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Copyright:December, 1988 By Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

QUESTION: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SCHOOL & THE FIELD HOMES?--Excerpts From the Teens' Answers!--From the Japan School

       Aaron Fighter (17) One difference between a regular outreach Home & the School is that I'm learning so much in such a little time. It's such a blessing & help to have united classes together & be taught different subjects like economics, World trade, Endtime classes etc. TYJ! In most Homes you don't get classes like that together.
       Also, there're so many teens, so there's no lack of fellowship & fun since we're always having inspirations & special activities all the time. It seems like we're always doing something different.
       There's a tight schedule here which makes us press in on our jobs & keeps us out of trouble! But it also teaches us responsibility to get things done on time, which is one of the biggest lessons I've been learning lately. In a lot of ways it's a lot stricter here than in other Homes. I'm kept a close eye on here, & even though they let you have a lot of freedom in certain things, they keep a high standard against murmuring, disobedience etc., & I must say that I'm learning a lot because of it. PTL! ILYSM & am so glad to be here.
       * * *
       Chalsey (13) It really impressed me how the girls & the boys aren't separate, but they do things more together & are in each other's rooms more & it really doesn't matter! That's real nice.
       Another thing is about the tight schedule. It's really helped me to redeem the time more & be on time. It's so nice to know what I'm going to do each day, instead of waiting all morning to find out. In my field Home it was like each day was different, & I had to wait to find out what job to do each day. (But it did seem like our shepherds were really trying to do the best, as they were also very busy with the PPC & Tape Ministry for the country, GBT!) We work harder here, I think, but it's worth it!
       * * *
       Mike (Zeph) (14) I have a lot more oversight & attention, & not as much time to do my own thing & have free time. In other Homes, I was more independent & not watched over so carefully. I had more time to read & write letters, & I think I accomplished more physically & got more of my own projects done. But on the other side, here I get more done spiritually. I learn more lessons & get more victories, even though I do have lots of work here.
       * * *
       Daniel (12) One thing that's a real help in this School is that we have close oversight. It's in a nice way, not like, "Well, you're proud" or "You're this or that", with no time taken to talk with you or anything. Sometimes in a field Home you're so busy taking care of kids or just getting money that you're almost not like a teen in some ways. You tend to get kind of used to doing things on your own without any oversight at all.
       * * *
       Rachel (15) The oversight here has been a big difference, having a teen shepherd, someone whom we can grow close to, get to know & receive correction from etc. OHRs (Open Heart Reports) have also been a great help for me to be honest & share what's on my heart.
       Another thing I've been able to learn & benefit from is having a daily class, especially on some of the heavier new wine. Sometimes it might be a little difficult to really grasp & understand & get full lessons from some Letters, especially for a younger teen. Even if there's only one teen in the whole Home, having an adult to read together with would really help. I know it would have for me, like I'm now seeing. Sometimes I would stay home & wouldn't have an interest in doing the same job I'd been doing for the longest time, even though I didn't mind it too much. But here it's like we change every once in awhile. And if we don't change, we just keep renewing our vision & having goals & changes within our part of the job.
       Also, some of the teens I've lived with didn't have enough to do, which would mean getting into trouble. Here I realise that it's different, because of the fact that it's a very big place & lots is going on to keep us busy. I guess like babies, we need a steady schedule so we know what we're going to do next, even if it's working on projects for the different school groups. The teachers are always so busy, so helping them here is a great blessing to them, with any of the spare time that we may have. It's also been a bit of a change for me not having more than one video a week, except on rare occasions. I've found this to be just as fun, as I think we got kind of spoiled before.
       Freedays here are also different in the way that it doesn't mean doing whatever we want, having no Word time & wasting the day. There is more of a balance in our freedays. I'm also super thankful to have the adults share things with us whenever new counsel comes in.
       Another thing is closer communication between all, especially the adults, which I've really seen here. In the field Homes they are, or were, more slack in this area to where teens in the Home got away with talking back to some adults. If we do it here it's mentioned to our teen shepherd & brought up to us. Just looking back, I can see so many things that we were allowed to get away with.
       One other thing I realise that's different is that we have a lot of teens here, so we don't get discouraged in not ever seeing any other teens. Before, I'd personally feel left out, & in most cases I know most teens did. But maybe if they're not in a teen Home, they can have teen meetings just to have fellowships & pow-wows & challenges & goals set. Last summer we had one & it super inspired me, even though I was living in the same Home with another teen. So it's a real blessing.
       * *
       Theo (15) I think one of the best things about it is that there is always a vision, a goal, something to look forward to, not just a never-ending schedule all week.
       Another thing is how we have our time really well scheduled here. There aren't too many times when we don't know what we're doing. In my previous Home there was no real schedule & we just did things as they came up. This resulted in us getting very little Word time, rest or pow-wows, as things were always too busy, which can be very hard, as when things are hectic you really need your Word time. If you don't get any for days, even weeks on end, it can really be a drain on your spiritual life & can get you easily discouraged.
       Here we can be with teens our own age & can really relate to their battles & lessons. I know most of the teens on the field really enjoyed having teen meetings & organised outreach, to be able to see & talk with other teens & find out what others are going through & the lessons they're learning. It really used to inspire me to be able to fellowship with teens from other Homes & I think that's one pretty common thing among the teens.
       * * *
       Benjamin (16) Something that I really enjoyed was when we had the teen meetings in Osaka & Hiroshima. We split up & went on the road--4 teens & two adults--for a week. We didn't have to worry about finances or quotas or anything, just burn free & witness! We hardly spent any money, I think, just on 2 or 3 meals & a train ride. I don't remember how much lit we got out, but we did good on our quotas. We were having fun witnessing on the beach until 11 p.m. sometimes! We were so excited we forgot to eat! So we walked in the first place & they gave us dinner, a place to sleep & breakfast! Things were happening like that every day. We felt like praying & getting desperate because we knew the Lord was going to do something.
       * * *
       Timmy (15) Personally, I like being challenged & to learn even a little bit about each thing & not just stuck in one ministry. Having a partner to work with is such a blessing & really teaches me a lot of lessons--how to work with people etc. It's just a little thing, but it helps me in a lot of ways.
       * * *
       Windy (16) I had never lived before in combo-type situations, so Japan was my first field & my first impression of really living fulltime for the Lord. Honestly, before coming here I had gotten into a pretty bad state myself & was very discouraged about the whole Home situation & the monotony of our tapenessing & Postering. There were a lot of things that really bothered me & I felt like it says in the new Letters, that most of it was for finances & not really having that dedicated vision to win souls & disciples. I had always wondered what was the solution for teens & how they could fit into field Homes, because I had seen so many really discouraged & going through huge trials, losing the vision & getting bored, which led to a lot of compromise & worldliness.
       I really think that living with other teens & striving to keep the standard high & fight together has really been an answer & helped me so much! Although at first it was a trial getting used to the tight schedule & not having the freedom I used to, I know I've really grown in many ways. Although I still have lots of battles, I don't feel alone or isolated, especially because of the good shepherding & closer supervision. We need it!
       I always felt a little rebellious about the "Teen Revolution" thing because I felt like we weren't really putting into practice all that we had learned from the TTCs. The first few teen meetings we had were really exciting & got us all fired up, but then we just sort of went back to our old routines. And since many were going out tapenessing or Postering every day in sort of a routine job, I think it just got to be really discouraging. It's not that I was never inspired, because I love to witness, especially on road teams & being able to just burn free! I think being here, having the inspiration & united Word & really setting a goal & vision to strive for has been a big help. Also, to see the other adults sacrificing so much & being willing to forsake all has been really inspiring. I've learned so many lessons & I really feel like it's a special golden opportunity being able to work here. TYJ!
       * *
       Crystal (16) One thing that is really good here is that, instead of staying in one ministry for a long time, as in a normal Home, every month we change ministries & do something new. For example, one month I may be doing Childcare & then the next month be on Staff, mainly doing maintenance & JJT, or after spending one month with one age group of children, then move on to another age group. This system is a real blessing because it provides the excitement & change that I need so I don't settle down into too much of a rut or routine.
       Every morning we have a two-hour class in which we often read the latest wine. It's really helped me to read these together with the other teens & my shepherds. I get a lot more out of them & understand them a lot better, whereas before when I read them on my own, I found them harder to understand & would get kind of discouraged & just skim through them, not realising how much I was missing.
       All of our time is really organised & we have a very tight schedule. Before I would waste a lot of valuable time just waiting to find out what to do next, but here I know exactly what to do & every moment is used to the full. TYJ! I used to have a really hard time applying myself to my memory work & being faithful with it, but now if I don't have my memory project done by the end of the week, I miss out on my weekly video, as we have a test just before it. This is just an added incentive & is very effective. As a result, we all redeem any spare moments we might have to memorise our memory projects because we all know what the consequences will be if we don't have it done.
       One other thing that is a real blessing is the Word date schedule we have here. Once every week boys & girls have a date in which they just spend an hour reading the Word & fellowshipping together. Since there are so many teens here, this is a good opportunity to get to know each other & to all grow closer together. There are so many things I could write about, as being here is just one big blessing & I'm really thankful for every day of it! TYJ!
       * * *
       Gloria (16) I didn't come from a field Home, so in a way I have a different story, but in the Home I was in before it was like I was the only teen for awhile. In a way that made me quite "special" because I was the only teen & I went through a lot of things alone in the sense of my battles. I had a lot of personal attention for my problems & all my trials, which I'm sure was very needed to help see me through that time. It also seemed I had more time on my own or more decisions to make in my daily duties. But the difference here is how we are learning to be more like a group & a team, whereas in my former situation it was easy for me to somewhat baby myself & my problems & trials with so many stronger brethren to lean on.
       Here it's like I'm learning to see the influence of my own problems & trials on others & how my spirit affects others, those younger than me. I can't say I've already learned it all, but I can see how much I have to learn about being my brother's keeper & to live more for others & not always be on the receiving end or always sucking for attention & personal care. Here it's a whole new school of learning to help others & forgetting myself & not spending too much of my mind & energy perfecting myself or being introspective & expecting everyone else to be so aware of my problems & fight for me. Of course I don't mean that the shepherds here aren't as helpful or mindful of my needs. Actually, it's a real marvel to me how they can take such good care of us, being so many.       But I can say it's been a real learning experience in that way, being more desperate personally about my effect on others & my responsibility as a sample.
       I think it's really beautiful, learning to do things together as a team. It's like I have to lay aside all my personal desires & pet projects at times, like typing, art, sewing, piano, computer, history books--all the things I used to be able to do in my own time that was more possible in other Homes. It's been a sacrifice because I had quite a passion for those things. But the whole lesson is that we're learning from doing things together & all working together in obedience to instructions.
       These are all lessons I've had to see & learn since coming to this new situation at the School. It's a terrific blessing & I'm so thankful for this special training. These are real "days of Heaven" for sure!
       * * *
       Kezia (14) It was quite mentally straining in my previous Homes. I took on a fair amount of responsibility, but because of my very weak & poor spiritual state, lack of Word & communication, my responsibilities grew too big for me alone. Although realistically speaking they weren't, because of the fast & busy pace of the Home, I found myself drifting & not hanging onto the Lord & the Word.
       One cause I think was due to very poor communication between our overseers & teens during the daily run of things. Usually the only way we got heart-to-heart was in the form of a lecture when we had our blow-its or were out of it at times. Although those are always needed & were done in love & prayer, I think we could really have benefited from more counsel & closer oversight from day to day. For example, just keeping us on the ball & really progressing & growing in lots of different areas.
       Pep talks & united inspirational talks from the leaders here have been a real key for me to keep my eyes on the goal & the victory in my soul, to not only see the progress but also look back & see what could be done to better pull together & fight the great battles ahead. Of course, the schedules here have been one of the biggest blessings to keep me toeing the mark.


       GBY! ILYSM & keep you always in my prayers! Right now we have three "official" Teen Combos in Latin America.
       Many of the teens that live in these three official Teen Combos are teens who decided to come to the field. Not only has the Lord made missionaries out of them, but by their own sample & through their constant prayers, we now have in South America several of their families, TYJ!
       In our three locations the Lord has blessed us with beautiful Homes which allow for the teens to have plenty of room for get-out & recreation, as well as plenty of room to have separate bedrooms--boys & girls--& even in some instances separate them by age groups. All houses are located in the outskirts of the big cities & are quite secluded from all other neighbouring houses, which enables the teens to be able to burn free during inspiration. This is a real blessing. Still, we are thankful that the three Homes are not that far out of town, which enables the teens to still have regular witnessing excursions to the city.
       During these past months in which we have had Teen Combos, we have tried to mainly concentrate on teaching the teens the following general principles:
       1. Setting their priorities straight: Learning more about the Word & the Word-giver. We found that most of the teens, although they loved & respected Grandpa, didn't feel intimately close to him. Perhaps that could be attributed to the fact that since most of them were born in the Family, they really don't understand what it is to be saved from the World through the Words of David & how thankful we, the parents, are for the Word, as we know it is life!
       By having some exciting Word classes & constantly sharing testimonies of how the Word is alive, we have tried to give them that direct connection with the Word. Also, by having some of them share their own personal testimonies of how the Word helped them in specific areas of their lives, or even how through the Word they found the right answers to give while out witnessing etc., most of the teens have really gotten excited with the Word. It helps to have specific situations & examples of how the Word can be applied directly to their lives to make it more alive.
       Another area which we have tried keeping up with has been with the teens' memorisation program. Mainly we have concentrated on the Memory Book, although we also alternate with some Psalms. God bless the adults in the Homes who memorise together with the teens, as well as the older children, as this seems to really challenge them too. One system which has helped in the memorisation of Psalms has been to have them learn the Psalms to music. Once they learn it, then they quote it. This has also proven a super blessing to help the English speakers memorise Word in Spanish &/or Portuguese, & for the nationals to memorise in English. TYJ!
       One more area which we have tried to impress the importance of with the teens has been their prayer life, which is so important in establishing their walk with the Lord.
       2. Scholastics: Besides their normal school subjects of the 3 R's & 3 G's it's been helpful to have three times a week a 45-minute school period during which time a teacher goes over the WNDs or local history, i.e. Peruvian or Brazilian history, so that the teens get an idea of the country they are living in. We have found this to be very useful in their witnessing, as the Systemites really like it when the teens can answer some of their questions on these subjects, & the teens really enjoy it too.
       Through their different daily duties in the Home--kitchen, childcare, JJTs, handyman etc.--the adults that work with the teens have tried to teach the different ministries needed to be able to run a Home. Actually, the teens do carry a lot of responsibility in the Home. They are assigned to the kitchen, for example, for seven days & there they are learning how to budget & make up a shopping list, as well as cooking. Then the overseer goes over the list & helps the teens see where they ordered too much or too little or which things could be spared etc., sort of helping them to not only "be in the kitchen", but trying to train them how to run a kitchen.

       3. Witnessing: We have also tried majoring on giving the teens a real love for lost souls. We have daily witnessing outings as well as different faith trips which all the teens really seem to enjoy. Sharing testimonies of the souls won & lives that were changed play a very important part in our dinner conversation. For awhile stats became a big thing, as the first question which was asked was "How many tapes did you get out today?", not really caring for the souls & people whom we have met. But TTL, with His help we are helping to change this attitude.
       Those on faith trips try to keep a similar schedule with those who stay at home, as the adult going with the teens is sure to give them their united Word time & the teens also take their workbooks, which helps them to keep up with their scholastics. Also, we try to make the faith trips educational by visiting different points of interest, & the Teen Shepherd makes it educational.
       And although the Homes do suffer a little bit when the Teens are on the road as they are some of our most precious helpers, in the end we all are finding out that it proves to be a very good investment as when they are home they do their jobs much better as they put their whole heart into what they are doing! But we are finding out that this is a real "community effort" & that the whole area needs to contribute in making this vision possible. Not only financially speaking, as although in the end many of these trips end up bringing income to the Home, at first as in any other type of investment, you have to take a loss, not only financially but also in "manpower" as everyone has to contribute to send "shepherds" to watch over the teens!
       + + + + + + +
       For those teens who are in areas where we don't have Teen Combos, we have tried organising the teens in a similar way as we do with our catacombers. We have a teen shepherd, who is supported by our Common Pot, who is in charge of organising different events with the teens such as weekly Word time together, witnessing outings, weekly pow-wows, special events such as a Saturday barbeque etc. Also, because we do have the use of prophet buses, we pick up some of these teens on our faith trips & include them in the fellowship of the others teens.
       When a teen "graduates" from the Teen Combo, immediately we try to bring in another teen to take their place. Usually, if teens have done really well in the Combos, we inspire them to go to a field Home, which we carefully select, to be a help & blessing. So far we've had several graduates (about nine), & TTL they seem to be a help & a blessing & are quite happy & fulfilled, & have become bellwethers in the area, sort of catacomb shepherds of the other teens.
       PTL, I pray that I'm not making it sound like the Teen Combos are operating perfectly, as this is not the case, as in many cases it has been trial & error. So although we still have many problems to overcome in some of our teens, as well as with us shepherds, it seems like the teens feel fulfilled & happy.

TEEN READING SKILLS--A DESPERATE NEED!--From Beth Ann (formerly Renee Canada), Latin America

Dear Sara,
       I really enjoy all your letters, classes, advice, & counsel for us parents & for the children, too!
       What I wanted to ask is if we couldn't really emphasise more the importance of getting our children to read, write, spell, do basic math through multiplication & division, & basic history & geography? With the Word & Witnessing revolutions & new quotas for tapenessing, etc., the organizing of schooling is put in the background. One of my concerns is that even the pre-teens need to finish up this training. If we teach them during their childhood & pre-teen years, then by the time they are teens they will be able to read, teach, & minister to others in a more complete way!
       I am learning lessons on all this, but I was just concerned for my own boys that I have here, age 10 & 11, & other children who I help with, some being 5 & 6 yrs. old & not hardly reading a word & us not having the time to really make much continual progress.
       I'm trying to make some equipment for teaching, but it's a battle that I feel should be won by now. One of my boys doesn't read very well because of the battle of finding time when he was younger to really teach right. He doesn't seem to pick up his reading as fast as some of my others did & so now as almost a teen, he really can't read the Letters well & get those main points like he should.
       I just feel that if we were able to be faithful in this from the beginning, & the battle of reading & writing were won at an early age, they might be used better in a lot of different things & could take care of themselves & feed themselves spiritually & others too when it was time for them to do so! I think just 20 minutes every day could get the children reading the Word themselves, & with a slight bit more organization & all of us having the vision to get those kids taught, it could be done!

From Juan,
       The Basic Training Handbook truly is spirit & life & through it I feel like my whole outlook on shepherding & caring for His sheep is changing. It has really given me a burden to see our Teens & new disciples grow closer to you through His Words! The suggestions made in the book, such as the reading out loud so as to help us concentrate, gave me the burden to try it in our own Home & we have now begun to go through the Basic Book all together three times a week. After dinner we sit down for an hour & half & read as we mix personal testimonies that go along with the reading of the text. (This is also challenging our old-time pioneers to share the wonderful things which He has done for us.) Also we then mix a few songs with it & not only do the teens seem to enjoy this time together, but also all of us "older teens"! We have "titled" this time together the "TTC in the Home!" We also use this time of fellowship to really pray for the different needs in the area as well as for our dearest King & Queen's health & well being! The results seem to be very good as we all seem more inspired & united, & although we don't have the "rah-rah" type inspirations which we used to have in our beginning days or even in some of our recent TTC's, the teens do seem to be really enjoying this time of more "selah" type inspiration & are getting fed from this "Family" type fellowship. Really a beautiful experience!
       From the little experience that I have had with Teens, it seems like many of them are not able to fully concentrate on what they are reading, mainly because some of them, sad to say, hardly know how to read & write! It seems like we, as extremist as we are, have taken the position that since witnessing is the best education we can give our children, which of course is true, many parents in the field have sadly neglected the schooling of our children. "This ye ought to have done, but not leave the other undone!" As the children grow & many of them are beginning to reach their teen years, we are now finding out that they are barely able to read or write, which really seems to be hindering their growth & walk with the Lord. It becomes quite serious when we consider that "reading" is one of our greatest needs if we are to feed on the Letters & Word of God! Many, although they do read, can't read out loud very well, which of course then makes it very difficult for others in the room to be able to follow & concentrate in what is being read, besides the fact that they get very embarrassed by it!
       I would like to think that this is a "minority", but I personally feel that it is a big minority from what we were able to experience at the TTC's & the Teen Combos. The situation becomes a little more serious when we realise that it seems like these "older kids" were some of the ones that had received the most schooling, as in the "old days" many of these kids were going to Family schools as well as System schools for some of them. Although our daddies & mommies seem to be very faithful to try their best to help their children to learn to read & write--& here I should say how thankful we are for all the children's material that we do have that make it possible for us to be able to do so--it seems that as the children reach a certain age in which they are able to read, they start receiving less & less schooling & get more involved in the day-to-day business of the Home. Consequently they hardly practice what they have been learning--"practice makes perfect!"
       This could be attributed to several factors, such as the Homes being quite desperate due to lack of personnel & our increasing number of children which then makes our growing children quite valuable in helping us to care for the little ones, which consequently then leads to them becoming more like helpers. Also because of the lack of single personnel in the Homes & the need the Homes have to witness, organized schooling has become more scarce. Also perhaps it would be good to mention that although we do have the priceless privilege of having so many instructional books to help us in the schooling of our children, not many people feel called to such a ministry (teachers) & some even lack the patience for the job! Again, this has caused us to worry about it a little bit, as when a Teen is assigned to read on a certain subject to help him overcome some of his weaknesses, we are finding out that many of them are not able to feed themselves for the lack of ability to read!
       Recently we have now begun to have a "reading course" in some of our Teen Combos & will be recommending to the different NO's that they try to emphasise in their newsletters about the importance of caring for our little ones & trying not to neglect their schooling.

WARNING TO FAMILIES RETURNING TO WEST!--Bad Influence of System Books & Music on Teens--From Marc, SEA Jumbo

       One thing I did want to report on was something the Lord really laid on my heart about the teens. It seems that a lot of the parents have been very unaware of the input that their teens were getting while in Europe or in the States before coming to India. Paul P. mentioned to me that India was for some their first mission field & many had come with quite a few problems from the past, especially having attended System school, being allowed to read System books, going over to System friends' houses, listening to System music & viewing rock videos & these different things which I don't believe that the parents were aware of. Most of the teens have testified that they had the whole set of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis & had read through some of them even 10 to 15 times, along with being able to read other System books which seemed to have played a big role in planting the seeds of the Enemy in their lives.
       I felt really concerned about the situation because the parents were not aware of these things happening with their children. Although I know a lot has been written on the subject since that time, maybe a general warning in order to wake the parents up to the dangers of these System books & System influences is necessary as maybe they're not taking it seriously enough. It seems that if they go back to Europe or to the States which many of them have & they are not aware of this, the teens' younger brothers & sisters will also be subject to the same exposure of the Devil's propaganda & evil seeds which has really taken a toll on many of the teens here. It's a sad situation to see the teens here really going through it about some of their NWOs as they're being exposed & these different weaknesses in their lives being brought out. Many of them could have been avoided simply by the parents being more on guard in these different situations.
       I know as parents you can't see everything &, LHU, many things do get through, but it seems that one of the main inroads of the Enemy that we've seen so far in the teens' lives has been through that System influence in their past. One of the main inroads is the books that they have read. Then of course going to System school is like already having three strikes against you. But if the parents were more aware of the dangers of it all & what it really leads to, it may help to shake them up & be more on guard concerning their younger children. Most of the things that the teens are now confessing to & that are coming out that we're having to counsel them about & have prayer about are things that they said their parents had no knowledge of. They had not felt free to share them with their parents as they felt they couldn't be honest with them & that if they were that they would get in trouble for it.
       I see the different teens going through it here, & if it is at all possible it would be a real blessing to avoid the younger ones having to go through the same situation. It's something I think we could avoid. TTL though, so many have this chance to "come clean" now in these Teen Training Combos. TYL!


       One new activity which we were going to put into effect is a teen Sunday Fellowship where the teen shepherds & teens would get together on Sunday morning, which is a sleep-in morning for the rest of the Home. As the teens do not stay up late on Saturday night but rather have a different sleep-in morning, they'd be able to get together at an earlier time on Sunday morning to share their lessons from the week. It'd be more like a regular adult-style Sunday fellowship, having inspiration, the Word time, pow-wow time & also more of a lesson-sharing time than anything. They could submit their prayer requests & ask for prayer. Our Sunday fellowships here as a Home, which we have on Saturday afternoon, are not really geared for sharing lessons as we have so many little ones which we have to keep occupied & interested, so our fellowships mainly consist of skits & jubilee type inspiration. But we tried it this week & the teens really enjoyed it. They have no inhibitions about sharing their lessons together. In fact, they even want more time to do it & to be able to share & be together & pour out what the Lord is doing in their lives.       Many of them have gotten up & really socked it to the rest of the teens with their testimonies about what the Lord has done & how their lives are changing & all & it's been a real super blessing. TYJ!


       From Spring (12)--I like how all the teens are together & all experience everything together. It's exciting because we all jump in together & try to work in unity. We all want to get the job done & what I like is getting up early in the morning & having devotions & starting off the day with some Thots & Word. That inspires me to start off the day right. Before I used to walk around wondering what to do, but now if I finish doing a job, there's always something else to do to keep our schedule running. I like it when everything is all planned out & there's no room for anything else or any distractions.
       I have been learning how to take correction from my overseers & to look at Jesus, as He's the One giving me the correction. That's a big part of submission. Hebrews 13:17 really taught me to submit because they're watching for our souls. Also, sensitivity is a big lesson for me. I have a tendency to be proud, & in taking correction from my fellow teens, I feel like they're just as bad, so why are they getting on my case? But now I'm learning to take it as from the Lord & not from man. Another thing that I have been working on is to love my neighbour & to be more considerate & not to be so blunt, because I have hurt people before which made me feel really bad afterwards.
       Another thing that goes with the subject of love is to smile at people for their benefit. Honesty is also something I'm really learning because it really helps me learn the lesson & stop something from growing in my heart. I feel more needed & loved by others here & I feel like we're all working together with the adults. ILY!
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       From Praise (14)--It's so exciting to be in a Childcare Combo & actually see the children being cared for & getting taught. I see the children's lives change every day & it's so wonderful to see them learning not only the practical lessons, like keeping neat, etc., but also the spiritual lessons on helping others & learning to love the Lord & others. It's something totally different & new. Everything is directed towards the children, everything we take into consideration we have to think, "Is it safe for the children? Will they be happy? Will this be hard for them?" It's so much fun teaching them & seeing how happy they are & how much fun they're having. It's really fulfilling.
       To be on the staff part of the day is a challenge with lots of hard work! It's nice to know that you're needed & that you have responsibility. For me, having a place & knowing exactly what to do & how to do it is challenging & encouraging. It always keeps me out of trouble since I'm busier now & I'm not so idle & don't waste time. It makes me press in more for my Word time, & now when I do sit down & get into the Word, I get tons more out of it because I'm busier now & have to trust Him more for my strength & stay closer to Him. You have to be mindful not to leave things out like a bottle of bleach on the floor or a toddler might get hurt. You also have to put a lot of love & care into things because then it comes out & radiates on everything & everyone.
       I think my biggest lesson in the time I've been here has been to guard my mouth & watch what I say, not only to the other teens, but also around the kids because they all copy what I say & what spirit I'm in. Also, another major lesson is about being encouraging to the children, as a lot of them had to forsake their parents & they don't need anything else to drag them down.
       Another lesson is on prayer. We've been praying a lot for all of our outreach Homes & provisioning Home & God has been supplying all of our needs so miraculously, it's such a big miracle how God supplies. So I've been praying over everything now & I find it really helps. Another thing I learned was about sharing lessons. At first I was scared to share lessons with teens & adults for fear of being called "spiritual", but I see that being spiritual or deep is not something to be looked down on & if you do look down on someone for sharing their lessons, then you are pretty unspiritual.
       The thing I like about this Home is how everyone is so encouraging to others. Also, I really like the schedule & the discipline. People here don't just say things & never do it, but they do it! I like being overseen & we don't waste our time, but every second counts. I like responsibility & being talked to like an adult. I really like the unity & that we're all striving for the same goal & we love each other like one big Family & we can share our hearts & not have one stomp on another.
       I feel that I can always be more useful. I'm finding out new things about myself that I never knew before. A lot of times in the past, I would have the attitude "I can't do it because it's not my talent", but now when people ask me to do things I say, "Okay, how? Can you teach me?" And then I learn. I'm a lot happier & fulfilled now than I've ever been in my life before because I'm helping others become happy. I'm thankful for another chance.
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       From Lydia (13)--It's exciting to be at the school because so many things happen. There are always changes going on & something that keeps me inspired is to be able to learn so many new things, from children to household. I really like the variety & I'm so thankful to be getting this training in my life that I didn't get a chance to get before. Being part of the staff as part of my ministry is a challenge & it's taught me so many lessons, mainly on faithfulness in the little things. Also, even though the schedule is much tighter, it's much easier for me because I have quite a tendency to waste a lot of time & not to redeem the time & to fool around a lot, but when we have everything scheduled like this, it keeps me from wasting time. Also, what keeps me going is knowing that people depend on me as being part of the staff. At first I didn't really know what was the real meaning of "Staff", but when we had a meeting, they explained to us that being the staff is something that you "lean on", that really gave me a brighter outlook & a vision for what my job is. TYL!
       Before I really felt like I had a wall between the adults & myself & I didn't want to share my heart with them because I feared they would not understand or couldn't help me so much, because they weren't going through the same things that I was. But now I've been realising that that's not true & I need to be more honest & share my heart with them because when I don't, if I try to work it out on my own, I just start murmuring in my heart & trying to solve it myself & I start listening to the Enemy & yielding to disobediences. Now I'm learning the importance of opening up my heart. It really helps me a lot more because then they can share the Word with me & pray for me & help me pull through.

LEARNING THE NEED FOR LOVING FIRMNESS!--Reaction to ML "Bad Apples" (ML# 2398) About Teens--From Dora Techi

       GBY! ILY! I really benefitted from the excellent counsel! It was real good to hear from Dad on our teens, regarding "Bad Apples!"
       I had to think back to little ol' me, 22 years old in the System, standing in front of my 5th grade (ages 11-12) class, on my first day of teaching. The headmaster introduced me to the class while the class was standing outside the school room & most of the boys & girls towered over me! He, the headmaster, was an old army sergeant. (A lot of army people were used by the government as teachers after the war, since there was no more army in Germany for years after World War II!) I wish I would have learned more from him about discipline, or that he would have taught me more. But instead I tried the method of being just their "friend" & coming down to their level, instead of pulling them up to my level! It cost me two years trying to get that class into a state where I could even teach them! Until then, because they were undisciplined, I couldn't teach them at all!
       Something that's always impressed me about Helen Keller's life story was what her teacher said, how a child's first lesson is obedience, as without it the child can't learn anything else!
       But that teaching job taught me to shtick & I've always been thankful for that, even though it was hard & many other teachers quit! I know it must've been the Lord helping me through that! After that teen class, I took a 3rd grade class & had them all the way till 4th grade was almost done, then two months before the end of class I dropped out to join the Family. It was almost too easy having that class, not as much of a challenge as the teen class!
       Thinking about what I've learned from that teen class in the System (starting off namby-pamby & wanting to be their friend), I think I've found out where it's not at! But then even with our teens here, as far back as teen training, I've had to learn that just wanting to be their friend isn't enough! Instead, I've learned how they need a strong, firm hand in love, as Dad said. Like Dad points out: You can't let them get away with anything! Just because they think they are almost adults, you have to still check up on them on everything, & you can't trust that they'll pull through with a job just because you've taught them.
       I'm learning so much right now about checking up daily on them, on everything they do!--And doing that without nagging them is what takes patience! Thank God for the demerits!
       Another thing that is such a help in Dad's Letter is how he points out that "one goat can lead the whole flock of sheep astray, because it's lots easier to be bad than it is to be good, it comes natural!" I remember I was so shocked & surprised, way back in my first week of teaching in the Family. I started to cry right in front of the older kids there, I was so surprised how "bad" they were, even though Family kids. They behaved worse than the System school class I had just previously forsaken, probably because though System kids (same age, about 10 years old), they had a more controlled environment & discipline.
       I thought since our kids are saved & have Jesus, they should behave well, & I was surprised that they didn't! It taught me that Jesus being in their hearts isn't enough. Like Mama recently said, "Any man that is in Christ is a new creature!" It's not enough for our kids to have Jesus in their hearts, but then they have to be in Jesus, in His Word & taught by His Word to be a new creature.--And that means a lot of discipline, to make them disciples!
       Anyway, those were some thoughts I had after reading that Letter, & it gives me a real burden to pray for the teens & all their teachers. I'm so thankful for your sample over the past years with them, which could be described as "loving firmness"! ILY! Thanks again for letting me read it & sharing so much with me, by allowing me to be so close to you! ILY!

For Teachers!--The Importance of Dedication!--By Issac Numbers

       I went to a Catholic grade school & I think it was rather poor, or at least underfinanced. It had eight grades & it was taught by eight different teachers, all of whom were nuns, Sisters of Mercy. One of them was the Principal. Then there was the priest from the church that was attached to the School & he was like the disciplinarian. Each of those teachers had a class of between 50 to 60 students.
       Some of these nuns were quite frail, some quite old, but nonetheless they managed to keep us in line, for a number of reasons I think. Number one is that they had our parents' support. Our parents were paying or contributing to our going to that school because they believed in that school, that as a Catholic, we would receive better education from our parish church than we would in a normal public school, therefore they would back up & support whatever the nuns said. In other words, there was a definite respect for these nuns who had given their lives & dedicated themselves, & there was no questioning their authority or their being correct.
       Secondly, there were definite rules of behaviour in the classroom, & if we disobeyed we had to write out punishment sentences a lot of times, like "I will not talk in class", 500 times. That was really horrible. Or we got sent down to the Principal's office & the priest gave us a spanking with his cane, which was also very effective!
       So it worked quite well for the nuns to teach a group of 50 or more students & keep them in line, keep them quiet in class & behaving. When we saw the public school students come in on Wednesday afternoons for an hour of religious instruction, I remember being horrified seeing the difference in their behaviour, how they would talk back & chew gum & smoke & swear & goof off. They were the same age as I was, & they also were going to class & having one teacher teach them, not even on such a great ratio, their classes were more like 30 students per classroom.
       But they had that lack of discipline & lack of respect for the teachers, because all their teachers were just lay teachers just like their parents & I guess their parents were not as supportive of the public school teachers who obviously weren't as dedicated. I remember being really horrified & shocked & just couldn't believe how barbaric they seemed. We would sit there kind of in amazement at the difference.
       Take, for example, my 7th grade class. The nun was about 65 or 70 years old, she was quite old & had big thick glasses on & she had 50-some of us to teach, & she wasn't all that good a teacher. We started learning advanced mathematics. In those days it was a new course, & she knew nothing about it. She would get up there & read the book & give us the tests. I understood that type of math, I guess that was an area that I had an aptitude for, & I readily learned in spite of her poor teaching or lack of teaching. So when she graded my paper I got 100 on the exam.
       She called me to the back of the room & said, "Hey, do you understand this stuff?" I said, "Yes." She said, "I don't understand it, can you grade these papers for the rest of the class? Can you explain it & teach people these different things, because I don't know it." And so I did, I taught that. But it didn't affect the fact that she was still the teacher & she still had the authority.
       The reason I wanted to bring that up is because maybe some or our teachers don't feel super qualified & don't have any academic experience. But the point is, in spite of that, if they just claim the authority of their position & if the parents stand behind the teachers, & we keep a strong standard with the rules & the discipline associated with them, it doesn't really matter if the teacher's super anointed or super intelligent or knowledgeable, as long as the teacher is dedicated. I think that people should be encouraged that they don't have to have special super anointing & training or experience to be a teacher that can have good success with the children, as long as they can create the right environment for them to learn & are consistent with the rules & consistent with the discipline & have the parents' support & thereby also have the children's respect for the teachers.
       I guess one other thing that teachers can do in the System schools that used to help keep children in fear of man, if not fear of God, & keep them in line, was the fact that the teachers could give someone a bad mark, or could flunk them for that matter if they didn't do the job right. In other words, if they didn't learn their lessons they were going to have to repeat that grade & they were not going to be able to go on to the next class with all their classmates. Maybe there's some similar or comparable incentive or deterrent that we can use with our students, that if they don't measure up, then they're going to get a bad mark or they're going to get flunked.
       One example would be if you had a 12-year-old who was in with the teens & who continued to cut up & act up & didn't behave himself or was lazy & wouldn't do his work & wouldn't do his studies, then you could always threaten to put him back down into the 7 to 11-year-old group, that he couldn't stay with the teens. This is somewhat similar to the situation we talked about using a Detention House at Ho's where teens that didn't behave themselves had to go into that environment where they're closely restricted. Then if the problem teens do well, they had the incentive that they could be able to be merged into other teen activities more. Then if they backslid in their behaviour or if any other teens acted up, then they would be put into the restricted environment & that would act as a deterrent. As well, on the other side of the coin, it would act as an incentive to do better to get out of that situation. Anyway, it's nothing elaborate, but I think if people are just consistent with the rules that they set down with the teens & stick to them, then that could really help. Or even with the younger children, it really helps their behaviour.
       While on the subject of Ho & his teens, he said that he's found one thing that is really effective & that has really been encouraging to him is to see these teens now learning their lessons & being able to testify & share them with others. He said it's a big thing for teens to confess their failures & mistakes, even if they know they've been forgiven, but to share that with other teens, that's a real big thing to be able to do that. I guess it's a big thing for adults too, we've had to learn not to be afraid of people's opinions of us.
       But Ho said he has found that his older teens who are receiving advanced leadership training have been trained to the point where they can see where another teen is acting up or not behaving & they come to them with a report, then he sits down with them & hears it out from the different teens what they all say is wrong with that person & what they would do & what they would say to counsel him, then he says, okay, go ahead. And he turns around & has those same teens go in there & teach that lesson to the teen that needs the correction. He said that's really super effective. Number one, it helps the teens who are teaching the lesson to learn it themselves as well. Number two, it helps them not to just gossip or complain about other teens to their overseers because they see that it's going to cost them a commitment of having to confront the other teen. And number three, it's apparently very effective on the teen who receives the correction because it's super humbling & convicting to receive correction from their peers.
       I felt that it was quite a valid point & it seems like it's bearing good fruit in his situation.--If you have someone who can oversee it & make sure it's done prayerfully & in counsel & Word-based & not kind of like a vindictive type of thing. This has been something that Ho felt was a key to him having the ability to take on more teens in his situation--the fact that once he'd won the loyalty & the support of some of his teens who he'd trained the longest, & could then count on their help, then he felt more able to take on more teens who would need correction & training.
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Copyright 1996 The Family