Observing Ramadan

RamadanIn 2013, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of July 8th with the first full day of fasting on July 9th.

The ending of Ramadan is marked by the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which takes place either 29 or 30 days after the beginning of the month. On Eid ul-Fitr, morning prayers are followed by feasting and celebration among family and friends. This year Eid ul-Fitr will most probably fall on Wednesday, August 7.

What are the daily fasting requirements?

During the month of Ramadan most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise many Muslims have the Suhur or predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast. Many Muslims begin the meal by eating dates as the Prophet used to do.

This ritual fast known as Sawm is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires that individuals abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse.

What is the ‘goal’ of Ramadan?

In general, the practices of Ramadan are meant to purify oneself from thoughts and deeds which are counter to Islam. By removing material desires, one is able to focus fully on devotion and service to God. Many Muslims go beyond the physical ritual of fasting and attempt to purge themselves of impure thoughts and motivations such as anger, cursing, and greed.

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Spotlight on Laura Massenat

LauraOne of our homestay moms, Laura Massenat, was recently quoted in the Oklahoman in an article about drinking water and it’s potential impact on health and our environment.

Laura is co-owner of Elemental Coffee and one of the co-founders of the H&8th monthly block party in Midtown.  She was recently elected to the Oklahoma City School Board.  Laura and her husband, Laurent, have four children and have been a homestay family with ELS for several years.  Needless to say, she is a very busy lady!

Way to go Laura!  You can read the article here.


Background Checks for Homestays

Please check out the important background check information that is now required for for all our existing and new homestays.  Click “For Families” to find out everything you need to know.


JoBeth Moad – A Happy Homestay Mom!!!

Precious Emma wearing a gift from her Homestay "Brother"

Tom & Emma at Red Pin Bowling

Tom & Emma at Red Pin Bowling

“Hi Denny, wanted to share this picture of Tom & Emma at Red Pin bowling alley this weekend. He of course beat the pants off us! We had a fun Saturday showing him downtown, bowling & seeing a movie.And on Sunday we got to see a few minutes of Rashed playing soccer at OCU :)”

…”it is just so interesting to me and frankly I am finding this whole experience so fascinating…”

…”Anyway, I’m sure this will all be old hat to me soon, but I just wanted to share with you. I’m sure you don’t get paid nearly enough to deal with all the hassles of organizing a program like this so I wanted to say THANK YOU for all you do and for helping me get started down this path. It is truly a blessing to me AND Emma :)”

Emma is modeling the beautiful outfit that her Saudi “Brother” presented to her – Isn’t she lovely!


Special Art Class Offering

We have an ELS student from Russian who will provide a FREE Art Class to anyone who would like to participate.  She will teach it in the ELS Lobby at 4:00pm on Monday,  November 26th.  If interested, please contact Ashley.


ELS 2012 Thanksgiving Lunch

Thank you to all our Homestays that sent an abundance of food–

— it was wonderful!!!

Our Executive Student, Hikeaki and Bill helped me set up the tables, chairs and beautiful decorations

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Ashley, Denny and Sharyn – I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful help of these two gals!!!

Sharyn set this up like a “Cruise Buffet”

Here come the hungry students! We served 122 students, Staff, Faculty and Homestay Families

Students at the Salad Table

Enjoying fellowship after a great meal!

After my “Panic Day” on Thursday — we actually had a bountiful harvest!  We even had some left overs to take to the City Rescue Mission to bless others.  Thank you, Homestays, for providing so much — it was so delicious!


Another “FAM TOUR”

Wednesday, November 7th,  Nelson will again host another “Fam Tour” with 12 agents (10 from Vietnam, 1 from Thailand, 1 from Indonesia and 1 ELS Sales Director from Vietnam.)  I’m sure they will enjoy the tour Nelson has planned for them – especially to the Asian Market!  I was able to put into their packet a “Welcome Letter” for them, telling them about our wonderful Homestay Homes – who so lovingly take care of students from all over the world and also put in a plug for my blog.  From my blog, they can access our “Homestay Family Handbook” and the “Homestay Student Handbook”. Hopefully, they will send lots of students to our OKC Center and encourage their students to choose our Homestay program as their choice for housing!