They say it takes a village to raise a child. Right now, Spencer and I are finding a lot of truth in that statement.
On September 16, our kids started national school here in Romania.
"National school? I thought you were homeschooling this year?"
Yes, so did I. About 4 weeks ago, our son Jonathan casually asked if he could go to school this year in our village. That question prompted a whirlwind of investigation, approval, paperwork, meet the teacher day, Trinity deciding to also enroll, more paperwork, and finally shopping for school supplies.
Spencer and I have rearranged our schedules so that we can balance ministry time, family time, school time, and homework time. Here in Romania, school in the lower grades is usually about 4 hour a day in school, with two hours or so of homework afterschool. (Many schools do offer "after-school" programs to help with homework for an additional fee.) The village school that our kids are attending has Class 0 through Class 8, but not enough classroom space for all the students. To accommodate that, classes 0-1 and 5-8 attend in the morning, and classes 2-4 attend in the afternoon. That means that our kids have completely different schedules, with Jonathan in school in the morning and Trinity in the afternoon. The kids get up just as I am leaving to take the train to town to volunteer at the hospital. Spencer gives the kids breakfast and walks Jonathan to school. He has time with Trinity before she has school, which right now is devoted to learning the sounds of the Romanian alphabet and how to write them. Then they have lunch together or pack a picnic lunch and go pick Jonathan up. There is about 30 minutes between picking Jonathan up and dropping Trinity off, which is perfect for picnics in the park. I get home from volunteering at the hospital in time to play with Jonathan a bit before walking to pick Trinity up. Spencer has been amazing through all of this! I tend to baby my kids and excel at comforting them. Spencer is very good at instilling confidence in them and helping them to believe in themselves. I am so thankful that God gave our kids two parents that fully love them, but express that love differently.
Please keep our kids and our family in your prayers as we make yet another transition. Our first week with this new schedule has not been flawless, but it has been good. Joshua 1:9 was the verse we clung to this week, and it helped all of us to be strong and courageous. God's Word is ALIVE and POWERFUL! Knowing that God is with us each step of the way makes it much easier to take these steps.
As we continue to live and serve here in Romania, we are learning more and more to rely on each other and to work as a team. We are also learning to let other people help us. We simply cannot help Trinity with her Romanian homework, and sometimes cannot even read her math instructions. We are thankful that we have spent the last few months living in a small village and investing in our relationships here. The neighborhood kids are so happy to have Trinity and Jonathan in school, and some of their parents are even offering to help when we need it. And I know we will need it.
I am so thankful for our courageous children that God has given us. I am thankful for the village God directed us to. And I am thankful to know that when we need help with our children, the village will be here to help!