wood marilyn 1980 puertorico
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Dear Friends in Christ,
April 2, 1980, was the first anniversary of my arrival in PuertoRico. The time has really gone by fast. I realize I have been negligent in not writing very often, and I hope to do better throughout the rest of this year. Since my last letter was received shortly before Christmas, I'll begin there.
Many of our teachers went home for Christmas, but I chose tostay here, as did some of the teachers at Levittown. So on Christmas Eve, I invited them over to my place for a get together. Weopened our presents from home, decorated Christmas cookies that were
later given to the neighbors, and watched "White Christmas" on TV. Believe itsome of them had never seen it before. On Christmas Day we all went to York'straditional turkey dinner.
One of the interesting customs here at Christmas is the "paranda" or "asalto." A groupof people will get together and go "caroling" Puerto Rican style. The songs that are sunghave a Latin beat and are usually accompanied by bongo drums. The "asalto" will take placeduring the middle of the night. The person who is visited by his friends in this way isexpected to feed them before sending them on their way. He may even join them as theycontinue their singing. It's quite an Interesting experience to hear an "asalto" at twoor three in the morning!
We had a three-week break for Christmas, and then school began again on January lAth.In addition to my secretarial.duties, I am now te^ch1ng jius ic to the children in firstthrough sixth grades. This was an area that was n6t"*emphasized too much in the past because the school did not have a qualified music teacher. However, my degree from Ozarkis a Bachelor of Theology degree with a major in music, and I decided it was about time Iput it to use. I meet with each class twice a week. It is quite an experience, and I'mlearning too, along with the children.
The first of March four of the students from the school in Levittown were baptized.We were able to witness this event because they used the baptistry at our church building.(The church building in Levittown doesn't have one.) We were glad to take part In thisservice and so happy to see some of the work that we are doing in the schools bearingfruit. Also, the service was a witness to some in the congregation. For, one. man it was V \the first baptism by immersion that he had ever seen! He grew up in the Catholic Church,\and although three of his daughters have been baptized, he did not see that event becausejyhe wasn't interested in the church at the time.
week of March saw the end of the third nine weeks. We teachers went on a
much needed break. We were gone two days and nights. It was really greatfrom the hustle and bustle of the city, the heavy traffic, radio, TV, andI think we all came back refreshed and ready to go to work again,the middle of March was the regional spelling bee. I was the school co-
accompanied our school champion to this bee. Although she didn't place
retreat for a
to get awaytelephone.
Also, inordinator, so Iin the top six,again.
The last ful 1
week, a half-daythe co-ordinator
she did well. She's only in fifth grade, so she will be able to compete
week of March we had Spjj.itj^^^^EmpJiasis Week at the school. During thisis spent each day in BibTe^study, chapel, and related activities. I wasfor this, too. The material we used was the Standard VBS material foris "Jesus, I Believe in You." Everyone was really pleased wi th it, and
the kids really learned a lot. They're spending more time on scripture memorization now,too. We also used the song books that Standard has to go with the VBS material. The kidslove the songs. It's not unusual to hear them singing the songs any time they have somefree time. In fact, during music class they would rather sing these songs than spendtime doing anything else. We pray that all the activities of that week have helped allof the kids to really realize what it means to say "Jesus, I Believe in You.
On March 29 the churches of the island got together for a singspiration on theBoquer5n Beach. Boqueron is located on the southwest corner of the island on the Caribbean. It is really beautiful there. We had time to go swimming and visit with eachother before the singspirat ion got under way. The speaker for the occasion was NilsJuarez, a young man from Levittown (originally from Cuba). He wasdoctor, but decided to go into the ministry instead. Right now heat Lincoln Christian Seminary and plans to come back to the islandgraduates.
The week bjefgre Easter school was dismissed, on April 2 - A we hadthe church
mi ss i onarycepted the Lord as his Savior that week, one woman did come forward to express her desire to know more about becoming a Christian. She is the mother of the girl who waskilled in the automobile accident last November. (I wrote about that in my last newsletter.) The preacher and the school director are having Bible studies with her, and wepray that she soon will accept the Lord. Please continue to pray for her. Her name is
M-i ^dg. Bra,Cjej:a.""faster Sunday morning a woman who has been attending the church for the last three
years came forward and made her confession of faith. She was baptized the followingSunday. What rejoicing! There are several attending the services regularly who arevery close to making their decisions to accept Christ. We ask that you continue to
studying to become ais in graduate schoolto work when he
a revival here at
in Caparra Terrace. Our evangelist wascAlbertp_Gonzalez, a Mexican who is ain the Dominican Republic. The attendance was good, and although no one ac-
keep them in your prayers.My Sunday.. School class continues to grow.- It has doubled since I started teaching.
Last quarter we had lessons on what to do to become a Christian, different aspects ofprayer, and the sovereignty of God. This quarter we are starting a series of lessons onletting God guide us and trusting Him.
I'm looking forward to my parents coming down oerXt.month and spending a we^ with me.1 hope to be able to show them aro'und the island especially in the areaSwhere we dohave churches.
Also, Marianna Taylor, the jote.rn who lived with me last summer, will be returningthe end of May to help us again this summer. She and I will be working together incamps and VBS's throughout the island during June and July. In fact, as the schedulelooks now, we have only one free week left. If possible, we hope to go to the DominicanRepublic that week to see some of the mission work that is being done there.
_A11 of the VBS's and wmps wi 11 be conducted in Spanish, so I'll soon start preparingmy lessons for them, so that the kids will know wfiaf'l'm saying. My Spanish has improved since I've been here and I'm using it more and more every day, but 1 have a longway to go yet to really be fluent in it.
L,as-.year my average monthly support was not quite $^6^.00. But since my last newsletter, it has beehTricreasing". I just continue to thank t^' Lord for the way He continues to provide; I thank my supporters for the financial support they continue to give;and 1 thank all of you for your prayers on my behalf. Believe me, they are needed, andI do appreciate them and can tell you have been praying for me.
One thing most missionaries don't seem to get enough is persona] mail^from the folks"back home". There are so many of you that I would love to hear from, so the next timeyou have a spare minute, why not write me, or some other, missionary that you may knovsL,a short note. It would really make our day. Once again, my address is:
GPO Box 29^6San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
A 15^ stamp is all you need to send a first-class letter to Puerto Rico.For those of you who want to send financial support, please send it to me at the
c/o Eastside Christian Church
7755 PhoenixEl Paso, TX 79915
Thank you again for all your help and prayers on my behalf. May God continue tobless and guide each one of you.
3135 FORNEY LANEEL PASO, TEXAS 79935
Research DepartmentMissions Services Association ^ ^Box 177
Kempton, Indiana 46049 M
EL PASO, TEXASPERMIT NO. 2295
ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Dear Friends in Christ,
It doesn't seem possible that school has started, >but as the saying goes, "Time Marches on." And we'realready into our fourth week of school.
When I last wrote, the 1979~80 school year was justabout to end. I had plans to work in several VacationBible Schools and camps and was looking forward to myfolks coming for a week's visit.
On May l^th they arrived. I was able to take sometime off from school, and so we rented a car and drove around the island intwo days. We visited with some of the missionaries in the different areas andalso saw several sights of interest such as the Phosphorescent Bay and theRain Forest.
The first two weeks of June I was the musl^dlrector and progcam coordinatorfor the Vacation -Bible School held here at the Iglesia de Cristo in Caparra Terrace. We had an average attendance of 80.c.h.i 1dren each day, and this year, as wastrue last year, all the teachers except one were Puerto Ricans.
As soon as VBS was over, we had our Junior Day, Camp at Goat Island. This yearIt was conducted entirely In Spanish. Our theme was "Great Men of Faith". I taughta class about Abraham four times each day. We taught 35 to kO children eachday.
Fol lowing Cciay camp there was a weektb prepare for the Senior Camp at Montedel Estadoih the southwest corner of th