Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

The Carrot Seed, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

March 29, 2011

The Carrot Seed

” A little boy planted a carrot seed… and the whole world said nothing would sprout.” – The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

For the majority of the children I work with in the Rio the whole world has said they won’t succeed, they won’t thrive, they won’t amount to anything,… they won’t sprout. That is sadly the story of two girls, Sarah and Monse. They come from rough situations and unsupportive environments where they have been told, they won’t “sprout.”

I went to the Rio about a week ago with my tutoring supplies in hand. I hadn’t ever tutored kids in Spanish before, but thought it couldn’t be that much different than the experiences I had tutoring in the States. The three of us girls sat down in the comedor and I pulled out a supply of books that I had with me. The girls looked through the stack and then we all decided on The Carrot Seed (La Semilla de Zanahoria). As an early childhood teacher, I am ashamed to say that I had never read this book before! We cracked open the book and began to read about the boy, the seed, and the disbelief of the world around him.

“His mom said, ‘I fear it won’t sprout.’

His dad said, ‘I fear it won’t sprout.’

His older brother said, ‘ I know it won’t sprout.’ ”

I asked the girls how the boy must have felt. They said he felt sad and discouraged. I asked them if they ever felt like that, or if anyone ever said those types of things to them. They both nodded and we kept reading.

“Every day the boy pulled up the weeds that were growing around the seed and sprayed the soil with water. But nothing sprouted… And nothing sprouted… The whole world said that nothing would sprout.”

“Have you ever felt like the whole world is saying you won’t grow and change and that you can’t do the things you want to when you grow up?” I asked. Again there were silent nods.

“But every day he continued to pull up the weeds and spray the soil with water. And then, one day,… a carrot sprouted…. Just as the boy knew it would.”

The girl’s faces were delighted as we got to the last page! “We knew it would sprout!” they said. “and the carrot is HUGE!”

The picture on this page is priceless. The boy in the story has a wheelbarrow and one huge carrot inside. Not only did the carrot sprout, it was much bigger and better than any normal carrot.

We closed the book and began to talk about how we are like carrot seeds. That sometimes people will say to us, “You won’t sprout… you will never be good at math, you will never amount to anything, you can’t be a doctor, you can never leave this place…” But what did the boy do? I asked.

“He kept working hard.” Was the answer. “He didn’t give up because he knew the carrot seed would sprout.”

“Hmm,” I said, “what do you think we can learn from this story?”

Sarita replied, “That if we work hard and don’t give up, one day the seed will sprout.”

“Good,” I replied. “But there is more than that.”  I went on to explain to the girls that God created them with a purpose. That He has a plan for their lives. That it wasn’t an accident that they were born onto this earth. “It may seem like the whole world is against you,” I said. ” Your mom, your dad, or your teacher may be against you, but God is always for you. He know the plans and the purpose and the future that He has for you. You are special. You are unique, you are dearly loved, and you will sprout.”

The truth is that God believes in these girls and supports them. He is pulling up the weeds in their lives and He is faithful to put water on the soil of their hearts. The whole world may say, “they won’t sprout.”  But God says otherwise….

“I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

And when God sprouts a seed….watch out! It is bigger and better than anything we can imagine!

Sarah and Monse drawing pictures of themselves planting a seed and then the seed sprouting.

Sarah and Monse with their finished stories.

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A Great Awakening, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

October 14, 2009

This past summer, God blessed me with the opportunity to increase my Spanish by studying in an intensive program in central Mexico. This is a picture of one of the many stands in and around San Miguel de Allende where I studied.

Children selling dolls at a stand in Monterrey

A doll stand in San Miguel de Allende

Often women and children will sit on the curb and sell dolls similar to these… it breaks my heart to see these children there for hours. One day, I walked by a little girl of about six years sound asleep on the pile of dolls that she was supposed to be selling… precious and heartbreaking at the same time. Seeing so many children on the streets makes me so appreciative of the children’s homes that we work with here in Monterrey. Sure the job of caring for so many kids and homes is hard, but it is worth it to see them having a childhood, going to school, learning about Jesus….

Hope, spending time with the children at Meme's Rio, a squatter's village where Back2Back serves

Spending time with the children at Meme's Rio, a squatter's village that Back2Back serves

One day in San Miguel, I was calmly sipping my coffee in Starbucks (yes, Starbucks has taken over this part of the world too!) when a little girl, ten years old, came into the store and asked me to buy bubble gum from her. I have to admit that my first reaction was to kindly deny.  But, after the girl left, I began to think about the interaction I had had with her. I began to feel convicted for brushing her off in the same way everyone else had in this town.  Here was a girl who in so many ways is exactly like the children I serve in Monterrey.  I thought to myself how Jesus would have handled that situation and quickly gathered my things and went out to search for the girl. I found her sitting by her mother on the corner still selling the gum. I asked the girl how much her gum cost and ended up having a beautiful conversation with her. I learned that her name was Maria and she was ten years old.  She was thrilled to discover that I was a teacher. She told me which were her favorite flavors of gum and I promptly bought two. After a few more minutes of chatting, I said goodbye and began to walk home, feeling a little less convicted.

On the other street corner, I ran into an older woman with a small child. Both were sitting in the middle of the sidewalk with their hands outstretched, asking for money. I asked the woman if her child could have the gum I just bought and then began to talk to her about her life. Maria Paula and her grandson Erik Julian live outside of San Miguel with many other family members. Maria shared with me that it’s hard to provide for all the mouths she has to feed. Currently four of her fourteen children are still at home.

Maria and I talked for awhile and I was able to share with her about how the Lord has provided for me on multiple occasions when times were tight. Although I am sure I have never experienced what this lady has, she seemed to be encouraged by my stories. I prayed for her. She cried. God’s spirit was there. And I wondered why so many times I get caught up in my own bubble, my own goals, my own agenda and forget that I am on this planet not for my purposes but for His. This was a great awakening day for me… that ended with the gift of three new friends.

What’s in a Name?, by Back2Back India Staff

August 7, 2009

Prior to my first mission trip to Back2Back Mexico, I asked my friend to teach me a few phrases in Spanish to make sure that I could communicate with the children at the children’s homes. One phrase that I worked really hard on was “Me llamo es . . . ” (or “My name is . . .”).

On our first children’s home visit, I immediately forgot how to say any of the Spanish phrases.  But it didn’t really matter. There are more universal forms of communication than spoken language – a smile that says “I’m happy to see you” or being grabbed by the hand and led to the swing set. I also discovered that the Spanish phrase I needed to know was “What is your name?”  I was reminded by God that it’s not about me.

Sometimes love expressed through action and care communicates more than could ever be said in a conversation

Love expressed through action communicates more than could ever be said in a conversation

Many of the children in India know and speak some common English phrases like “Hello. How are you?”, “What country are you from?”, and “What is your name?” In turn, we try to learn the children’s names. One of the orphanages served by B2B India has over 200 children.  That’s a lot of names to learn. And these are not names that we are accustomed to. Their names are Kalpana, Sujatha, Gayathri, Najaraju, Thirupathi and others that are foreign to our ear and our tongue. One of our mission trip guests just started assigning the boys names he could remember like John, Mike, and Joe. The kids thought that was very funny!

Each child wants you to remember their name and they quiz you later, asking “What is my name?” How delighted they are when you do remember their name and at least try to pronounce it! These are children who are often forgotten by society, abandoned by their own families, and living in the streets without food or clothing. A name may be the only thing they have. At the Christian children’s homes, they are taken in, given food, shelter, clothing and an education. They are taught that God knows them by name.

Now, when I ask them “Ne payru yemiti?” (Telugu, the native language, for “What is your name?”), I try very hard to remember that child’s name and I pray God’s blessing on him or her.

Please join me in praying for these children by name…..

Ashok, Karunakav, Mounika, Maheshwari, Swapna, Lavanya, Swethia, Madhuri, Rajasekhar, and Bhasker.

Ashok & Karunakav

Ashok & Karunakav

Mounika & Maheshwari

Mounika & Maheshwari

Rajasekhar & Bhasker

Rajasekhar & Bhasker

Swethia & Madhuri

Swethia & Madhuri

Swapna & Lavanya

Swapna & Lavanya