Bless the One who shapes your beauty

7 Mar

As they waited for the Skype connection with the 1st grade students of Miss Ruya from the Latin Patriarchate School of St. Joseph in Nablus (West Bank, Palestine), Mrs. Phillips explained to her students that the children that they were going to meet were 6,000 miles away, and lived near Bethlehem.

The parents in Palestine had brought their children back to school a couple hours after school was out in order to Skype with our children from America.

The Palestinian children had a song ready – “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.” Our children clapped with joy, probably because they recognized the song. They probably didn’t realize how extraordinary it was that 6-7 years olds, whose first langauge is Arabic, were singing in English. Later, the same children would sing a song in Arabic, which Miss Ruya explained was about how they loved their country very much.

The teachers on both sides of the world tried to put some order into the energy and the enthusiasm of their students. Sometimes they were even successful. First graders, wherever they are, are first graders!

When it was our turn, the CD player went on, and our friends in Palestine heard, “All you works of God / Every mountain, star and tree / Bless the One who shapes your beauty / Who has caused you all to be / One great song of love and grace / Ever ancient, ever new / Raise your voices, all you works of God.”

Mrs. Phillips sang.

The children sang and made hand gestures that expressed the words of the song.

The  Arab children clapped with as much enthusiasm and appreciation as our children did.

They asked questions …

… and waited for answers.

There were questions (and answers) about snow, favorite sports, how old they were.

At the end of the visit, Mrs. Phillips spoke with the principal, Miss Abeer, who personally visited Mrs. Phillips classroom back in October. In June, Mrs Phillips goes to Miss Abeer’s school – and the circle of friendship will be complete.

3 Responses to “Bless the One who shapes your beauty”

  1. Carol March 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    The connections you foster are amazing and it is amazing to have such technology to sustain those connections. A new meaning to the phrase “pen pals” and learning that takes place beyond the 4traditional classroom walls.

  2. Jenny March 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    What a perfect song for the occasion! Fr.Rob you will be happy to know that Abby’s enthusiasm lasted until bedtime.

  3. waseim March 8, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    So nice to talk each other here and there, new exeriances was taken from each other, the HOPE – PEACE is there, its GOD welling, To Mss AAbeer and Mss Roya ur wondefull to make this skype there are a people hear us know our story, and ther a kind people know wht we r, HUMANS have a life People have there dreems, Students have there Future …

    Best Wishes to u all

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