11 September 2014

4 Little Sparrows: unfamiliar fields



As I have searched through the world wide web, I cannot find anybody's written experience of a Missionary Kid,  let alone a child entering a school as a second language- for the first time. All the fears of missing home from being home-schooled, to a totally new daily life in a language they do not fully understand. The people, the school, the directions. From the little corners of their day of being ridiculed, called names, to the closer walk they are solidifying in Jesus. The practice put into action of all of the Scripture and Prayers, and Songs that they have learned- now they are building spiritual muscles.  And as parents, we can only walk 1/2 way with them, as they walk into the school doors, but Lord knows, all the way in Prayers.
...in the Calvary Chapel Magazine
As their mother, it's teaching me to cultivate a stronger prayer life for them. It makes me question what is ritualistic praying, and what is on my knees on behalf of them? My children are a perfect example of something that the Lord holds in his hands, and I hold in my heart of hearts. As you will read, and unveil their experience thus far, I have to tell you upfront that Prayer does work. God does care for his little ones. And just believing on behalf of them, all along, teaching them to see God's Love and Care throughout their day, it emboldens both mine and their faith; to let them out of my nest, and let them fly is only something that God could have put in me... It's His freedom and grace that we stand upon!


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? 
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's Care. 
Matthew 10:29

Since the Children began school, there has been some ups and downs.
As much as it was expected, there is new light to things we couldn't be aware of until we have now experienced nearly 2 weeks of it!
I am finding more and more that the EU or Hungarian School system is more set up to learn it one way, and you cannot make mistakes. It's best to Succeed, and Succeed well. Which definitely has its benefits.
Now, of course, they have had much grace because they do not know the language, but I would perceive that the faculty/teachers will be taking it more seriously after the Holidays. We are returning home from December 12- January 9th. They will be missing 6 'Christmas' days before(which will be considered less heavy in work), and 5 days in January. We will be bringing their homework with us, if not working overtime before we leave.
A lady that works here on Campus, Ms. Isabella has helped the children throughout the years in an hour a week classroom style, and it truly has paid off as far as planting tons of seeds that have begun to grow. So Praise the Lord for that!
They are also taking Mandatory German 5 days a week, and it has gone very well! They believe it to be easier than Hungarian, but we shall see!


Charis age 10. 4th Grade (again)
She is doing amazing! She has the 'Academic' slant going for her, so she learns to 'Conform' well. Although, she never had the training for Hungarian Cursive and Numbers, she learns to adapt well, and rides the waves. Her class has been together from 1-4th grade. I don't see any problems with this, just FYI, and it is very cool because the girls have welcomed her. There is even one girl "Barbi" whom she used to play with years ago, at Ovoda,  (Hungarian Preschool), although Charis can't remember her, I do!
She has also gotten great scores, 5 being maximum, and she got 5's already in German and Art. PTL!
She will need prayer in UNDERSTANDING the text in which she is reading. She is doing stuff Already, that I cannot understand how to help her, but she seems to understand it. It's funny, because she is getting 'good points' in class for reading well Aloud and doing the work asked, but when she gets home and shows me the paragraphs, I ask her what she read, and she doesn't even know! Haha. She will get there, though. She is taking German and thriving already. She knows her numbers from 1-20 and much more. She and Hope are also taking German Folk-dancing lessons which I can't say that I always desired this for my children- to do this in life, but I am so blessed that they are, because they LOVE it! It was an unexpected Surprise!


Hope age nearly 8. 2nd Grade (again)
Hopie is very Creative in thinking, and learns audibly, so when it comes to hearing the words, she is doing amazing! The first week though, the teacher brought it to our attention that Hopie does not know her Cursive, or even sounds of the Letters ( there are 44 letters in the Hungarian Alphabet) , and therefore 'suggested' that she go down to 1st grade to go through this basic learning. We felt as parents, that she has the very capabilities of a 3rd Grader in mental capacity, and that it would actually be detrimental to her spirit, and drive, not to mention she wouldn't be challenged. Her brother, Justice is in First Grade. We had a meeting called with the Principal and her Teacher and got to discuss the things at hand with our friend, Andi as a translator. In my mothers' heart, I feel like Hope has always been given the short end of the stick in the right Teacher for her, even as I was one of them, homeschooling her! She needs someone to truly understand her learning styles, and keep her disciplined in not getting distracted. And she thrives in Affirmation, as they all do.  So as far as discipline, this is a great environment for her. We ended up all coming to the conclusion, during this meeting, that she would stay in 2nd grade, and bring in the 1st grade Training of Cursive and Letter Sounds as an extra task outside of her regular homework. I believe that the Principal, VP, and Teacher just wanted to know if we were willing to care and work with her. We bought a handful of books and have been working on this ever since.
God has been gracious with a few people on campus, Dori, and Andi, etc. who want to help Hopie and the rest with translation and help. God answers prayers and has brought along one lady, Lori, who has a heart for Hopie and sees herself in her as a child. She'll meet with her once a week. She is Hungarian, and she speaks into her heart as she reads her the sounds of the letters. She encourages her so much! It almost brings tears to my eyes at how she speaks to her! She prays with her and thinks that she is really smart because she is picking it up really fast. She is directing her in Hungarian and then translating it as well. Another gal is going to come along side weekly as well to help, a student here, Kira. So Thanks be to God for His Provision. Hopie is also a great artist of persons. She has this eye to draw realistically.
Also, Hopie is having a hard time emotionally detaching from us, from me, and being at home.  She cries silently every day at school, and every time before she leaves home. It hurts her to be away, and one of her worries is to take the bus to school, even though all of her siblings and one friend Nina will be with her. She told me this morning that it was because it will be less time with me. :( We are obviously speaking positively, and encouragingly into her life with prayers, etc., but it's still a little dis-heartening for myself and her! They will not take the bus until October begins.
 One cool story is that yesterday, Hopie relayed a story to me about what her and teacher discussed for a moment, and she switched into Hungarian, because that is how she recalled it, and I was like, What? But she pronounced all so well! Wow!

Justice age 6. (1st grade) Justice is doing pretty well at following guidelines. In first grade, they  are not required to know one thing before this grade began, as they enter at the age of 6 or 7. So anything they learn, is a first, so they just do it. Although Justice does not know the Hungarian Language, he did come from Ovoda where it was all-Hungarian speaking, and he also has Nina, another MK from CCBCE who's in his class, who speaks both languages, and she helps translate for him. The thing with the learning of the Alphabet though, is it is VERY precise. The books we bought for Hope, and the homework that Justice gets, start out with straight lines over and over and over and over again! You cannot create your own handwriting; it cannot go under or over the lines given, and it has to be straight up, not slanted. So even if you knew some American Cursive, it is thrown out the window. It has to be exact. So a steady hand is learned! Everything he gets for homework has to be translated so that we can understand what he is doing but also learning. It causes us to learn as well! So thankful!

I have also been told by Hope, Charis, and Nina that Justice is being bullied. On the first two occasions, a bigger boy in his class punched him in the back and the stomach that it caused him to cry. The teacher was told, which I am grateful for. And now that he has backed off, Justice has let me know that amongst the same group of 3-4 boys, there is another that pushed him down as he tried to walk in the door after recess that nobody saw. But God saw it. And for some reason, I don't know why, God has given me a security in mind for him as I continually pray for him daily, hourly.
We have shared with him that he is valuable to God and to us, and to stand up for himself. Don't shrink back. Turn to him, look him in the eyes, and say,"don't do that." in Hungarian. If it escalates, we will have to bring more attention, but it seems as of now, he's not afraid, just a little frazzled as to why. He says that there are 2 boys in class that are nice though! Update: He returned from school today, and he again was punched inside the classroom while the teacher wasn't looking, but he turned and said, "Don't do that." in Hungarian. He also made Friends with an older boy today! What a blessing that God, through His power, would send an older boy into the picture! Praise Him!

Cruz age 3. (1st year of Preschool) He just turned 3, and I have not needed for one moment to push him into Ovoda. He gets dressed like the rest, has Bible Devotions at the cereal table like the rest and is out the door at 7:20 just like all the rest! He goes with Zoe, Nina's little sister, so they are like 2 peas in a pod.  "Zozie and Cruzie" we call them. They learn Hungarian elements and play "computers and phones" and eat Hungarian lunch complete with Paprika, bell peppers all before I arrive to pick them up at 12:20. (The others get home at around 2.) I think he thinks he's older! He is totally letting the language flow through him, so that is a blessing to be so young and picking it up greatly!

Thank You for reading, and I pray that I gave you a further understanding on how to pray for them!  Caleb and I are greatly appreciative!

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