God Created Us to Read by: Janet Neumann

Today marks the third day of Reading Camp.  In just three days, much has changed but at the same time nothing much has changed. The children are more at ease. The teachers are beginning to work as a team and yet the nice, up-dated building still has chickens wandering into the classrooms. The dishes are washed in a tub of cold water outside in the dirt.

This year I am teaching class three; these are the students that can read but need a little more help to increase their speed and fluency.  These children are incredibly intelligent and eager to learn. I find myself creating more and more activities aside from my regular lessons, as they are just SO quick to learn.

Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope is a Christian nonprofit. I make it clear to people that I talk to, that our mission as volunteers is to help the children but never lose sight that Jesus is the focus.  Today was the first day I really talked about Jesus in my class.  In the United States, I am a teacher in the Virginia Beach Public School and teachers are cautioned to not talk about God. If we talk about faith, we do so in generalities.

The theme for this year’s Reading Camp is  “God Created Me to Read.”  I read the students a story from the children’s Bible about the seven days of creation. I asked them to pay close attention, as I would be asking questions.  I read the story slowly. I could see out of the corner of my eye, that the children were just clinging to every word I read.  At the end of the story, I asked them, “So what was the story about?” They all responded in unison, “It’s about Jesus.” My heart smiled at that moment.  It wasn’t just because they were listening, but because they had heard about Jesus.  God took the time to create all of creation.  All of his children, no matter where they are, they are taken care of and loved.

I have been in Ghana for a week and I can’t help but continue to make a mental list.  That mental list is a contrast of how it is in the United States versus Ghana.  My heart breaks for the hardships these children face on a daily basis.  The resources that are accessible to us are just not available to these kids.  However, Jesus takes cares of all His children and I find comfort that life in Ghana is improving.  Change, lasting change, is gradual but it’s rewards are everlasting.

This is the third day of Reading Camp and I can’t wait to see the changes in the children on day five. Where are the hankies?

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