It’s hard to believe that third term is already a third over, but our first half-term has come and gone and we are looking forward to Independence Day on October 24th. The children have settled in well, and there has been some marked improvement in some students who were really struggling earlier in the year. This is the term of the dreaded grade 7 and 9 exams, so our seniors are well on their way in test preparation. These national exams are very important—if a student fails to pass them in the limited amount of re-takes they will not be able to progress in their education. The tests are in English which is a stumbling block for many of the village students, and the English is poorly written and sometimes the answers on the test are wrong! Our students have always passed with flying colors despite the difficulties with the questions, but it is still a very anxious time for them. Our one grade 9 student will have to write her exams in Ikelenge as we have not managed to get our registration as a grade 9 exam center to go through yet.
The Lunda week at Kalene in August was a difficult time, but I think as I have time to work on what I learned it will be quite helpful. It was interesting to see where some of the kids English problems come from—one example is that Lunda has no distinction between male and female pronouns, so it’s quite common for the kids to call girls ‘he’ and vice versa. It was really overwhelming to get the whole structure of a language in 5 days, but I’ve already noticed that I can pick out a few more words in the sermons, and have a slightly larger vocabulary. I will continue listening and adding words as I’m able—if the Lord could give a donkey speech, I guess He can help me learn Lunda!
The new dining hall is coming along well—there was a little bit of a scramble to get the rest of the roof on before the rains came, but thankfully all is secured now and it can rain as much as it likes! Most of the work is centering on finishing the inside now—all the wiring, tiles on the walls, painting, and things like that. We still have Jim from the UK here helping us as well as Michael, a Sakeji Alum whose parents served here for a few years. There will be a team coming out from Canada, Lord willing, to help us re-roof the dorm sometime in the next few months. This will be an interesting challenge during the rainy season, but it has been a huge need for several years now. The Lord has showed His mighty hand in providing all the sheet metal for the roof, and workers willing to give up some of their time to come help put it up. We continue to pray for safety on the job site and for the team assembling to come help us out with the roof.
We have some other short term helpers with us now—three girls have come out form Vancouver to help for most of the term, so we are keeping them busy with projects, marking, games, and child supervision. We are still praying about a permanent 3rd and 4th grade teacher, and some day in the future splitting grade 1 and 2 into separate classes. Our grade 9 plans are still very much up in the air; we really need another teacher if we are going to add that program, and we would need to be able to register as a grade 9 test center. There are so many things to do both here at the school, and in the surrounding area—please continue to pray for us as we seek the Lord’s direction in these things, and wait for Him to raise up the right people at the right time.
Thanks so much for all the notes of encouragement, prayer and gifts that you have sent my way this year. It means so much to know that you are thinking of me as I serve the Lord at Sakeji.
May He find us faithful wherever we are.