Dale's blog

Seminar for School Psychologists

For the first time ever we held a second seminar in the course of one year on learning difficulties here in Villavicencio. This one was specifically geared towards diagnostics and was limited to the school psychologists here in the city. That way we would have a small enough number that we could work with each school psychologist in actual diagnostic exercises in order to help them be able to accurately identify a child with learning difficulties. Paul Odham, the specialist from Florida who leads these seminars was scheduled to come down and present them.

Work Crew 2010

A few weeks ago, I took the work crew to the airport and said goodbye. A group of ten teenagers and two adult sponsors had been in Colombia for the past ten days. They came from one of Dewayne Liebrandt’s supporting churches and he was here with them. They arrived on Friday, the second of July and departed yesterday, the fourteenth of the month. It has been nearly two weeks of frenetic activity as the work crew painted large portions to two different schools, with brief breaks for some sight seeing and recreation. They worked very hard and were a joy to have here visiting us.

The Good Ole Days

For the last week now I have been trapped in Villavicencio due to a major landslide that totally destroyed the road to between here and Bogotá. The very day I was planning on traveling an emergency case at the school delayed my departure and when I was about to leave, someone came running up with the news that the road was totally blocked by a major land slide. That was no problem as there was plenty of work to do and they were encouraging me to stay longer anyhow. So I simply settled in to working here and waiting on them to clear the rock and mud and reopen the road.

Trapped

Last Saturday I traveled to Villavicencio to preach at the church and then spend the week working at the school. I put in a long hard week and was planning on traveling back up to Bogotá by the end of the week. I needed to get back up there to get ready for Paul Odham’s next trip down for a seminar with the school psychologists here in Villavicencio that is to take place the first week of August. I had planned on taking off on Friday morning after my devotional with the teachers and the kids.

College Scholarship Profile: Carlos

We have had our college scholarship program for quite some time now, so it is time to share some of the stories of those who have been receiving benefits. Since Colombia is still a mission field and the churches here are very poor by American standards, most of the preachers support themselves by working at some trade to make a salary and they preach and evangelize because of their sense of calling and their zeal for the Lord and His kingdom here on earth. Yet most jobs in Colombia pay only a tiny wage, unless the person is a professional of some sort.

The Impossible Dream

For many children of the Christians in Colombia, attending college is an impossible dream. Many were born into poor families and normally would never have even been able to dream of attending university. When the family turned to Christ and became Christians, in most cases the children also become Christians and begin to excel in life and they often begin to dream the impossible dream; of attending college and becoming a professional.

Editing Teaching Videos

When Paul Odham was in Colombia, we presented our annual conferences on Learning Difficulties. This year Dewayne Liebrandt also came down and we video taped all of the sessions, so that people who could not attend would be able to take advantage of the training. This enabled us to teach not only the seven hundred teachers and parents who attended our sessions but through video to extend that teaching all over the jungle/prairie region of Colombia. Everyone could learn from the training sessions by seeing them on videos at their own time and convenience.

Three Weeks of Intensive Ministry with the Deaf

For the past three weeks Dewayne Liebrandt and I have been doing some intensive work with the deaf church here in Colombia. It was relocated out of the Normandía church and is now established as an independent deaf Christian Church. This gives the church its own identity and the freedom to develop their services totally in sign language. But it is a big change for them and so we have been working with them to adapt to that new situation successfully. At first the move presented difficulties and it took a bit of time for the deaf Christians to become adjusted.

Teaching the Teachers

This past week we had our annual seminars on learning difficulties with Paul Odham, of Orlando, Florida. He graciously and generously comes down each year to help out with these. Even though he is a recognized expert in the field his generosity and selflessness are what motivates him to see such a great need and help to solve it. When so many others were afraid to even come to Colombia, he returns each year with great enthusiasm.

Opening the Bible College to the Deaf Church

I have been very busy down here this trip working on a couple of special projects. The first one is establishing Bible college classes for the deaf church. Nothing like that has ever been done down here before, so I have been forced to develop the entire methodology for how to work with the deaf on a college level. It is interesting and has been quite challenging as I try to adapt the distance learning model to deaf Christians who have a very limited reading ability. Since the written word is representative of the spoken idea, the deaf typically have only the most limited skills in reading.

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