from the "Scuola Materna" to tell us that they have an open spot for Samuel. We are both in complete SHOCK as Samuel was #70 on the waiting list. We had resigned to the fact that he would not go to pre-school this year. They told us to bring him on Friday at 9am and to bring a change of clothes and that they would fill us in on what supplies he would need at that time.
Jon and I are both stirring with so many emotions right now. If they had accepted him last May that would have been one thing to have all these months to prepare ourselves mentally for this huge life change. Now that we have 3 days to absorb the information we are overwhelmed. We are wavering with the emotions of sadness that he will be going to school and then excitement for him to meet friends, learn the language and in turn for us to know more people in our community. We have been praying about which avenues to pursue for our pre-evangelism outreaches and God has placed a very unexpected opportunity right in our laps.
Please pray for us...for Samuel. It is really scary to be putting him in to a school system that is unfamiliar to us, to have him go without speaking the language, for him to be surrounded by other kids that he will learn both good and bad things from etc. Please pray for Samuel and that the training we have done here at home will influence his actions and that God would most of all bring Samuel to a point of salvation at an early age. The influences of this culture are very strong on kids and it would shock you to hear stories of things that kids learn in pre-school. We covet your prayers for wisdom and strength during this new phase of life for us!!
Since Samuel is four and still has one more year of pre-school after this year, we are planning to start him out by going 3 days a week from 9am-1pm. It would be just too big of a shock for everyone to go 5 days a week from 9am-4pm. Not to mention we feel his primary place of learning and development needs to be at home at this point with our training and influences.
We will keep you posted on how things go. I asked Samuel this afternoon if he wanted to go to school and he just responded softly and sweetly "yea." He has no idea what this all means!! Oh, the joys of being the oldest. We'll have to go buy a backpack for him which he was really excited about. Pray for Emma too as this will be a huge change for her as well. Samuel is her playmmate and they hardly are ever separated. What a joy to see their love for each other.
Okay, I will stop for now. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!