This week at The Community, we have been trying to help our children appreciate the five senses that God has blessed us with. With three to six year olds, you basically share in the hour long worship devotional time, and then do centers where they experience, discover, and celebrate the senses for two hours. Thursday was all about the gift of hearing.
The first part of our centers’ time was largely chaos. Not because we were unprepared — we had a lot of activities and ways to utilize them. Not because we were unplanned — we had detailed plans and back up plans. Our source of chaos was the reality that at The Community, there is no such thing as silence during the waking hours of the day. We were planning on contrasting silence and quiet with loud and noisy. So much for plans and preparation!
Outside our classroom while we were teaching, workmen were running a dump truck and a concrete mixer as they added on a second story directly adjoining our classroom. In fact, if you watch our videos on previous blogs, you will see temporary ceiling supports all over classroom because they have been pouring concrete above and directly contiguous to us. In addition, our classroom space is walled, but only with 3/4 walls with no sound insulation or batting and there are two other age groups sharing the same sound space. Plus, we are near the front gate of the community, so there is constant coming and going and we have to keep all of our windows open for ventilation.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. We have the best facility for classroom space for any age group 0-18! The pre-school building is new and getting newer with the additions. It’s just that the reality of The Community is very simple: there is no silence, no quiet, no calm … at all, at any time, at any daylight hour! With that many children (900+) and that much building and that much activity, there is no place for silence to be experienced!
So while we could celebrate sound — loud, louder, loudest, and even louder than loudest — we could not celebrate silence or quiet. So any activity designed for quiet was … well, loud or louder or … you get the picture.
But, we adapted and celebrated our gift of hearing loudly, grandly, and humorously! We finished it off with a parade that was all about loud! We had one of our Peruvian partners who has been a precious translator bang the drums. Our little girls had made noise makers out of empty plastic bottles, buttons, bells, beads, and other small bits of hard objects. So they shook them vigorously and we celebrated loudly. If that wasn’t enough noise, we had a small air horn to add to the tumultuous joy.
So when you get a quiet spot tomorrow, pause, give God thanks for the gift of hearing, the joy of sound, and the opportunity to create a space for silence. Each of these is precious and none should be taken for granted!
Blessings as you pray for us and our finale on Friday — a half day of teaching and a half day of celebration and party, finished by saying good bye and having to see the heartbreak in the eyes of little girls who know it will be awhile before we are back … but praise God, the know that with God’s help we will be back. For that, all of us give thanks and offer to our LORD a shout of praise!