English & Country Swing
There’s a back-story here: one that I can take no credit for either spiritually or physically.
As summer closed out Katie, Luke, Maddy, and Anabelle began generating some dreams involving friends and food and English lessons and Country Western Swing Dancing… all together in our living room. After much prayer and preparation they pulled the trigger and launched a Tuesday/Thursday night English-Dance Extravaganza at the McClain home. Each night Katie prepares (pretty much from scratch) an English lesson tailored to these kids. She mixes in so much joy and color and singing and laughing that my guess is (although I’m slightly biased) these are the most fun English lessons on the planet. Then we break down the tables, clear the floor and Luke, Maddy, and Anabelle (who have become professional swing dancers) coach and instruct the kids in Country Western Swing for the rest of the night.
And the Lord has been opening up spiritual doors left and right through this. Who would have guessed?!?
I recently interviewed these famous English/Dance instructors… and you can read their responses (and see some pics) on the blog…
So what’s been the most enjoyable part of this little venture?
Katie: The challenge of getting ready for it and thinking through how to help them learn. It’s really fun to see them laugh and enjoy their learning [Brodie’s note: Education in the villages is really struggling and generally it is extremely dull and lifeless].
Luke: I love the dance time, how the kids are excited about it, how they get into it, and even make up their own moves.
Maddy: I love using my social gifts [Brodie: And, O, does this one have some social gifts…].
Anabelle: I love dancing with my friends.
What has been the most challenging part?
Luke: Getting my table to stay on track in English classes [Each of our kids leads a table].
Maddy: Loving people in the right way, for example, boys. And not being critical of girls.
Anabelle: Not being proud of how much I know.
What has surprised you?
Katie: Who has been faithful and who God has been working on, we’ve seen a lot of new faces from some new villages.
Luke: Those kids that stopped coming.
Anabelle: How fast the kids caught on to country swing.
How has God worked on you through this?
Katie: God is increasingly showing me that these kids need to feel love when they come into my home. And what a privilege it is to represent God to them.
Luke: God has drawn me closer to a few specific friends which then opened the doors for Bible reading. God has really taught me social courage.
Maddy: God has shown me some key things I was missing out on in my friendships, specifically really talking with them and pursuing spiritual relationships with them and not just trying to fit in.
Anabelle: God has really grown my relationships with these friends.
What are some prayer requests as you move forward with this?
Katie: That the teacher relationship in class will spill over into life and they will see something different in us and that God will make them hungry for time with us which will ultimately, hopefully will lead to salvation.
Luke: Some of the specific kids who are being bad or hard, and some of the boys’ faithfulness [Brodie: we started off with way more boys than girls and now that is reversed].
Maddy: My heart guarded towards boys and trust in the Lord for how the relationships go.
Anabelle: Not showing off or being proud and also loving the girls.
Anything else you want to say?
Katie: These kids are so needy, not just financially and educationally, but especially in how much they hunger for even the slightest bit of praise and attention
Maddy: It’s made our lives much busier and been challenging, but through these challenges God is really helping us and being around these kids so much I learn from the Lord who to spend time with and really see how the Spirit is leading in relationships. It’s cool to see how God took a dream we had and really started it and now we have so many new relationships.
Anabelle: It’s been cool to see who God’s brought nearer to us through these lessons.
As always thank you for the prayers and support you graciously bestow on us. In every new English phrase, dance move, and spiritual conversation you get to have a piece. What an amazing God!
To Him be all glory,
Brodie (on behalf of the McClains)