This letter has been rather longer in the writing than I had originally intended; I had forgotten how tied up I get by the beginning of term! The kids and various staff members who were traveling all arrived back safely, and the final term of 2013 is well and truly launched! Sometimes I forget what a blessing safe travel is—arriving in one piece with all my luggage is not a right! We have three young people helping out this term as well as David who is filling in for another staff member. I can’t get over how much some of the kids had grown since I left, and it has been very good to be back with my students. It’s encouraging to see the progress that some kids have made, and it’s nice to have new strength and perspective to tackle long term issues.
Two major events this term are that my seventh grade students will be writing their national exams in mid October, and the ninth grade students will also be writing their national exams a little later this term. Many of them are really stressing about these tests because they get a lot of pressure put on them by their parents and because there is a limited number of time you can take the exams before you are failed out of school. Our students always have some of the top marks for the province, so we are working on teaching them healthy ways of dealing with pressure and constructive test preparation. Jill and I are also working on the end of term program. We are starting to teach the songs to the kids and will soon be holding auditions for the speaking parts and starting to source props. While December seems a long way away, I know that it will be upon us all too soon!
We had a few good rains last weekend for which we are quite thankful. The hydro station upriver has been switching off at night to allow water to build up, and is often off during the day as well. There are still dry wells in the area, and we are praying that this rainy season will make up for the last two years of drought. Because of the rain the grass is already springing up and the dry, dusty earth is slowly changing into its verdant splendor. The hall renovation project is continuing; the last roofing sheets were put on just in time for our wet weekend. Now the interior wiring and prep for painting are going on. It will be so good to be able to use the hall again—music classes are sharing the art room and assemblies are on the quad right now. So far the rains have not come in the mornings, but the day is coming when that won’t be an option.
I have been fitting back into my busy routine here and trying to keep my many projects going and organized. I’ve been sorting through things in my house as well as doing some organizing for birthday party, choosing music for the Christmas music assembly, and starting to learn the music for the program. God has been so faithful to provide strength for my every need—while I’m exhausted by the end of the day, somehow I manage to get most things done. I am so thankful for this summer in the States where I could rest, recharge, and deal with some issues in my life that are needed to be addressed. The time away has given me a new energy and love for my work here at Sakeji, and it is truly good to be home in Zambia again. Thank you so much to all of you I got to see while I was home—your encouragement and fellowship was such a blessing. Thank you for all your prayers and the support you give me and the work at Sakeji in so many different ways. May He find us faithful wherever He has called us to be!