Christa's class absorbed in an art project.

What we need, when we need it

Christa Horning, one of our summer volunteers, is no stranger to the Pre-k classroom. Having spent most of her adult life teaching young children, she is quick to note their exuberance, curiosity, and joy in all things new. We are grateful for the renewed perspective this summer term as we’ve had the opportunity to see Christa’s teaching in action with kids in our Hospitality program.

Christa shares that while the structure of her Jubilee class is similar to what she’s used to in her home community, the Bruderhof– a welcome routine, group activity, then outdoor time– the approach has been radically different. Meeting negative behaviors in her normal way was leading to lots of tears and not a lot of learning. After two months of trying multiple strategies to get them on board, she recognizes that it has been the pouring out of love, understanding and compassion FIRST that has paved the way for growth. Praise as well as humor have helped her connect with the students more—providing them with the confidence they need to learn new skills. She notes that among those new skills are communicating frustrations and apologies with words, engaging each other as friends and calming themselves in class. Christa adds, “They have such joy in new things and have such quick enthusiasm when encouraged”. She’s watched them build massive Lego structures, play boat make-believe on the playground log, build their attention spans with books, and paint with great excitement.

As her class comes to an end, she says, “They’ve got a lot going for them!”, in reference to the community members, teachers, therapists, and others who are all influences in their journeys. She adds, “I’m grateful for my part to know them!” Often at Jubilee, we are amazed at how God provides just what we need right when we need it. This, indeed, is God at work!