Part 3 of 3: Parenting Classes
Highlights from Pucusana Trip: Fall 2018
Part 3 of 3: Parenting Classes
Last but not least, the night before I headed back to Colorado, I had the stressful pleasure of speaking to all the parents.
The last week I was in Pucusana, the school was having final exams. The second semester was coming to a close and on the last Thursday, all the parents were asked to attend a group “parent-teacher conference” type meeting. About 70% of the parents attended this year, which is a super great turn out compared to years past.
I was asked to speak at the meeting and I was nervous beyond belief. All the teachers had to speak about the classes, the material they were teaching and how the students were doing. What on earth was I going to talk about? Teaching the students in their English and Bible classes and talking with the teachers at lunch is one thing; but talking to all the parents, about the problems I see in the school no less, is an entirely different thing. I don’t have kids. With what authority could I speak to these parents? Would they respect what I say? Would they even listen to me? I was very fearful.
I sent an e-mail to my Board of Directors asking for prayer and guidance. One of them responded immediately with encouraging words. “Do not be afraid. Have courage. God is with you. He will speak through your words.” I repeated those words over and over the following day. I prayed a lot and asked God to point me in the right direction with what to say.
And the conference night inevitably came. I spent the day preparing my speech and I had a translator so I didn’t have to attempt to read it in Spanish like I did when I was asked to speak at Graduation the year before. But I was still nervous.
Hands shaking kind of nervous.
And then my time came.
The Principal gave me a wonderful introduction explaining my role each year at the school and what my company has been trying to do in the barrios. She even told them that my company sponsored 10% of the students attending the school. This comment seemed to help them see that I was equal to them in many ways even though I was American, young and had no children of my own. It was clear that I loved Pucusana and was just as invested in their children’s lives as the other teachers. I had been praying for open ears and God gave me open ears.
I spoke to the parents about some of the problems the majority of young people are facing in Peru. I gave them real statistics I’d gathered about teen suicide, crime, alcoholism, drugs, sex, and teen pregnancy. These terrifying facts seemed to get their attention. I then gave them national statistics about Christianity and how low the percentages actually are of people who actively have a relationship with God. I then argued how these two groups of statistics are connected. Many of the parents nodded in agreement. I challenged the parents to get real about their faith if they want their children to do the same. I talked about them being the example for their children in every way, how believing in God starts at home, not at school and gave examples of how they, for a lack of better words, can be better parents.
The message was actually received very well and at the end, the Principal and I gave an invitation to the group to come to our new parenting classes. These classes were starting once a month over the last semester of school. The curriculum was provided by one of PPI’s partner ministries called OneFamily. The curriculum is great and in Spanish. These classes will give the parents pointers on communicating with their teens, how to bring God into their homes and also provide a community of friends who are struggling with the same things. At the end of the conference, many parents spoke with us about the classes. Many of them said they would come. There were tears, hugs, smiles and laughter. It was a great step in the right direction.
I hope that over time, many parents will start to attend these classes each year and that we can slowly transform the way these people parent their children. These classes give tangible steps and easy applications that can truly help put an end to specific generational sins we constantly see in Pucusana. These classes can be a place to make friends and experience Gods unconditional love.
Around 4 in the morning the next day, I headed back to the States. I left so content with how my visit went. We accomplished so much. Finances are back on track and everything is moving forward with the school and community projects. We can even continue our construction plans for the new property. In just three weeks, God answered and reconciled almost all of our problems and showed me many beginnings for other projects we are hoping to launch.
I plan to head back to Pucusana in May 2019 and then again with a short-term mission trip in September 2019. If you are at all interested in joining me, do not hesitate to shoot me an e-mail!
Check out OneFamily and our parenting curriculum called Parenting from the Tree of Life by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo at the following website: