We're continuing to get into the swing of things with the READ program. It's been both encouraging and discouraging: encouraging when the children get excited to come and we can see them progressing and building their literacy skills. We play games and read with them to help with basics like phonics (how letters sound) and high-frequency words (the, this, is, and, etc). Sometimes it can be discouraging, like when the kids aren't around or seem frustrated/bored or don't listen. For the most part, they like coming and seem to feel good about themselves when they learn new concepts.
On top of READ we're still taking kids swimming down the road and making bracelets with some of the older girls in the evenings. White Dog feels more normal as time passes. I'm happy to be here to help the children, even when it is difficult.
This past weekend I got out to the Winnipeg Folk Fest, which was a wonderful four day break. So much good music! My friend and co-volunteer Beth and I were blessed by good, warm hospitality via a place to sleep in the city at my friend Laura's. We also got the chance to visit Grain of Wheat church. Our friend Joel from Manitoba Pioneer Camp was sharing a message on baptism. Our other friends Joy & Jer from MPC talked about their upcoming move to Morroco. They'll be taking their three kids along, living amongst a Muslim population, teaching at a school, and hoping to be a positive, restorative presence in the community.
Back in White Dog, we could use prayer for our team with six people in one two-bedroom house. Our shower still leaks into the kitchen, however, we finally got a washer and dryer, as well as two new mattresses and another couch. This means no one is sleeping on air-mattresses anymore. Please pray that we would continue to reach the children as we mentor, tutor and play, and also that we would be a blessing to White Dog as a whole.