Sunday, February 15, 2015

Two Hearts United

About this time last week, a few of my fellow teachers and I were hurrying around trying to finish up last minute details... You see, there was to be a wedding early the next morning. 

It was the wedding of two volunteer teachers here at the school. They decided to have their wedding here so the students would be able to attend and since they will continue their ministry here together. It was a first for this school to have a wedding here.

It was a busy time - decorating the archway and aisle with bamboo, ribbon, bows, palm branches & flowers, taping letters to the purple curtain, blowing up balloons, ironing tablecloths & dresses, practicing music, typing out the wedding program and other such wedding preparations. 

The wedding morning was brought in with Hannah Steck's (the wedding coordinator :-) cheery voice, "Ladies, we probably better get over to the wedding site to finish things up."

"Ok," Haley and I drowsily responded from underneath our mosquito net. It was 4:45 am. We had to start early because the wedding was to start at 8:00. (Karen weddings are usually in the morning.)

In the darkness we did the finishing touches to our work the evening before. We arranged the fresh flowers on the green arch & the swinging bench to add bursts of purple, pink & white. 

The time passed quickly and before we knew it--it was time for the wedding to begin. 

At the beginning of the ceremony, the student choir sang as they brought the wedding party across the open field to where the wedding ceremony would take place. The students crowded around taking as many pictures and videos as they could of this special event. 

The wedding was short and sweet. After the pronouncement of the new couple and the recessional, everyone was invited to enjoy the good food that was prepared. 

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy...

Jonalyn (a Filipino) & Erick (an American) 

The guestbook table

The front - Karen style

Decorated bamboo sections lining the aisle

The archway with palm branches & flowers

Pictures after the wedding

The wedding party 

 The couple with Erick's parents

 It's very interesting that the groomsman and bridesmaid wear 
exactly the same clothes that the bride & groom wear in Karen weddings. 

 The little people - they did a very good job. :)

 The four decorators with the new couple

We pray that the Lord will richly bless your new marriage & ministry, Erick & Jonalyn. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Day Picnics

January has been the month for picnics. All the grades have gone on day picnics as well as other groups (like the dorm staff or afternoon work groups). There is always a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air as the time gets closer to leave on a picnic. For the grade 9 & 10 picnic we left early in the morning and arrived at the riverside before breakfast. After breakfast and worship, we spent the rest of the day playing games and just having fun with each other. We ended the day with a nice campfire worship that everyone participated in. 

I will always treasure those moments... the moments of laughing together, chasing each other on the sand, enjoying special food together, laughing some more, taking a refreshing dip in the river, reading the Bible, singing together, and much more. 

These are two of my 10 graders - they love to have their picture taken. 

Saw Eh Shee has quite the look, don't you think? :)
Myint Htay is making a funny face in the background, 
which is not out of character for him at all. 

The beach was such a nice sandy place for our games. 

This game especially had us laughing. Mrs. Steck was right in the middle of the fun. 
I love their facial expressions in this one. 

Thara Di Yay enjoyed the games too! 
He helped a lot to translate my explanations of the games. 

A Karen Bible
I'm thankful the Karen characters don't just look like random lines and circles to me now. 
I can read most of the letters now (although I still don't know what it all means).

I think we were playing "Monkey in the Middle" here. 

Striped jackets seem to be popular here. :) 
I like it when they actually smile for pictures. 

Paw Wah Wah & Ma Shwe Win - two of my sweet 9th graders. 

I told you they like to take pictures. 

Than Than Aye & I
Please pray for her - She has a pretty bad family situation. 

The scenery was splendid! 

This was taken at the dorm monitor picnic. 

All the dorm staff - a lot of them are my students. 
Don't they look nice in purple? 

By the end of the day, we were all sweaty, sandy, & worn-out... but nonetheless happy. 

Please pray for the precious students here at Sunshine Orchards. Many of them have had really hard backgrounds. I want them to experience Jesus as a true Friend. They need to find comfort, security & peace in a saving relationship with Jesus. Even though friends may leave them and family may reject them, Jesus will always be by their side. Please pray that they will surrender their lives fully to Him - no matter what rejection they may face from their families. 

And for those of us, who come from supportive Christian homes (even though they are not perfect)
--we have so, so much to be thankful for!  Don't take your family for granted.