Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 1: A Framework for Action

I’ve now been here in Costa Rica for 2 weeks, but it seems like I just got here yesterday.  Already, this school has been of so much value to me as I am learning tools from professionals to work in children’s ministry.

Janna Moat was our speaker for this week.  She spoke on the framework for why we are here, and laid the ground for what the rest of the 12 weeks will look like. She talked about the roles of society in the life of a child, and the order in which they should be influencing the child.  Here is a diagram to explain the roles:

Reflecting back on my experiences in children’s ministry, I’ve realized that I have done things a little out of order. When I worked at Still Creek Ranch, I remember being frustrated when the kids would go for home visits, and come back more broken than when they left.  I was anti-home visit.  But after learning about how key the family is in the life of a child, it is MOST beneficial for care workers to work with the families so that children can be restored. The same goes for the church, the government, and every other influence in the child's life; a child living with a mom and a dad under the covenant of marriage is how God has intended family to be.  Therefore, each sphere of influence should be working so that child can be restored to the family, or the most functional, healthy sphere closest to the child. 

I told Janna at the beginning of the week that I didn’t even know where to begin in my question asking.  At the end of the week, I feel the same way- I feel like I have gained so much wisdom and she answered questions I didn’t even realize I had.

In 11 weeks now I will be going on the 6 month outreach, and have decided to stay in the same location for the full 6 months. 3 months will hardly scratch the surface to be able to understand a culture and make a difference in the life of a child.  I am still praying about the location, and have some ideas.  I know God will turn those ideas into a vision and lead me to exactly where he wants me to serve and to learn. 

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