Dear Family, Friends and Partners in Ministry,
We are approaching our first anniversary back here in the US, so we wanted to catch you up on our lives. The house has become home, the once new streets and stores are now all familiar. Life has changed in some ways, but stays the same in others.
Mexico--We continue to minister and serve in Mexico through the Instituto Laurens, the Methodist-affiliated school where both Jon and Jeanne taught (see: El Intituto Laurens ). In April, Jon was asked to come to Monterrey to be a part of a Bilingual Science Teachers Training course. What does Jon know about science?? Ha,ha... Not enough...but his session with these young teachers was all about the practice of teaching, so he brought to them his passion for teaching and 'methods of pedagogy.' Also, science teachers at the college where Jon teaches here in McAllen donated over $3000 worth of books, CDs and DVDs to be given to the student teachers. More recently, Jon was invited to be one of four presenters at their XVI Annual Education Seminar--a gathering of student-teachers and bi-lingual teachers from over a dozen schools in the metro-Monterrey area. Jon's presentation was entitled, "Forming Critical Readers" and he was able to draw from experiences in Venezuela, Mexico and US as he shared with the 60+ educators.
McAllen--Jon has just completed his first year of teaching full-time with South Texas College. It was a wonderful year, and several deep, life-changing relationships were formed with students.
Jesse finished up her semester at Austin Community College with a 4.0 and will begin studies at Texas State University in the Fall as an English/Spanish double major...planning also to seek 8-12 certification for teaching. She is doing great…and is so excited about her upcoming changes. We are so happy, too, that she will spend the better part of the summer at home with us!
Megan finished her last year of high school as a dual-enrollment student at South Texas College. During the Spring semester she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, received the Valley Scholars' award (a scholarship for future studies), and has been named to the President's Honor Roll for maintaining a 4.0 for two consecutive semesters. In the Fall, she will begin studies towards becoming an R.N. In addition to her academics, Megan is very involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship through campus ministries, and has served as a campus Bible-study leader and went to the Yucatan (Mexico) on a mission trip with 30+ students. She was one of the translators!
Andrew has adapted very well to life in the US, especially to school here. In the recent awards ceremony at his school (B.E.T.A.), he received an award for having the highest grade in his pre-A.P. Math class, and he was named to the Honor Roll. Just this week, he was elected to be Vice President for the rising sophomore class...so he is excelling in both academics and socialization!
Jeanne—last, but absolutely not least!--manages to keep all of us on our toes...and at the right places at the right time. She has devoted this first year in the US to setting up our home and to making sure the children got all they needed for the transition to American society. As the children get older and are home less and less, Jeanne has decided to enter the working world (outside the home!) once again, most probably in an educational setting. Please pray that the right doors open for her….
At this time, Jon is on 'voluntary leave of absence' from the NGC-UMC due to Discipline requirements for oversight--while Jon and the family remain in ministry, while we are with The Mission Society as ‘mission affiliates, we do not have a person or entity to whom we report directly or who oversees our work. Until we resolve that administrative issue, Jon has to remain on leave of absence.
And, that is ‘where’ the Herrins are! As Christians, we are light and salt wherever we find ourselves. As we straddle the border and as we straddle religious and secular places of life and service, we understand more than ever how important it is to allow our faith to guide our lives and to shine through our speech, our actions, our reactions—through all aspects of our lives.
With great thanksgiving for your prayers and gifts and concern….
Jon, Jeanne, Jesse, Megan and Andrew
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