Ansley stayed behind in Porto Alegre for a couple of reasons. She stayed to continue working to make money for college but her real reason for not going with us a couple of weeks ago was so that she could stay for one of her best friend's 18th birthday party.
She leaves home to head to the states next Monday. So she is finishing up her last few days of teaching and saying goodbye to her students.
The other day she sent a couple of pictures to us from her "goodbye" classes. The pictures of the kids have their faces blurred out (or wearing a mask) because the school can get sued if their images appear on the internet without permission.
Here they are:
The kids that she teaches LOVE her. She told us she's been crying a lot as she tells the kids goodbye. God has given her a real gift with kids and she's bonded with so many of them.
She really didn't want to teach English to kids when this year began. It was hard for her when all her friends were in college and making new friends and not working. She grew up a lot this year, took on a bunch of new responsibilities and really matured as a person.
She has grown to really enjoy teaching and she really loves those kids.
My girlfriend and I ran into her boss about three days before we left to come to the states. We had never met her before but my girlfriend recognized her from a presentation she had done about her English school at our kids' school. We introduced ourselves, and after the introductions she began telling us how much Ansley meant to her company. How she was a little concerned about Ansley's age when she started since they had never had a teacher that young before. How she started as an assistant but now was one of her best teachers. She shared how much she loved Ansley and told us she would take care of her after we left to go to the states.
Ansley called the other day and shared about her last meeting with her boss and fellow teachers. She was very humbled by the words that her boss said about her in front of everyone else as well as what some of her colleagues said. They gave her a gift and wished her well as she starts the next stage in her life. Ansley said she cried quite a bit. The words that were said about her were very kind and, even though Ansley would never say it, all very true.
Here she is with her teacher buds.
We are super proud of Ansley and what God has done through her this year with her friends, her students and her house church. She understands that she doesn't go to church but she is the church.
We know it's tough for her to say her goodbyes but we are very excited to see what God does through her while she is in Ecuador and then when she goes to college next year.
We are even more excited to get to see her again in just a few days. Just seven more days!
We love you Ans!