Monday, December 23, 2013

December Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

Whew—the 2013 school year is over! The last two weeks of school are always a very, very busy time for the staff at Sakeji Mission School. Seventy-seven report cards had to be written that take into account spiritual and educational progress during the term. These report cards had to be proof-read, and final grades calculated. Prizes need to be decided on, certificates written, classrooms cleaned, and the last batches of papers and notebooks sent up to the dorm to clear the desks for another year. Jill and I were busy rehearsing the program, last minute details were being organized, and each of us were trying to get all the loose ends in the areas under our supervision tied up. On December 3rd there was a PTA meeting which I was involved in, and then on December 4th the parents arrived to great excitement from their children. I gave several parent teacher interviews, played for the Prize Giving ceremony in the afternoon, and then for the show that evening. We had a special guest this year for the show—Chiefteness Ikelenge came with a few retainers. We don’t know how much English she understands, but we trust that the Gospel message went out to her as well as the parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and friends of our students.

While those last two weeks were very difficult in moments, it was all worth it. It is so special to remember where the kids were at the beginning of the term and see how far they have grown, matured, and improved over the course of a year. It is always good to talk to their parents, and it was good to hear the PTA taking measures to insure that this will stay a Godly school where the first priority is honoring Him. We said goodbye to ten of our students who will be moving on to different schools in January, and prayed one last time with them that they would continue in the things that they had learned. Now there are a few weeks of holiday for the staff to rest, regroup, and organize for the next school year which starts on January 8th. I’ll have a new class of 6th graders to ‘break in,’ and a continuing class of 7th graders to get ready for their national exams. Prayers for wisdom, patience, strength, and grace to show the love of Christ are always needed as I input into these young lives.

A recent item of praise is that my new work permit came through! I took a quick trip down to the capital to pick it up; now I’m taken care of for emigration for another two years. It is a constant challenge to keep up with documents in two countries, but there are some very patient people who help us missionaries out with that. Also, with so much backlog and inefficiency in Zambia, it’s always a matter of rejoicing when someone’s paperwork comes through and is not lost! This trip was a chance to visit some friends who live along the way, and to do some shopping for the next few months. I don’t anticipate heading out to town again for quite awhile, so I’ll need to stock up on the items I can’t get in Ikelenge. I am so thankful for the safety we enjoyed on the roads and in town; it is so easy to forget how blessed we are every time we go out and return safely.

I’m looking forward to another year of blessings, challenges, and learning how to serve the Lord better. Thank you so much for all your prayers, letters, e-mails, and the many different ways you keep in touch and encourage me. May He find us faithful wherever He has called us to be!

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