Friday, October 23, 2009

Life Outside Of School

A lot of times I feel like I don't really have a life outside of school, my day at school ends anywhere between the hours of 2:30 and 3:30 and I am generally too tired to want to do anything in the almost 6 hours I have before bed. Although I have been working on my "grandmother skills" which include sewing, baking and crocheting.
Monday nights school does not end. I get home from school, prepare something for supper (Mondays are my night to cook), and at about 6:00 My 23 year old english student comes over for a conversational english class. Which is generally less stressful than my kindergarten class....depending on the topic of the night. This lesson usually goes on until about 9:00, which is my bed time.
Tuesday nights I have a break from whatever time I am finished at school until 7:00pm. This usually includes working on crocheting, sewing, reading or baking something. Then at 7:00 we have a womens Bible study/discussion group. Right now we are watching the Nooma videos by Rob Bell. So far we've had some really awesome conversations and I feel like we will really learn a lot from each other. It's been good to get different prospectives on things that God has been teaching us. (of course after this which can last until 10, is bedtime)
Wednesday nights again I have nothing in particular planned until 6:30 and then it's off to Patti Sue's for dinner! Wednesday nights have to be my favorite night. I love spending time over there with the now 4 babies she has in her house and the 3 girls. It's definately a family and it feels very homey and warm there. It's refreshing and relaxing to even just sit on the couch and watch tv holding a baby and having the girls play with your hair. I am excited for when the new property is ready and each kid in the orphanage has the chance to experience a real, unconditional loving family.

Wednesday Nights at Patti Sue's!
Progress on the property
Thursday nights are similar to Monday nights, except it's Dallas's night to cook! (Dallas is one of my roommates if I have not mentioned them before?) Also instead of the english class, it is spanish class for me! Which is good, because I feel like being here as long as I have been, I should definately be able to speak a lot more spanish then I can, or feel comfortable speaking. Last night was probably the most successful spanish class yet as I was having to tell stories about my life in spanish. It definately took a lot longer, but I didn't do to bad.'s Fridays and not Friday nights because we get out of school at noon on Fridays! After lunch we have a meeting with the director of the school. These are always really nice because we get all of our lesson planning done with the help of each other and of Katie (the director). Also this is a time to get out any venting or concerns we have. It's really a relief to know that there is someone there keeping us accountable to our work as well as someone we can go to whether we feel like crying or screaming. After our meetings it's catching up on phone calls and emails until 6:30. Then it's time for Friday Night Dinners...which is always different. Different peoples houses...sometimes we play games and sometimes we watch movies.
A Friday Night Dinner dedicated to Tandy's birthday and the "Death" to her early twenties.

Saturdays are days to do absolutely nothing. (except working on "Grandma Skills")

homemade bread

Sundays it's off to church and lunch either with "Proactive Award" kids from our classes or pre-schoolers and the rest of the day is filled with preparing everything for the week ahead.
Nicole and I on the walk from church to lunch!
Explaining all of this, my life does sound pleanty busy, and very much like a life outside of school. Maybe it's just that life is a lot more slow paced and consistant here. Every week here is very much the same although people are constantly coming and going.
I've found my favorite times outside of school to be between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00pm sitting alone on my roof watching the sky change and the sunset with a cup of tea. This is the time when I am really able to step back and process all the different things God is doing in my life here as well as others. I think that sometimes we can become too busy and stressed out and blinded by our everyday lives or just thrown into a consistant pattern that we forget that there is a bigger picture, and there is more to life than just eating, drinking, working and playing.

Our God is creative. Look how he paints the skies and carves the mountains. Think if he is this creative with the sky and the mountains how much more creativity he puts in ourlives.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Begin With The End In Mind :-)

Miss Melissa, Antoney, Alondra, Ana, Jeff, Ivan, Vero

Our Alphabet wall

They get High Five's for being proactive..

Also for beginning with the end in mind :-)

It's been over a month since school started! I can not believe how fast time goes by. Kindergarten has been such an experience and challenge so far. I wasnot very aware of how creative you have to be to teach kindergarten. So far in this last month we've learned the letters a,c,d,f and are working on the letter g. We've also learned the numbers 1-5 and are working on learning the number 6. The creative struggle is coming up with a million different ways to teach the same thing. We've used numerous things from rice, string and macaroni to play dough and paint to shape our letters and numbers. Also several different objects for counting.

We have now moved on to learning our second rule. "BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND". On Thursday we got to watch 2 skits that Miss Alison's class put together onbeginning with the end in mind. One was a weight lifting competition where 2 of the kids practiced and won first place and one kid did not practice and he failedbecause he did not "BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND". The second skit was about 3 friends going on vacation. The first two knew were they were going and invited the thirdfriend along. The third friend did not ask questions about where they were going and not "BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND" she packed a swim suit, sunglasses, and other summer clothes when they were going to Alaska. The kids did a great job. On Friday with my kindergarten class we baked 2 cakes. The first cake we didn't "BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND"and we didn't use a recipe, we just guessed how much of each ingredients to put in. For the second cake we used a recipe. We compared the taste, sight and texture of the two cakesto decide if it was better to "BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND" or to just do without thinking or planning.

Prayer Thoughts:
My monthly support has been pledged!
2 of my best friends are getting married, Becky and Levi!
Saturdays :-) My only day to completely do nothing!
Patience and understanding in class.
Plane tickets...I need one back to Ecuador after Christmas, and one back after Becky and
Levi's wedding.
For the Lord to be with Becky and Levi in their engagement and their wedding, that they
don't get to stressed out planning and that He is the center of their
Stephen, the new baby, who has trouble breathing, for his health
Anita Bebe, that the Lord heals her from her "nightmare" episodes

Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2 Peter 1:4-11

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


La Nueva Casita

Miss Melissa's Kindergarten Class

Ana, Ivan, Jefferson

Antoney , Alondra (on the right) , Veronica

This year is going to be great. I can tell. There is so much organization and structure. The kids need this kind of structure. They are excited to be in school. As well as following the rules with positive reinforcement. In which, the prizes don't consist of things, but honors like praying in chapel before school on Mondays or holding the Christian Flag/Bible as we say our Pledges, helping out in various ways in the class rooms or going on a special date with the new "Principle" of the school.

Before school started on Wednesday, we had two teacher inservice days. They were super helpful in showing us teachers how to keep organized.Tuesday was 13 hours straight (no breaks) working on school work and getting things ready for classes to start. Decorating for to celebrate the first days of school.

This year I am teaching Kingergarten, which, is quiet a big change from last year. (teaching 4th-6th grade) I have to remember to slow down a lot. Not only have these kids not been in an english class setting...nor have some of them been in a class setting at all. It's a lot of repeating how they should be sitting or holding a pencil or making a straight line, practicing drawing circles and learning what the letters and numbers look like. It's going to be fun. I get to be super creative with how I teach things. The more active and colorful the lessons are the faster the kids will learn!

This year I am also living in a new house with the two new teachers of La Casa De Fe. I am so thankful to God for the people he's placed me with down here that make it bearable to be away from home. :-) I've only been back for a week, but we've already had a lot of fun times in our new house! With more to come! It's also good to see the old faces of Shell! I am glad to be back.

I have a few prayer requests, if you think about it when you are praying...
* Wisdom- for a lot of the classroom, to be a good steward of my money, to know here God wants me to be and what he wants me to do..
* Patience- in school, as the kids are getting used to having a more structured schedule and just in general.
* Love- to remember always to love everyone as JC loves us.

I will post most of my pictures on facebook. ( email for facebook
Magic Jack Phone #- 816-984-2556
Skype- melissa.medlin
Address in the states-
Melissa Medlin
6922 S. Buckner Tarsney Rd.
Oak Grove Mo, 64075
(I will get anything you send to this address might just take a while because it will have to be re-sent here to Ecuador)

smashing coffee beans because we didn't have a grinder
This shows you how important coffee is......

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Anita (one of the girls who will be my student this next school year 2009-2010)

So it's been a really long time since I've wrote on here.

I'm home!

I've been home for about a month and have about a month left here.

So far it's been really great getting to see everyone and just hang out with friends and family.

Now I also need to start working on getting things ready to go back to Ecuador.

Next year I am teaching Kindergarten!! I am so excited. I feel like in some ways it will be more of a challenge and in other ways it will be less. I will have about 5-6 students and school will be Monday-Friday 830-300. I am excited to get to work with these younger kids and be apart of their discovering new things and ideas. I have a lot of fun ideas for the class and will be using a cirriculum called "The Noah Plan". We will be introducing the kids to Science, Math, Geography, History, Literature, Art and Music...not to forget P.E. , snack time and nap time. :-)

This year will be so much different from the last and I am excited to see what God has in store.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's been a while....

Two blog posts. Almost a month apart.

Sorry :)

March has flown by so fast. I don't even know where all this time has gone?! This week I have a new student in my class. Her name is Talia.She came to the orphanagewith her 2 younger sisters. Their mom died and their dad is an alcoholic.The landlord oftheir apartment was offering them food but only if he could get "favors" in return. They were at the orphanage a few weeks ago for the weekend but the police took them back to be with their father. The returned again this last friday on their own. NowPatti Sue has custody of them until the police do an investigation. Which I guess can takeup to a couple of years? PTL that they are with us and are safe. They all seem to really love being at Casa De Fe. They enjoyed going to church yesterday, they new food they are recieving and the love from everyone who works with Casa De Fe. Talia even started to usesome of the english the other kids have been using.
This next weekend I will be traveling to Quito! My best friend Kallie is coming to visit! I am super excited to have her here for 2 weeks to help out. It's going to be a busy couple weeks. But extremely fun. I'm really really looking forward to seeing her. The last few days she is herewe are going to take a trip to the beach! I haven't been yet, so what better way to spend Easter weekend than on the beach?
I haven't updated in a really long time. I started updating in March and never finished.I have been really busy with Kallie visiting and going to the beach over Easter weekend. The last two weeks have been really insane as far as just constantly doing things.It was nice to have someone from home here. A best friend at that. I got to show Kallie a lot of what is around Ecuador even things that I hadn't been able to see yet. We also made a lot of new friends. I think I feel more at home here now than I have yet.I am going to be sad to be away for the 2 months that I am home, but extremely happyto see everyone I love and miss. The school year with only a little over 2 months lefthas gone by extremely fast, though at times it seemed slow. Next year will be so differentfrom this year with everyone that I know here this year leaving. Even some of the Ecuadorians.Not leaving Ecuador, just places farther than a simple bus ride away. Also we are going to beworking with a lady who is going to do all the administrative aspect of the school. Next year withthe kids will be more organized. They are doing good this year learning a lot of english. Next year they will get all the subjects that a normal school would offer. God's really been providing a lot.It's neat to see his hand working. To see him teaching, providing, healing. Sometimes I get too busy doing "stuff" that I don't step back and stop to see how he really has a part in everything.I hope everyone is doing well. I feel very behind on everything back home. I'm sorry I have not kept in better touch or updated more recent. Email me and tell me whats going on. <3<3

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I don't really look back on these things, so sorry if I tell you things over and over....

Thank God, first of all before I update on anything else, that I have not been spending as much time at the dentist. :) It really is better that I have had all the problems with my teeth that I've had here, instead of back in the states. So thank you JC for both the cheapness and now for being done. Well sort of. I am still going to take kids every wednesday until they have all gotten the chance to go to the dentist and get updated on their dental needs. But this is not agrivating like having all the problems myself and going almost everyday of the week.

Some new things that have been going on...

This past weekend and Monday and today have been "Carnival". It's the time before lent. Some traditions of celebrating carnival are....dumping water on anyone and everyone who is walking down the street, as well as throwing water balloons at anyone and smashing an egg with flour on someones head. The Ecuadorian schools get the Monday and Tuesday of carnival off, however being dedicated as we are :) still had school. In the afternoon we filled up numerous water balloons and had the hugest water fight I have ever had in my entire life. It was amazing. A few of us even got the whole egg and flour on the head part of carnival. I think the kids really enjoyed having carnival...even though we still had class.

In class for math we are still working on odd and even numbers as well as telling time and counting money. For english we are working in books called "All Around Me" we do worksheets from the book as well as keep a journal that we write in at least 1 or 2 times a week using only the english we know or with pictures.
For Angel (my 11 year old boy who can not read) I just copied a whole book "Beginning to Read" which we will work one on one with him. It has great activities that I think will really help him. From what we have done so far he is already trying to sound out words. I think he will be reading by the end of this year for sure.
The kids are starting to use their english more and I am really impressed with the things that they do know. A few of my older girls do a great job reading in english.
I am excited to see the end result of this year.

There is a group here right now from Fargo North Dakota, on Saturday I got the privilege of having breakfast with the ladies from the group and some other missionary women from the Shell community. The purpose of the breakfast was so that the ladies from the group could get to know women who lived and worked in Shell and hear about their ministry. It was really awesome to hear some of the things God has done in these womens lives. Lately He has been teaching me a lot and I have just been so blown away by every bit of it. I've asked God to start throwing rocks at me to remind me to live for Him daily. It's so crazy the things He shows and teaches you when you really want to learn and listen to Him.

I would absolutely love to talk about all these rocks and anything else going on with anyone. Email, phone, skype, facebook....

Here is all my contact info...please keep in touch!

Phone- 816-256-3923
Skype- melissa.medlin
Address in the states- Melissa Medlin
6922 S Buckner Tarsney Rd
Oak Grove Mo 64075

Address in Ecuador- Melissa Medlin
Casilla # 16-01-854
Puyo, Pastaza
Ecuador, South America

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Life At The Dentist...........

Today started out like any normal day. Wake up, coffee, check my email, breakfast, get ready for school, walk to school, teach, home for lunch, dentist office, home, ect. ect. ect.

Yes. Going to the denist is part of at least 3 days of my week.
It started out about 2-2 1/2 weeks ago...during class I aquired this massive tooth ache and had to end class early. Patti Sue drove me to the dentist to find out I had an infection in my tooth. So then that consisted of going to the dentist every other day to get it drilled on and filled with medicine and then a temporary filling. My tooth was not getting better and it was decided to have a root canal. So last week I had a painful root canal. Still...the infection is not healing. So in order to get rid of the infection and save the rest of my teeth, the only option is to pull the tooth that has the infection. So today I went in and had my tooth pulled. Friday I go back to have it checked up to make sure the infection is gone and get the rest of my teeth cleaned. Its been a really long 2 1/2 weeks with most of my afternoons spent at the dentist. So I pray that this friday is the last time I have to go to the dentist for the next...what is it? Sixs months? For a normal check up and cleaning. I could go the rest of my life without having to deal with any of this again. However, it has reminded me of trust. How I can trust the Lord to get me through any situation and that in the end I will be just fine. Even if it takes 2 1/2 weeks or more to get the answers to our prayers. (and this is just a TINY situation compared to most)

I have recently started to read my Bible in Chronological order. Reading in Job and how the Lord tested him so much taking away everything from him and making him ill really helped remind me of how small this was in comparison. I think in some situations people might ask "Why are you putting me through this?" and although we may never know exactly we just have to trust that God will never give us more than we can handle, even if it seems like we can't take it anymore. We need to learn to rest in God through our troubles. Jesus was sleeping on the boat. Not on the relaxing waves but through a fierce storm.


Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh What A Day..

Hola! Today has been a super busy day. I am ready for bed and its only 5:30. My day started out at 7:15. I woke up and went to the dentist. They did the root canal Tuesday and today they made a mold for the crown and some other stuff, I dont really know because I couldnt ask ha. Then after the dentist Melissa and I went to get her censo. Which was a nightmare because their printer in Puyo broke so we had to take a bus an hour away to Banos to get her censo because she was running out of time to get it. Which while in Banos we find out that it could be possible that I will not be able to renew my tourist visa after my 90 days are up. Soo. Now we have to find out if that is true or not this week. Because if its true I will have to travel back to the states for 3 weeks to get all my paper work done for my 1 year visa. Which will be super expensive...including doctors visits, lots of paper work, plane tickets and what not. So if you think about it..pray that its not true, and that I CAN get my 90 day visa renewed. Then I wont have to worry about all that hassle until I am home for the summer.
So as for taking a day off...I am more worn out than if I had taught school today!
I started thinking about taking actual spanish lessons...from a real spanish teacher. Its only once a week and only $5 a session. So at the most $20 a month. I am sure it would help a lot! Plus instead of just getting the conversational aspect I would be getting grammer as well.

Spotlight is tonight and we have told the Tia's at the orphanage about it so we'll see if more people turn up!
Also we had our 2nd meeting of our womens study this week...except I wasn't all there because I basically went straight there after getting the root canal. The book we are reading is pretty good so far and I am looking forward to more fellowship with the ladies. It's a pretty diverse group so I am sure JC will teach us a lot of things through each other.

In school the kids are doing good. We are learning to count money and tell time at the moment. All math is in english now. So we are doing math and english on a block schedule. Which has been going pretty smoothly because we will work really hard one day and the next have a more activity hands on day. Which works out well because they have been less angry with the paper work.

Well I really think thats all I have to share at this minute. But please email or call or IM me to chat about anything!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

So its been a long time since I've written on here. I went home for Christmas which was really good.Busy. But good. It was so good to see friends and family. I've now been back in Shell for about 2 weeks. This is the 2nd full week of school and it's gone pretty well. We have new books! We are using Saxon for math and I am using 2 different books for ESL. We have been switching between math and english everyday. The kidslike english days better because it includes more hands on activities. I am currently in the process of makingcards for Time Telling Bingo since we are learning how to tell time in math. It's kind of a tidious task but willbe well worth it when I am done and I think it will really help the kids to have more fun in math.
Other things that have been going on outside of school:
I am living in a different house than when I was here before Christmas. Its going really well. The girl I livewith is also named Melissa. It's been really great getting to know her and finding out how much we have in common. It's great how well we get along. We never miss having coffee together every afternoon even if we can only spendfive minutes talking. This last week I had an incredible tooth ache and found out that I need to have a root canal. eeekk! Good thingis it's a lot cheaper here than in the states.. but unfortunately I have been spending a lot of my time at the dentist 4 hours at a time (mostly waiting for a 15 minute process to take place). I can't wait until it is finished.Maybe something to pray about...SPEEDY TOOTH RECOVERY. haha
Oh speaking of praying..I have forwarded some of you an email from my friends Craig and Celeste. Celeste and their 4 year old daughter have some health issues. If you think about it their whole family could really use your prayers.
Next week will be the first week for a group coming to help out with the building of the new community buildingon the property. That should be a pretty rad expirience. Getting to meet new people as they come through to build and help out at the orphanage.
Also starting in March I will be having visitors! That will be so great that friends will be able to come down and see all the things going on here. 2 weeks in March, 2 weeks in April and then from May 15th until I leave!
Ohh, I started a Book/Bible Study with some of the other missionary women in Shell. We are reading the book HAVING A MARY HEART IN A MARTHA WORLD. I am really excited to get to know some of the other women better and having a group to study with since I can hardly understand anything in church.
I am also going to start helping out with "Spotlight" on Thursday nights at Alexanders. It's a program to helpteach other people in the Shell community to speak english while also sharing Gods word and love. Tonight willbe the first night that I am going. Ummmmm...I dont know if I am forgetting to mention anything else. I think I have it all covered. I will try and keep this updated more often :)
Also if you want to chat I have MSN and SKYPE as well as an internet phone that only works half of the time...
SKYPE- Melissa.Medlin
INTERNET PHONE- 816-984-2556
Lets talk!