Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Houston CI, part 1

Wow, where to begin on such a packed week? For me it probably began about the first week of June. Curriculum had to be ordered, staff found, teachers recruited...not anything terribly time consuming until we discovered the catch this year--the Institute was not sending all of our supplies on the big truck. We had to purchase everything ahead of time ourselves. Cue major panic! Where was the money supposed to come from? How many kids should we prepare for? What am I doing???

Of course the more I contemplated the bigger the questions seemed to be and the fewer the answers I had. Things couldn't just be "simple" this year because that would be easy. Melanie and I had quite a few Google Talk, AIM, email, and phone conversations trying to hash it all out. I remembered how busy poor Melody stayed last year in materials and that was just sorting through the boxes of supplies already sent for us.

When we had enough teachers for 12 teams sign up it was decided to halt further recruitment. That was probably plenty of teams for 100ish kids and still plenty should we have more than 100 (I was thinking optimistically of course!). Melanie and I had decided to plan for 100 kids since we'd had around 86 last year, but after pre-registration ended at 20 the numbers given us were that we should plan for 50. That made me nervous!!! Monday before the conference Hannah and I decided to go ahead and buy the craft supplies even though we hadn't yet received the money for it. I didn't think we could wait any longer. Since we were buying ahead anyway, we bought for 70 and hoped we could make it work at least the first night should we have more kids. At this point I was waffling back and forth over whether or not I had way over-prepared with the number of teachers. As I was reading through the curriculum and making teacher training notes I came across "El Shaddai" which means "All Sufficient One". It talked about faith and trusting God to give us everything we needed. It was almost as if God said to me there "You have trusted me for money, you have trusted me for food--do you not trust Me to bring you children?" Ouch!!!

On Wednesday, Sara, Hannah, and I met at the Bogners' house for some craft prep. The goal was to have all the supplies cut out and sorted but of course it took much longer than we hoped. The guess is that we spent around seven hours cutting thread, dowel rods, little boys and girls, and miscellaneous other shapes. Ben and Emily drove in at some point in the evening and helped cut as well but we still didn't finish.

Thursday we headed to the church and brought all our stuff upstairs. Since several volunteers made it there early for teacher training we put them right to work!!

The afternoon went very quickly between teacher training and preparing the
rooms. The children began arriving around 6:15 and kept coming until 8:00! Before all was said and done we had 93 kids!! God is so good. :)

For all my friends who taught CI growing up I had to be sure to tell you which stories and songs we did and include a few pictures. The first night our song was "Consider the Ant" and we used the Camel for Design. Stephen was pretty hilarious as the camel and actually drank I think a 2 liter bottle of water on stage.

So that is all the pre-seminar stuff and Thursday, hopefully part 2 will come tomorrow with the rest of CI. :)


EarthMotherGrace said...

Thanks for the comment and glad you had such a great time.
Love ya ~ G