I should have written sooner, but I got busy and the memory got put on the back burner. But now that I’m trying to be more consistent in writing blog posts, I’m revisiting the memory for my readers. :)
Back at the beginning of February I held a seminar for the Sunday School teachers for the seven churches that have been started by Team Expansion. I had brought flannel graph stories for each church to use when teaching on Sundays. The youth in my church had also packaged and sent supplies like crayons and pens for them to use with the kids. We also decided to the teachers the school supplies the youth had sent over and they could distribute the supplies to their students on Sundays.
As a part of this seminar, I tried to give an encouraging and motivating talk. I spent about two weeks writing the talk, and then trying my best to translate it into Swahili. Then I had Mavuto check over my translation and he fixed all my mistakes.
When Saturday came, I gave my talk and actually spoke too fast. They are the type of people who take notes as they listen, but their notes were more copying every word I said so I spoke too fast for them to write everything down. We solved that problem by printing copies of my speech for all of them. Then we handed out the supplies which they were all very thankful for. We followed that with some practice with the flannel graph stories. Several of the teachers got up and told a Bible story using the pieces. It was good for all of them to see what’s an interesting way to use the pieces and ways that are not as attention-grabbing. Then we had lunch which was a big hit because I sprung for meat AND sodas. For most of them, that was their favorite part.
Since the seminar, I’ve had a chance to visit many of the churches and been able to witness the teachers handing out the supplies. Most of them decided to hand out the supplies piece by piece rather than as a whole pack like we had put them together. They gave out the supplies as the students answered questions about the Bible story correctly, which I thought was a great idea. I’ve also been able to watch them teach using the flannel graphs and witnessed the children paying attention really well since they have visuals to look at.
Overall, it was a good experience. Joyce and I were talking recently that if I had given my seminar later, it might have been even better because my Swahili has improved as has my confidence to try to speak it. But we did it early because we wanted the kids and teachers to get the supplies I had brought so they could start using them effectively and so they would be encouraged to prepare interesting and fun lessons for the kids.