Still Time to Register for Home School Classes!

There is still time to Register for Push The Rock’s Home School Classes for this year with classes available in both the BuxMont and Lehigh Valley Regions. Our classes provide a distinctly Christian environment where your child(ren) will receive quality athletic instruction while learning how to incorporate sportsmanship and character into their play. Visit the links below to get all the information regarding our classes, dates, locations and times. We hope to see you there!

Click HERE for Lehigh Valley Class information

Click HERE for Souderton Class Information

Click HERE for Perkiomenville Class Information

BuxMont Region – Mitch Thomas – mthomas@pushtherock.org

Lehigh Valley Region – Kim Schlonecker – kschlonecker@pushtherock.org

 

AROMA in Zambia August 17, 2015

Today Push The Rock Zambia welcomed their final group of 2015 to Macha.  This team consists of 11 athletes from varying sport backgrounds, all students at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, USA.  AROMA is the sports ministry branch of the college, and we are thrilled to now also be partnering with them in Zambia.

You can read more about AROMA here . We are excited to see how the week will unfold as we work and play together with our Push The Rock Zambia crew in Macha.

It didn’t take long for the group to find children…no sooner had we gotten to our rooms, than we were on the Push The Rock Zambia campus already kicking soccer balls, playing volleyball, and laughing with the children who come by the rec center for daily activities.  We are thankful for the team’s safe arrival, and we look forward to the energy and passion the team will bring to Push The Rock Zambia in its time here.

To read about the team’s experience first hand, be sure to follow the daily blog!!

Costa Rica final update…8.05.15 & 8.06.15

8.05.15

IMG_2070Today was our last full day in Costa Rica and we finished with half a day of ministry and half of tourism. We spent the morning at a public school working with about 35 preschool and kindergarten students. We started with the “Warm-up March” (a song with motions) and then divided the group in half to participate in two stations. The director and I shared a lesson and testimony after we finished the games. The time flew by – and it especially feels that way since we are on our way home so soon! We had lunch at the Soda Tapia, which is a very popular and well-known restaurant with a 1950s diner feel. After lunch we took a walk through La Sabana, the largest park in San José, and the location of the national soccer stadium. We ran a few errands on our way back to AMCA, where we changed and got ready for dinner. When we arrived at our hosts’ house, they reminded me that this was my home since I had stayed with them for a week last summer. They really showed their hospitality through the enormous portions of arroz con pollo and tres leches they served us. After dinner we returned to AMCA and a few church members stopped to say goodbyes. We spent our Team Time debriefing and praying for the kids, church, and ministry here in Costa Rica. It has truly been a wonderful time here, and many prayers of thanksgiving were offered for the opportunity to come and partner in the work Push The Rock is doing here. Afterward we finished packing and went to bed. Thanks again for your prayers during our time in ministry here and for praying for safe travels for tomorrow! Pura vida!

 

8.06.15

IMG_2092It felt more like I had only taken a long nap when my alarm went off this morning at 3:15 am. We headed to the airport and made our way through lines to pay the exit tax, check bags, and pass through security. Our travels, along with the rest of the trip, went very smoothly and we arrived back in the US on time. As we transition, please pray with us that we continue to pursue what God has been showing us through this trip and that we don’t leave the ministry behind in Costa Rica, but bring it back with us to our school, churches, friends, and families. Thanks again for joining in our journey and partnering in our ministry! Que Dios les bendiga mucho!

Costa Rica update…8.04.15

Lined up for the horse race.
Lined up for the horse race.

Today we were able to return to work with both the church’s preschool and the foster home that we visited earlier last week. It was great to reconnect and continue to build relationships with the kids. This time around instead of walking over to the field, we played games in the hallway at the church. Our activities included a horse race (with pool noodle horses), red light–green light and a game of soccer followed by penalty kicks.

 

 

IMG_2043A different team member shared her testimony, and then we concluded our time by relaxing a bit and watching an episode of The Magic School Bus in Spanish. We had lunch at the church and then headed out to the foster home. We again started with some free time and then organized a game of handball. We took a break to hear a testimony from a different teammate and then finished with a game of soccer. From the foster home we went to the director’s house for dinner. After dinner we could hear some loud music playing and were told that it was coming from the nightly Zumba class up the road. Naturally, the girls jumped at the chance to go, so we went up and participated for a little while. Back at our home we had Team Time and went to bed to rest up for our last day! It feels like we have been here much longer than we actually have and I can’t believe our time is almost over. We will visit our last school tomorrow and then start preparing for our transition home. Thanks again for your prayers and support! Pura vida!

Costa Rica update…8.02.15 & 8.03.15

8.02.15

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Playing fútbol at the school with the third grade class on Monday.

We attended the church that Push The Rock partners with here in Costa Rica this morning. We started the service with about 45 minutes of worship, followed by a time of prayer, and the pastor’s message, which lasted about another 45 minutes. The first song we sang was Alaba A Adonai (Praise Adonai) and the translation to Spanish struck me: “that all your creation, every people and nation, sing to Him.” It was powerful to sing that with this congregation and think of the others around the world singing praises to God. And it was a great reminder of our mission and purpose in being here. The congregation is so friendly and welcoming, and we chatted with different members afterward. We then headed to the mall to have lunch in the food court with 15 of the church members. The biggest challenge was finding space for all of us to sit together. After lunch we made a quick stop back at AMCA to change and go play soccer with other church members at a nearby indoor field. At first it seemed really small, but after an hour I was thankful we were not on a full-size field. After the game we ordered some typical dishes for dinner including “tacos ticos” (Costa Rican tacos which have meat inside of a deep fried tortilla topped with cabbage and pico de gallo, ketchup and mayonnaise). We finished the day with our Team Time devotions and heard another testimony of God’s faithfulness from one of our team members.

 

8.03.15

IMG_1888Today the girls got a glimpse of a teacher’s life. We spent the day at a private K-8 school teaching all of the Physical Education classes. We started with the first graders, then third, fourth, second, and eighth. We had a break for lunch, and then finished off the afternoon with the seventh, sixth, and fifth graders. We met with each class for forty minutes, which allowed us to do a short warm up, give instructions for either two stations or big group games, and a testimony from one of the team members. We decided to split up the classes and each share with two of them. It went by really quickly with the constant activity and switching groups.

IMG_1938Also, to the girls’ surprise, they were very fond of the older classes. It was again fun for me to see so many familiar faces (of both students and teachers). We stopped at Cosechas for juice/smoothies, which were so refreshing after spending the entire morning and afternoon outside in the sun. We drove back to AMCA and had some down time to get ready for dinner. The secretary of the board for Push The Rock Costa Rica hosted us. The girls are still loving rice, but are getting a little tired of beans, so they were content with our bean-free meal. After dinner we returned to AMCA and had our Team Time devotions. Its crazy how quickly our time is winding down here! Tomorrow we will return to the church to work with the preschool and then go to the foster home in the afternoon. Thanks again for your prayers and following our trip! Pura vida!

Costa Rica update…8.01.15

Driving to the canopy: "Area de neblina" / "Fog area."
Driving to the canopy: “Area de neblina” / “Fog area.”

We had an early start for our fun day today. The local director picked us up at 6:00 am and we drove a little over an hour through the foggy, windy roads up to our first stop: a canopy (zip lining) tour through the rain forest. We had a very typical breakfast including “gallo pinto” (rice and beans), scrambled eggs, plantains, tortillas, and cheese. We then suited up – getting tightly strapped and secured into our harnesses. We were given some safety instructions and then headed down to our first line with our guides and another group that joined us. This is by far my favorite way to experience the rain forest – sometimes I wish I could go down the line slower to really take it all in.

IMG_1699We soared over a sea of green, crisscrossing over the river far below us. We completed eleven regular lines in all, plus a “Tarzan swing,” and the last line called the “super man,” which has been given this name because you are strapped into a full body harness and go down headfirst. From the canopy we continued a couple more hours to the hot springs, which are located near the base of the volcano, Arenal. We saw a good portion of the volcano when we arrived and saw the top peek through the clouds a little during lunch, but unfortunately it never fully showed itself. However the sun was not at all scarce, and it was actually quite hot, making it tough to find springs with a temperature that felt refreshing. We tried out most of the pools and the girls went down several of the water slides. After a few hours we were ready to head back to San José. The trip was a little slow going as we encountered rain, fog, bright headlights, a slow bus, and the increasing darkness on the very curvy roads. We returned to AMCA around 8:00 pm, had dinner, and concluded the evening with our Team Time devotions and another team member’s testimony. Praise God for His amazing grace and faithfulness! Hopefully tomorrow will provide some downtime to rest, recharge, and prepare for our next workdays. We are looking forward to a couple of new schools as well as returning to the foster home we visited earlier in the week. Thanks again for your prayers! Pura vida!

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Costa Rica update…7.30.15 & 7.31.15

7.30.15

Playing "steal the bacon" with second grade students.
Playing “steal the bacon” with second grade students.

Today was another long day – it really felt never ending, not in a bad way, but every time we checked my watch it seemed like it should be so much later in the day. The local director picked us up at 6:00 am – that’s right, we were ready to go at 6:00 am. We had a slow drive through a lot of traffic to the private Christian school where we worked for the day. We spent the morning in a very nice covered gym playing dodge ball and soccer with two classes of seventh grade students. They understood and spoke English very well, so the girls were able to explain and run the activities. The school offered to give us lunch, so we ate a huge plate of pasta and garlic bread at 10:30 am. We then moved down to a small field to play with two classes of second grade students. The second graders needed a little more translation, but had a great time playing with the team. Each of us took a turn sharing our testimony with one of the four groups. By the time we left the school around 2:30 pm it felt like we had been there for days. We stopped by Pops – a favorite ice cream shop on our way back to AMCA where we had the house to ourselves. We had dinner, followed by Team Time devotions and a team member’s testimony. We chatted for a while until a cockroach scurried across the floor causing all of us to jump and scream. We were pretty beat and turned in relatively early. Thanks again for your prayers and following our trip! Pura vida!

Sharing with one of the seventh grade groups.
Sharing with one of the seventh grade groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.31.15

A quick ice cream break in between games.
A quick ice cream break in between games.

After a very early and long day yesterday, our 7:00 am wake up call felt like sleeping in today. We went to a nearby public school and worked with the preschool and “transition” classes (3-6 years old). We had about 28 kids, so we split into two stations and played two games, stopped for a testimony and lesson from the local director, and then the kids had a snack break. We finished with one group playing a mini soccer game and the other playing a catch-concentration game. We went back to the church for one of my favorite Costa Rican dishes, “chifrijo” which stands for “chicharrones” (pork rinds) and “frijoles” (beans). In addition to those two main ingredients, it also includes rice, pico de gallo (fresh salsa), and avocado. After lunch we started our break in the week with the afternoon and weekend off. We headed into San José to the artisan market to shop for souvenirs. We were overwhelmed by all of the colors and crafts available. We also checked out a few other shops with locally designed goods. Finally we headed out to a late dinner at a typical restaurant where we enjoyed typical dishes including a “casado” (meat, rice, beans, salad), “patacones” (plantain patties – for lack of a better description – plus refried beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and cheese for toppings), and “arroz con pollo” (rice, veggies, and chicken). The girls were exhausted before we went to dinner and by the time we were leaving the restaurant they were very sleepy. Tomorrow we will be leaving early to go zip lining and relax at the hot springs.