Today our oldest three children returned to school in Chile. After one year away on furlough ministry in the States (where we home schooled for the very first time), it was with a bit of trepidation mixed with excitement and the typical back-to-school angst that Eva, Isabel and Owen "suited up" for their first day.
In years past, parents were allowed to escort their kids into the school's courtyard and get them settled into classrooms on the first day. This year that wasn't the case, and it was bittersweet to see the moms and dads waiting uncertainly outside the gate after their children had entered. No one seemed to want to leave.
Pedro commented that if that had been the rule in 2009, when our girls first entered the school, it would have been so hard! We remember that day so clearly. Just in case you don't, here's a fun comparison of "then and now!"
Eva in 2009 (2nd grade)
Eva in 6th grade (today)
Isabel in 1st grade (2009)
Isabel in 5th grade (today)
Owen joined his sisters at their elementary school in 2011. He was a (young) first grader but quite excited. That turned out to be a tough year for Owen. For that reason alone, sending him back to school after having him safe in our nest during furlough was bittersweet. Because he needed to learn to read and write in English, last year he repeated 1st grade which means that this year he won't be with any of his former classmates (for better or worse.) He's a little worried about having to explain why he isn't in 3rd grade like the rest of them.
Please pray that God will send good friends to accompany Owen this year, and that he will be a good listener and a positive presence in the classroom. Pray for all of our kids as they learn to be a light for Jesus in their school. We love them and are so proud of their courage and effort!
Owen, Isabel & Eva in 2011
Owen, Eva & Isabel today