Thursday, May 17, 2012

I have to say that I’ve felt so blessed these last two days. While it’s a little hard getting back into the routine of school and figuring out how to juggle a very energetic puppy into my life, but it’s been good. Last term was so hard and so discouraging that I was almost afraid to start this term. However, I’ve had a great time with the kids so far, and my classroom is settling into its new routine with only minor issues, and I am just so thankful for these good days.

Hazel has made a lot of friends among the children—while they were sorry to hear about my other dog, Ceili, they have quickly taken that little ball of energy into their hearts and I think she’ll become a much loved part of station life. If only she would move out of the biting faze…

The mornings and evenings are growing cooler, and I’m starting to enjoy my collection of hand knit socks again. The blaze of a brushfire has lit the ridge behind us already, and those pesky little brown bits that fill the grass during dry season are starting to cover the unwary child, teacher, and dog! I love this time of year—I love the smell of burning, wrapping up in my wooly creations, and the clear blue skies.

Well, I have some planning to do this evening—we’re about to embark on ancient Egypt in history. That is a topic I’ve never been particularly enamored of, but I have to admit it’s growing on me… It’s fascinating to me that God used that country so many times to save His people. Hope the kids think so too!

Isn't Hazel a cutie?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family, I have been putting off the writing of this newsletter because there were several ongoing things in my life this year, and I was waiting to see what the outcome was so that I wouldn’t leave you with a cliff-hanger! While these past few months have been very difficult in many ways, I’ve had a chance to see God’s hand so vividly in my life—I’m both encouraged in my faith and rebuked for my worry and stressing over details. Just in the last week the Lord has solved three major worries in my life, once again proving that He cares for every area of my life. I’m looking forward to a new term of working with the children and sharing some of my renewed joy.

As some of you may know, one of the big challenges facing me this year was the tooth I broke within a week of returning to Zambia. A seemingly innocent sandwich has cost me three months of pain and two trips to town—odd how such a small thing can have such a big impact! Because the tooth was so badly broken, when I finally got to the dentist in early April she was horrified and put a dressing on it to see if the tooth could heal once the exposed nerve was covered up. Two weeks later I came down to the Copper Belt again and found out that my tooth had indeed healed, so I was able to just have a massive filling instead of a root canal and crown. Being freed from the pain and stress of trying to decide what to do with the tooth is such an answer to prayer—God is very good!

Another area where God showed His mighty hand was when I re-embarked on the project of getting my Zambian drivers license. While down in Lusaka in early April I spent several hours moving through the different offices at RTSA, and emerged with a temporary permit and a booking to take a road test the next morning. Thought initially chastised for ‘climbing the wheel’ I realized that I had a good chance of passing once my instructor bought a newspaper from a street vendor and proceeded to read for the rest of my test! On my second town trip this holiday Beth and I braved the bus down to Lusaka to see if my pass certificate was ready, and after some hassle because of a document I forgot back in Kitwe I walked out of the RTSA office the proud possessor of a Zambian license! This is another huge load off my mind—God is very good!

The third big problem was with my dog Ceili. Shortly after returning from my first town trip I noticed that she had a hugely swollen face. I got some antibiotics from a nurse friend which seemed to help, but when the swelling came down she developed a massive abscess under her jaw. I unfortunately had to leave for my second dental appointment in town, and while I was in Kitwe I got a call saying that the start of the trouble was definitely a snake bite, and my only two options were costly (and almost impossible to get) reconstructive surgery, or putting her down to end her agony. A local game farm owner was able to take care of it for me, and while I’m going to really miss that dog, I had a chance to adopt another puppy, Hazel, in Kitwe to help with station security and as a companion for me—God is very good!

In station news our dorm has a brand new roof of bright, shiny tin that the Canadian team put up for us in the last month. We’re so thankful for not only a better environment for the children, but also for the fellowship and encouragement the team provided for us. Getting to make new friends and renew old friendships is such a blessing to us; we love to share our station and our ministry with visitors!

Thanks again for all your loving prayers and support—as I was so vividly reminded this past month I can’t do anything on my own. Knowing that the saints back home are remembering me is such a blessing. May He find us faithful wherever He has called us to be,