Sorry about missing IPWG # 222 and #224

Chief Ben Littauer, who transfers the IPWG to the blog, and son Dirk let me know that they had not received IPWG # 222 and # 224 in the IPWG series.

My guess is that I did not properly code them.

Chief Ron has IPWG set up in such a way that only I can send out the IPWG, and I do so with a code he has given me. This keeps you from receiving e-mails that are not IPWG.

My bad!

And let me say…it really is good to hear back from you when you have found the IPWG to be particularly helpful. Example: After this weeks “Deerfoot Friendships” I received an e-mail from a Deerfooter whose father has died in the last month..

His not, and others, help keep me working at this. Most IPWG take 6 – 8 hours to write – and get approved by Sally Jo. I probably have a list now of about 10 IPWG I would like to write – they just take time.

When Sally Jo and I leave the house/town for a week, I generally do not tell you. Our home has been robbed once – when the robbers knew we were at DL. It was a tough loss.

Two weeks we were in Nicaragua for a week.

Here is the letter we sent to those who had made contributions to cover the expenses of the trip. – this is not an IPWG so it is 2 pages!

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November 2014

Dear Family and Friends

My brother, David, suggested that I type my letters – if I wanted people to be able to read them. I had just written him a letter he considered essentially unreadable! I type this only after writing three thank you notes containing the following…they were personal, but that is about all that could be said about them.

Once again Sally Jo led the team. She interviewed the applicants, communicated continually with Wayne and Megan who direct Centro Escolar, and kept our church congregation up to speed. She also led four session orientation programs, arranged the transportation, kept up with the forms and other paper work. She is the glue before, during and after the mission experience. While in Nicaragua, Sally Jo worked primarily with the Ruth on developing the music program.

Ruth, a retired Jr. High music teacher took with her 30 pr rhythm sticks, 2 sets of melody bells and 30 glockenspiels. The bells and glockenspiels had each tone in a different color – and the music she brought also had each note in a corresponding color. Each day she worked with four grade levels and two school staff members. On the last afternoon the students demonstrated to us what they had learned. Ruth played the keyboard and the children played the bells and glockenspiels… and we were all in tears. A huge step from four days before when the children knew nothing about music notes, rhythms, and the sound of playing together. Sally Jo and other team members worked closely with Ruth.

Frank, who uses microscopes daily, brought to these children, who knew nothing about magnification, a quality hand held magnifying glass, a microscope to use when looking at leaves, snails, bugs, and a microscope like students use today in college. He brought prepared slides, and what was necessary for the teachers to be able to make their own slides. The two microscopes had built in cameras so what was seen in the microscope was seen on a computer screen. Frank was exploding with joy at the response of the grade school students when they saw the wonders of God’s creation – in detail. One student brought in a tiny snail – like really small. While under the microscope, out came the head of the tiny animal.

The team brought the requested wood working tools – including a table saw that was disassembled to fit into two suitcases, a 48 lb thickness planer (all wood comes rough cut), belt sander, palm sander, a 2 ½ hp router and a 1 hp edge router…and clamps, wood vise, etc. Alan and Rick showed the maintenance man, Gerald, how to make quality shelf units – now possible with the new tools. I showed Gerald how to refinish a table top, using two grades of sanding belts, and then the palm sander. Gerald learns quickly and he sanded the remaining 4 himself – did really good work!

At the last minute we were asked to bring 18 matching, rebuilt, Dell school computers for the teachers to use in their class rooms to prepare lesson plans and record grades Already on the our mission team was Nicole who has a computer consulting business. Incredibly capable! When we left, every computer was ready for intended purpose.

Mary, with other members of the team, painted a 12 X 50 mural of Jesus with the children on the wall of an area where a church provides a hot lunch to about 125 neighborhood children every day. Several members of the church became involved with the project by moving the scaffolding while Sal, the professional painter on our team, remained on the top. When the mural was finished, church members helped Doug and other team members put paint on children’s hands so they could put their small hand prints on the wall.

Sal also painted in the medical clinic, which many of you made possible last year, and on which many of the team members had worked last year. When the clinic room had been painted, team members moved equipment and supplies into the room, and the clinic is ready to be used.

Terri and Nicole, with an excellent single lens reflex camera and video camera, took wonderful pictures of the school happenings. These pictures will be used by the school and in our churches.

Terri also worked with the music program, and played soccer and other ball games with the students. Terri is a marathon runner.

Carl again became a shade tree mechanic – literally. As cars and trucks were brought to him, he would make the requested repairs. Doug worked with Carl replacing two tail gates, which sounds easy…but the gates that arrived with the trucks were for a different year.

I had scanned children’s books so they could be projected onto a smart board – a first, and easy to do. I would read a page to a class, and then would point to the words as I read the page again with the students. If they had trouble with the pronunciation of a word, it was easy to repeat the word until the students were close to good pronunciation. The American English teacher ran the projector and we had a wonderful time together. I also told them a story which I made up – using three items they wanted in the story. Like a frog, and elephant and a little boy. Slowly I would talk, using simple words. Fun!!

I spent time with Wayne and Megan who together have developed this incredible school. Much of the time was listening. Life is difficult for those in leadership positions in a foreign country. I spoke through an interpreter for a church service, helped get the mural started, worked in the wood shop, and, like many of the other members of the team, helped wash dishes with the kitchen staff.

During our introduction to the slum around the school, Wayne showed us a ¾ acre of vacant property that abuts the wall of the school property. The school would like to develop a vocational school on the land. During our final meal Sally Jo told Wayne and Megan that out of the funds provided for our trip, the team could provide the down payment on the ¾ acre property. Wayne and Megan were blown away…and with reason.

So…know you were integral to all of the above. We all worked very hard and accomplished much. Thanks to you…and praise be to God!

Chuck and Sally Jo

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