Week of Surprises


I taught English all week long in Semila. To my surprise I had 32 students! The class was so big and varied (some were level 1 and others level 2) I had to split it into three groups. So I ended up teaching three classes simultaneously. I also tried a new method. Rather than lecturing on grammar, I gave each student a short English composition to translate plus an English-Spanish dictionary. After their first try (with help and explanations along the way) they could translate fairly well. Then I gave them an English Hymn ¨Man of Sorrows¨ to translate. Most could translate the five verses within an hour, especially as a group helping one another. When I asked one student how this hymn compared with the songs the Quichua Salmists sing (The Salmists give concerts in the churches and evangelistic campaigns.), the response was, ¨This is not commercial music.¨ I hope they could see the difference between popular songs and hymns with deep theological content.


Classes ended Friday at noon. Faby and I went for an afternoon drive. On our way back to Riobamba we picked up an elderly lady. We quickly learned she was a Christian, but were surprised when she asked us if we would like to hear a short psalm. Faby guessed she was going to recite Psalm 23. But the lady, Fanny, said, ¨Psalm 119.¨ Right. I didn´t believe her. When she reached verse 20, I turned on the Bible in my iPod, and while driving, followed her from there to the end. She recited the whole Psalm, all 176 verses, group by group, even naming the Hebrew letter that titles each one. I have never met anyone like that!


Sunday, we taught another workshop for Sunday school teachers, this one sponsored by World Vision in coordination with Semila. They told us that 15 is an excellent turnout, but we had 40 students! God continues to surprise us.