Monday, November 17, 2008

Surprised at Graduation

Our regular Thursday evening Bible study time was modified last week to allow our English students to invite their family and friends to hear what they had learned during their thirteen week conversational English class. "Windows to the World" is a curriculum which uses the "Jesus" film and clearly presents the Gospel throughout the course. During the evening program, the students sang two songs in English and taught everyone a short chorus which was sung in a round. Here they are singing "come, now is the time to Worship."

After the songs, the students reported on their assignment from last week: "Who is Jesus? Was He a liar, a lunatic or the Lord?" Here we see the second group explaining why they believe that Jesus was not a lunatic.

Finally the students received their certificates and Bibles. As you can see by their smiles they were quite surprised and pleased to receive both.

Then...the surprise! Another "farewell" party that had been a well kept secret by the students and my sneaky friends, Ron and Alana. My first clue that something was up was when Ron turned on the computer to present a financial report by the Pastor of the Mother Church and I saw my photo on the screen. I received a very special set of hand decorated towels from the ladies at the Drug rehab center and a personalized T-shirt with a photo of the beautiful Pinheira beach.

The Church had also kept a secret from Ron and Alana....they were also surprised with T-shirts!

Afterwards everyone enjoyed a huge spread of food which included some American treats..yes, I actually baked for the occasion and the brownies were quite good. Pr. Joao loved the fudge even though I messed up that "easy 3 minute microwave" version somehow and it was very soft fudge!

It was a wonderful evening and the Church was full of visitors which made the service even more special. I have really enjoyed teaching this class and pray that when I return for a visit, I will see many of these students actively participating in the Church.

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