Update On My Oklahoma Internship #2

Hello there, everyone!

So, I have been having an interesting couple of weeks. I want to tell you everything but that would take a little too long. Lol! In my last email two weeks ago, I said how I was in quarantine. Well, I got out and taught that Thursday and Friday. The weekend came and went and then I was face-to-face with my first full week of teaching. I was every excited. I was still tired from the sickness I had gotten over but I was doing well.
Monday went fine and then Tuesday was going well till the last class.
The last class my teaching partner and I were in was a Pre-K class. We did expect the small attention spans but we did not expect little Lillian. Lillian kept wanting to talk during the lesson. Finally towards the end, my teaching partner went over to talk to her one-on-one and little Lillian went on to talk about nightmares and being afraid of monsters. We thought that was sad, but didn’t give too much thought to it. Well, this week, we went in again to that class and little Lillian once again fought for our attention. My teaching partner again went over to have one-on-one time with her and Lillian went on to say how she has a nightmare every night and that she sleeps on the couch and is afraid of the dark and the creaking floorboards, but then this little 5 year old said something unexpected; she knows that it is all in her head! She is petrified of these “monsters” and nightmares she keeps having and yet she knows that they don’t really exist! Please pray for Lillian. My heart broke for her and I felt so sorry for her and yet, there is nothing I can really do for her except pray since we are not allowed to talk to them about God and Jesus.
Anyway, back to week two, last week, Wednesday came and it was FANTASTIC! God was orchestrating everything that day and I CANNOT take any of the credit. I had planned with my partner the night before and was already to go Wednesday morning. We got to the school and went into the teacher’s lounge and the staff member in charge told us there was a change in plans. I was NOT to teach with my partner but I was to teach with another person as that person’s partner was not there and he was a Level 1 person like myself. In a split second, I had to completely throw out my lesson plan, figure out what the guy’s teaching plan was, figure out what I was to do, and then go and teach the first class of the day. All that in less than 5 minutes! I knew that I was not going to be able to do it on my own, but I retained a good attitude about it and said, “Okay, Lord, I’m hanging on for the ride. You’ve got to take control or this is going to be a mess!” And control it He did. The classes went over so well and the children were so receptive and enjoying the classes, it was phenomenal! God totally made me adaptable to my situation and gave myself and my unexpected teaching partner of the day the grace and the strength to teach our classes. So far, that has been the best day of teaching for me yet! I will never forget it.
This week presented me with a new challenge. It was a challenge that I knew I was going to hit but I was positive it wasn’t going to happen till about halfway through the session, which is in another three weeks. For a few days, I was struggling emotionally. I was missing my family terribly, especially my little sister Sarah who is two years old. I had showed my roommate over the weekend a few videos of my sister and while watching those I realized how I didn’t really recognize her voice and how much I had forgotten about her and how much I missed her and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Those thoughts kept running through my mind until finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. Last night, (Tuesday night) instead of going to my elective practice, basketball, I stayed behind and had some time with the Lord. I cried my eyes out and prayed for a whole thirty minutes. I was broken and knew I needed the Lord’s help and wisdom. I knew that I could not get through this trial on my own and I gave it over to Him. I started feeling relief and yet there was still something not right in my spirit. That is when I thought of Satan. I began to rebuke Satan and asking the Lord to make Satan flee from my presence and I told Satan he would no longer keep getting the victory over my mind and my heart. Instantly, relief came over my spirit and a smile came to my face when I was praying and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop smiling! Satan no longer had control and had fled and now today, I felt so renewed and freed and blest.
Thank you to all of you that are faithfully praying for me. Your prayers are NOT in vain I assure you. Thank you so much for your support in prayer. It is wanted and appreciated. God bless you all.
Love in Christ,
Chelsea

Update On My Oklahoma Internship

 

Hey there, everyone!

What an amazing and crazy two weeks it has been! We’ve all been very busy, but I can clearly see God blessing this ministry.
The first ten days of being here in Oklahoma was actually spent at a place called Eagle Springs. The first three days that we were there, we took time just to renew our walk with the Lord and purify our hearts, which was wonderful and then we spent five days training and that was intense!!!! We even had homework to do! And let me tell ya, for not being in high school for two years, doing homework is rally strange.
We Level 1 people had to learn a lot during those five days as we had never done the program before and it was powerful to see the staff here so passionate about what In The Gap is doing. When I finally realized the dire situation that most of these inner city children are in, I cried for a solid half-hour. The lives of these children are just so messed up, and though we cannot talk about Jesus in the schools, just being able to teach them good character (character that Jesus would possess) is wonderful! It has helped a lot of the children to become better children and not get mixed up in gangs like they do in this city.
Once training was done, we came back to Oklahoma City and the very next day, I became ill. I thought nothing of it and thought it was just one of those 24 hour bugs but by Monday morning, it was full-blown sickness and I had to stay quarantined in my room. I was so ready to teach on Monday but God wanted me to stay back and pray for the rest of the interns and the teaching ended up going well. Come Monday evening though, I had a scary situation. I almost fainted! For those of you that have never fainted/passed out BE GLAD!!! Basically, I was not putting enough food and water in me to combat the sickness and when I went to move, I moved too quickly and I almost passed out. If I had not been in a sitting position, I definitely would have fainted. God was merciful to me and after that incident, we got tons of things pumped into me so I don’t have another spell.
Today finds me still sick and quarantined in my room, but once again, I prayed for the interns and the schools and I cannot wait to hear the report.
I want to thank all of you that are diligently praying for me. It means so much and I have had a wonderful time getting to know some of the other interns and staff. I has been a blessing so far.

God bless,
Chelsea

Letter from Kevin McCarthy: Ongoing Conflict In Syria

 Dear Wentworth:

          Thank you for contacting me in opposition to United States military intervention in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

          Like you, there is nothing I take more seriously than committing U.S. Armed Forces to military action and potentially putting servicemen and servicewomen in harm’s way.  Since the President’s decision to seek congressional authorization on the use of military force, I have attended and participated in briefings for Members of Congress by the President’s national security team to hear the Administration’s case for military action based on intelligence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on August 21st that resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 Syrians.  Along with these briefings, I have also received thousands of calls, emails, and letters expressing strong concerns about congressional authorization on the use of military force.  After much consideration, I have concluded that there are grave issues relating to the President’s draft resolution, which asks Congress to authorize military force to conduct punitive strikes on the Syrian government for using these internationally condemned weapons.   With so many questions still unanswered on the overall strategic goal of intervening in this tragic conflict, if this resolution were scheduled for a vote on the House floor, I would vote against it.

          While this resolution must follow the normal legislative process, as your Representative in Congress, be assured that I will continue to closely monitor this situation, continue to press the Administration on unanswered questions, and will keep your concerns in mind should the Senate pass this resolution and send it to the House for a vote.

          Thanks again for contacting me on issues of importance to you. If you would like additional information on services my office can provide you, my thoughts and positions on issues facing our nation, and subscribe to receive periodic “e-newsletters,” please visit my website at kevinmccarthy.house.gov.

                                                          Sincerely,
KEVIN McCARTHY
Member of Congress

Responses From Local School Board Concerning The Common Core Standards

The question: “What is your opinion on Common Core and how it will affect education on Central Ohio?” was postulated to members of the Worthington Board of Education in Franklin County, Ohio.

Response from the board President:

I have no idea how it will affect education in Central Ohio since I am unfamiliar with what other local school districts are doing.

Based upon the curriculum presented to the Board of Education this past Monday, I am quite confident that Worthington has developed a plan of implementation that will certainly be beneficial, Common Core or no, to the vast majority of our students. The new curriculum is available on the website you visited. Thanks for the inquiry,

Board President, David A. Bressman

Responses from other board members:

I think the common core curriculum will help raise student achievement in central Ohio. It is a rigorous curriculum that helps develop 21st century skills. The internationally bench marked curriculum will help promote college and career readiness for all students, along with critical thinking skills. With our society being so transient, I think this will help students who move from one district to another as they should all be on the same page as far as grade level curriculum.

Jennifer Best

Philosophically, I oppose standards based education.  As you know, the Common Core State Standards were a state initiative led by Republican governors such as George and Jeb Bush to improve education.  I think that the common core state standards may marginally improve learning in some of the under resourced schools in central Ohio, but I fear that they may undercut high level learning in some of our best schools.  Hope that helps.

Wilson Charles

We have not received responses from the other board members yet, but according to the Re-Elect Marc Schare website:

My primary academic focus has been through my work on the district’s “Race to the Top” committee. The committee has representatives from our teachers and administrators and has had three primary focus areas.

1) The use of data to guide instructional practice

2) A methodology to fairly and objectively evaluate teachers

3) Implementation of a curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards

We will soon launch an educational campaign against Common Core in Ohio. Stay tuned.

Letter from Dianne Feinstein: Immigration Reform

Dear Mr. Wentworth:

Thank you for your letter sharing your concerns about immigration reform in the United States. I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on this important issue.

I believe comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to fix our broken immigration system. Comprehensive reform will allow the federal government to create effective immigration policies that better reflect the short-term and long-term security and economic needs of our nation.

Comprehensive immigration reform should secure our national borders, toughen penalties against those who engage in fraud or misuse the immigration system, combat unauthorized employment, and protect American jobs. Furthermore, reforms must provide our law enforcement officers with the resources needed to keep smugglers, narcotics, and weapons out of our country. At the same time, reforms should be sensible and fair, meet the needs of families and workers, and offer a pathway to earned citizenship that requires undocumented immigrants to pay taxes and fines, pass background checks, and learn English.

In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee met several times to debate comprehensive immigration reform legislation, known as the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744), and vote on more than 200 amendments, all of which can be viewed athttp://www.judiciary.senate.gov. On May 21, I voted for final passage of the amended bill, which the committee passed by a vote of 13 to 5 for consideration by the full Senate.

Previously, the Judiciary Committee held hearings on April 19, 22, and 23, to hear from experts about how to improve the bill. Please know that you can read witness testimony and watch webcasts of the hearings at the committee’s website.

This immigration bill provides a practical way for undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship that would be contingent upon securing our borders. Specifically, the bill would allocate $4.5 billion for security and fencing measures deemed necessary to achieve and maintain persistent surveillance at the border and to reach the goal of apprehending or turning back over 90% of illegal border crossers in even the highest-risk sectors. Undocumented immigrants would not be able to adjust to legal permanent resident status until these measures are in place.

Any path to citizenship would also be contingent upon addressing the problem of foreign nationals who overstay their visas and deterring future illegal immigration through the implementation of an effective and mandatory employment verification system. The legislation would also ensure American workers are not displaced if employers hire foreign workers in situations where they cannot find Americans willing and able to do the job.

Again, it is helpful for me to know your views. While we may have different perspectives on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, rest assured that I appreciate hearing from you and will be mindful of your thoughts as the full Senate debates the bill. I invite you to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841 should you have any additional comments or questions.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Letter from Dianne Feinstein

Dear Mr. Wentworth:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to reforming the use of the filibuster in the Senate.  I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

The filibuster is a long-standing Senate practice that traditionally allows unlimited debate on the Senate floor.  However, this has not been the case in recent memory.  Cloture, a rule requiring 60 votes to end debate and proceed to legislation, has been abused to require a supermajority vote threshold for bills that would normally only need a majority vote to pass.  It is important to note that often, in practice no debate is actually occurring during this process.  As a result of these delay tactics, virtually everything is held up by an objection, even routine and historically non-controversial matters.

On January 24, 2013, the Senate passed two resolutions, S. Res. 15 and S. Res. 16, by a vote of 78 – 16 and 86 – 9 respectively, to reform the filibuster process and cut down on the use of delay tactics.  The resolutions, both of which I voted for, will allow the Senate to more quickly proceed to a measure while preserving the right of the minority party to offer amendments during floor debate.  In addition, once the Senate agrees to proceed to a final vote on most Executive branch nominations, any further debate will be limited to 8 hours, and only 2 hours for district court judge nominations.  The resolutions will also streamline the process for bills to go to a conference committee to resolve differences between House and Senate bills.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also entered into an informal agreement in which both agreed to call on Senators who wish to filibuster to actually come to the Senate floor to do so.

To be clear, the resolutions keep intact a Senator’s fundamental ability to filibuster a bill and 60 votes will still be needed for cloture.  I recognize that the filibuster serves an important role in encouraging the majority to seek compromise and in protecting the rights of the minority, which can change from one Congress to the next.  Please know that I appreciate your thoughts on this matter and will keep your comments in mind should the Senate further consider the use of the filibuster.

Once again, thank you for writing to me.  If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.  Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

We thank Senator Dianne for clarifying. I do think, however, that bills need a little more simplifying.

A Christian School Standing Up

Blue Ridge Christian Academy in South Carolina was recently under attack for teaching the Biblical Creation. The Valiant Defender’s Party, made up largely of supporters of alternative education to public education, stands with the school.

We’ve talked to the board president and the administrator of the school. I am glad to see that they are willing to face a world hostile to Christian beliefs. Here is an excerpt of our correspondence:

Thank you so much for your support and your prayers.  As we are all in a battle for the Truth of God’s Word, it will remain necessary for us all to stand together.  You look like a great group of young people.  Continue your stand.  I appreciate your continued prayers for protection and financial recovery at BRCA.
By the way, I noticed that “South Carolina” is in the middle of your homepage.  Great for us!  🙂
In His service,
Joy Hartsell