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“Valley of the Hammocks” April in El Salvador

San Salvador is known as the “valle de las hamacas” – the valley of the hammocks because of its frequent tremors. Last week the hammock got a real swing to it. The tremors started Sunday evening – small shakings that remind you of the “valley.” We were sitting in our conference room when a strong tremor hit. It wasn’t like the normal side to side shaking but a strong kick in the Earth that went straight up and down. It knocked over a twenty inch platter that was on top of the china cabinet. The platter hit the china cabinet with such force and noise that I must have jumped so hard that I caused another tremor all by myself. The platter stayed on top of the cabinet and didn’t fall – or break. We’ve left it lying down for now.

Monday saw a lot of little tremors all through the day – some thirty plus but nothing too bad. Monday evening we were on our way to Dollar City to buy some additional classroom materials for the little Montessori school out in the country. We would be delivering their shelves and Montessori lessons in the morning. We had parked and had climbed the two steps to enter the store. The security guard was opening the door for us when the next tremor hit. He bolted past us, as we also retreated from the door back to the parking lot but as we were making our “non-entrance” Barbara watched the aisle of glasses and plates cascade to the floor. There must have been twenty or thirty feet of broken glass in the aisle. Barbara’s desire for shopping quickly evaporated. “Let’s not go shopping,” she said. And we left! Now if I can only figure out how to cause a tremor in the states every time she wants to go to Stein Mart, Wal Mart or Price Mart I might be a happy rich camper!

When we got home the house was fine. I went into the kitchen and laughed and smiled. Before we had left I had moved some bottles on top of the kitchen cabinets back – just in case. I called Barbara to come and see. In the middle of the tiled kitchen floor sat one of the blue Mason jars I had moved back. It was lying on the kitchen floor six feet from its perch – and it wasn’t broken! Little reminders, little miracles of God’s protection. The next day Barbara was trying to clean up some dirt on the kitchen floor and the dirt wouldn’t move. She looked at it closely and discovered that the Mason jar’s metal rings had left a permanent indention – and reminder – of God’s protection.

In our almost four years here I don’t recall seeing the dragon flies we are seeing this year. Interesting creatures with their long tubular bodies and their really gossamer wings. Unfortunately, they get in the house and can’t find their way out again. The other night we were having dinner with some friends on the patio and a dragon fly landed on my place mat and sat there for the longest time. Our guests took pictures of our unique visitor as he (or she) kept stroking its head with its front legs. We eventually sent it on its way with a wave of the place mat. Amazing creatures – an amazing God.

Birds of Paradise! This morning, as usual, the birds began their worship songs to their Creator well before 4:30. Later in the morning there are flights of little green parents flying west overhead. In the evening, almost like clockwork, these same flights make their daily pilgrimage home flying back east. The first flight, fills the sky with their somewhat raucous calling at about five. The second flight about thirty minutes later. The last flight, not as many, the late commuters fly home about six telling us that the daylight is soon to go to dusk. Then night begins to settle in about 6:30.

San Marino Christian Montessori School. Another kind of earthquake happened Tuesday April 11th. We delivered the shelves, tables and Montessori lessons to San Marino Christian Montessori School. A great thanks to many of you who have supported this unique work. As many of you may recall the story of San Marino. This little country pastor wanted to start a Christian school and a missionary friend introduced her to us and Christian Montessori. Pastor Tomasita started her church under a tree, eventually buying property, building walls, putting on a roof and doors and windows. She had said she was willing to build a school building but when we visited we told her that she could put the school inside the 2000 sq. ft. church. That’s when Barbara, looking at the raw concrete floor, said we need to do something about this because we do so much work in Montessori on the floor. Your gracious support made a new tile floor materialize.

Tomasita started her training in August of 2015 riding in by bus two hours each way. Last year I was on my way to a meeting in the area. It takes a good hour to get to her church. As I passed by her community, God whispered that these children would never get this kind of opportunity out here in the country without the support of all the people who were making this school possible. A very humbling thought. Now comes the additional challenges for Tomsita and her helpers (and for us too) to translate what she has been learning into the reality of a functioning Christian Montessori program. Her training is far from over, our involvement also is far from over. We have begun by supplying the basic lessons. There are many more lessons to add – and experience has taught us to go slow (and not to bring the lessons out because everyone is tempted to use them before the class is ready.) We have wonderful schools in the states that are sharing gently used materials that will find a welcome home at San Marino. Much work still needed and much prayer needed too!

Change of seasons. Yesterday there was a teasing of rain – a thousand drops or two but nothing compared to what begins next month. In many ways you look forward to the rainy season (as long as you are not caught out in it without an umbrella – a very big umbrella.) The soft rains are great for sleeping, the hard rains make it almost impossible to talk on your phone but the rains transform the growing world into palates of multiple greens and splurges of color.

On the home front: We are getting ready to launch ten training centers across the US. Much of the ground work has been laid (the work of many years coming together.) Your prayers for this part of the work is greatly needed because the training of teachers means the blessing of children. It is a great spiritual work.

A Christian Montessori school in Georgia is closing and they would like to donate the whole school to us. We are in the midst of seeing how to make this happen. Getting everything ready for shipping – which means labeling every box with accurate contents is being discussed. Our shipping company here has given us a price of $3691 door to door. Pray about helping us bless another school here.

Used lap tops. If you have replaced your laptop and haven’t used your old one for a boat anchor they would be useful in the training center for watching dvd’s. Let us know.

We are gathering all of our paperwork to seek a residence certificate here. We are on 90 day tourist visas which means we have to leave every 90 days but that works out fine. We are leaving the end of June to do a conference in Denver. We will leave in October to do a conference and attend a Montessori convention. We leave again in Dec/Jan for our own international Christian Montessori conference and again in March for the AMS convention. Your prayers would be appreciated.

God bless you all and we can certainly your use your prayers. Barbara and Edward Fidellow

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