Sunday School Ministry – During the month of JULY I have received the blessing of visiting many of the 12 Methodist Churches in El Salvador with Adela, the administrator of Iglesia Metodista en El Salvador.
Adela and I have been fortunate to visit several Methodist churches that have already resumed their in-person Sunday School classes, and this has allowed great opportunities to see children’s ministries in action.
The first photo below is from one of the newest Bible School Ministries at a Methodist new faith community in Apaneca, El Salvador. Apaneca is a beautiful mountain town tucked away just past the town of Ataco. (About 30 minutes by car away from the town of Ahuachapan where I live.) The new faith community meets in the park of a small community named “Regalo de Dios” or “Gift of God” which is a perfect name for the community of children who gather with Brother Gustavo and Sister Genesis each Saturday morning for Bible School. (Gustavo is on the worship team at La Providencia Methodist Church, a former student of Colegio Metodista, and currently serves as the local pastor at the Apaneca Methodist New Faith Community.
Adela and I are close to completing our initial visits to each of the 12 Methodist Churches in El Salvador. We are visiting each church to learn more about their Sunday School Ministry. We have some great visits, mostly meeting with Pastors and Sunday School Teachers. Most of the Methodist churches have not yet resumed their weekly children’s ministry activities due to the protocols related to Covid-19. Many churches are waiting for more people to become eligible to receive the vaccine. (The government of El Salvador announced at the end of July that the vaccine would soon be available to children aged 12 and older.) Some churches are in communities where the virus hit hard, and they are still dealing with the difficult to shake fear that comes from seeing death all around. These faith communities face a difficult task of helping a community heal while walking through the valley of the shadow of Death and have a wonderful opportunity to be witnesses of the love and care of our Good Shepherd.
The goal of these Sunday School Visits is to breathe energy back into my work of developing Sunday School curriculum to support these 12 Methodist churches and their children’s ministries. These visits have confirmed the need for curriculum development. Having a shared curriculum among the national churches serves several important purposes. There is unity in studying the same scripture together each week…a unity that is strengthened through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Having a prepared, unified curriculum allows for growth in teachers by removing the stress of having to think of what to do with the kids each week allowing teachers to express creativity through games, music, and relationship building. Also, having solid curriculum in place makes it much easier to recruit new teachers to join the ministry teams.
My goal is to begin working on developing a second year of curriculum in August and have the first three months of lessons ready to share with Sunday School Teachers at a training event in the December/January period.
Classroom Buddies Ministry – Volunteers Needed for video conferencing with Students.
Mondays are extra special in the high school English class because two worlds travel through time and space to meet to support one another through a friendship that breaks the complications of language differences. Through the tool of Google Meet, and a very generous volunteer lovingly called “Ms. Cathy”, second year high school students practice their English skills with a native speaker. And a short-term missions volunteer gets to continue her love for mission and ministry without ever having to board the plane.
In the second photo below, you can see Cathy Pugh sitting in her kitchen in Georgia, chatting with students in Ahuachapan, El Salvador about their daily routines. Cathy volunteers several Mondays a month for an hour at a time (sometimes less) connecting virtually with students through Google Meet. Cathy and I work together on what will happen during each video call. The greatest thing is that the students LOVE getting to know Cathy and practicing their English.
Additional volunteers are needed for connecting with the other two High School Classes. These classes meet on Tuesdays from 10:00 am – 11:00 am central time and Thursdays 11:00 am until noon central time. If you are interested in being a classroom buddy, please let me know and we will work out the details. (Contact Ellyn)
Cathy Pugh is a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Newnan, Georgia. Cornerstone UMC is one of several United Methodist Churches who have a covenant partnership with me. If you are interested in knowing more about becoming a Covenant Partner, I am happy to share more with you.
Camila and her Violin
The Dubberly household has a new hum these days as Camila has been able to realize her dream of becoming a student of the violin. Currently her teacher, Josselyn, comes to our home once a week. She teaches through the Suzuki method. In August, Josselyn will reopen her music academy “CEFART” after having been closed due to the pandemic since March 2020. We hope to soon be able to share photos of Camila’s first concert!
THANK YOU so much for the way that you support my ministry and service in El Salvador. It is a work that is done through the community of believers, not by just one or two people. THANK YOU for your part in the community. I would love to connect more with your church or missions group as you think is best. I love sharing more personal updates with missions committees through zoom and other video-messaging platforms. If that's something your church would like, let me know.
GRACE, PEACE, and DIOS te BENDIGA!