Kadie Henry is scheduled to be an extended short-term volunteer in Valencia (Spain) this year.
A scheduled vision trip which would have allowed Kadie to meet her new colleagues from JAMI, new ESL students, select her in country lodging, etc..was interrupted. Here is how Kadie responded to this worldly interruption called COVID-19.
“A week ago when I realized I needed to cancel my vision trip to Spain, I was disappointed to say the least. I was looking forward to meeting Marci and Maria in person as well as their students and their families. However, the turn of events changed drastically as the coronavirus rapidly spread throughout the United States and Europe. Today, I realize the impact of pandemic across the entire world and I am grateful that I am safe at home. I was again reminded that we can make all the plans that we want, but ultimately God is in control of all of our plans. On Monday, March 16th, the Zoom meeting that took place between Sandra, Ann, Marci, Maria, Nicole, and me was soul lifting, empowering, and exciting! This conversation changed me from feeling helpless to helpful. It started with Marci and Maria sharing how the coronavirus has impacted their daily lives and their students. Then, Marci led us in prayer in Porteguese. Although I could not understand all that was said, we prayed for people all over the world impacted by the pandemic. Afterwards, Ann shared some ideas she had with us about creative ministry. With everyone quarantined, we are all getting a little stir crazy, so why not use our time meaningfully?
This led us to a brainstorming conversation about how Marci, Maria, and I could lead digital classes to students in Spain, and possibly buddy them up with some of my students in the states. Brainstorming and planning are two of my favorite component of teaching! I really enjoy making lesson plans and collaborating with others to do what is best for students. In the midst of all of our excitement was another uplifting event. Each night in Valencia at 8pm, everyone goes to their window and claps as a way to say “we are all here for each other.” We got to participate in the clapping with Marci and Maria. What a great way to end our conversation, a way to say we are all together and God is still in control of all things.
Since our Zoom meeting on March 16th, Marci, Maria and I have been in contact and will be conducting a test run with digital in a few days.!
The test went well! We were able to practice having the kids connect on Zoom. Marci and Maria have done a wonderful job reaching out to the families and helping the students get connected from their respective homes. On March 20th, we did a zoom meeting with 20 students, and the excitement was palpable. The windows of learning, teaching, sharing are connecting. It’s going to be an exciting journey:)
Throughout this entire adventure, lots of people have asked me if I am nervous or scared, especially with the pandemic. Generally, I like having a plan and fear the unknowns, but I am honestly completely at peace. Every time something changes in the plans we have made, God has always been there to show another way. I am very excited to begin teaching and making connections with the students digitally. This could honestly be more beneficial than an actual trip to Spain. I am looking forward to seeing how God uses this time of quarantine for us to teach and learn from each other.”
May this new way of saying “Hello” from Ohio to Valencia bring God’s light of mercy, hope and love.