Friday, March 28, 2014

Catching up (or trying to)

Sorry for the silence, but life was a little crazy around the end of term, and I've been trying to get caught up on things (like sleep!) so that I'll be ready to leave for a quick road trip on March 31st. I'm driving the SBF team down to Solwezi so they can fly out, and then we'll be heading down to Kitwe for some dental work and shopping. Also, some amazing Indian food! I'll post a picture of the finished brickwork on the front of the Main Sitting room a little later, as well as giving an account of the trip. Right now I need to go through my cupboards and work on my shopping list. See you when I get back!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

* Report cards are FINISHED

* I am very tired

* The kids go home starting Wednesday

* How did the term fly by so fast?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Healed PtL!

A week ago today I was hobbling around in great discomfort because of an injured foot; the Lord was very good to me, and today I'm walking pain free! I was amazed at how quickly I healed--by Monday I was able to take a walk on the airstrip. I was so thankful for Beth who took my river this weekend when I couldn't walk that far, and for the many little deeds and words of love from other staff and my students. God is good!

Here is a picture of the progress on the dorm--it's exciting to actually get an idea of what it will look like when it's finished. I haven't been inside for a bit; maybe next week I'll do another 'tour.'

Today a work team from Canada is arriving--I'm looking forward to welcoming Beth's parents in particular. Visitors are always nice when you live so far out in the bush! Next week is exam week, so prayers for strength, wisdom, and patience are especially appreciated!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

I can’t believe how fast this year is going—it seems like just yesterday that we celebrated New Years and made the final preparations for the kid’s arrival. We are trying a different term schedule this year; we are starting with our short ten week term, and then terms two and three will both be twelve weeks long. The rational is that this will allow more time for the many things that have to happen in second term, and that it will be easier for the new students to have the shorter term first. I’m not sure what I think about the new arrangement yet; on the one hand I’m glad for the shorter term, but on the other there is a whole lot that has to be squeezed into this first term!

My new group of 6th graders are starting to get the hang of being in my classroom; it is a big change for them from the junior grades. I’ve been encouraged to see the progress some of them have already made, and I look forward to seeing the ‘finished’ product at the end of the year. One thing that I’ve been really excited about this year is teaching Latin as a part of my language program. Latin was a Sakeji tradition in the past, and I’m enjoying bringing it back for these students. I’ve seen kids do well on their Latin quizzes who struggle in other areas, and the logic and vocabulary skills they are learning will be a big help to them as they continue their schooling.

Now that the Hall project is finished, the renovations of the Main Sitting Room are well underway. The Main Sitting Room is really the staff living and gathering area between the two wings of the dorm, and the cracks in the wall and sinking foundation have been problems for years. The scary old attic where we stored the craft supplies has been taken out, and a lighter vaulted ceiling is being installed. Some walls are coming out and some new pillars are going in to make the space more usable and open. While it’s a little inconvenient to work around the construction sometimes, we all look forward to seeing and using the finished product. The Lord has provided some extra hands to help with the work, and even though the rain often holds up progress, we are so thankful that our water table is returning to normal. The Lord has sent us some of the highest rainfalls this area has had in the last few years, so we are enjoying the relief from the threat of drought!

As the end of term one approaches, prayers for strength, endurance, patience, and wisdom as I sort through what needs to be accomplished and write report cards are greatly appreciated. There are always new challenges to face, new lessons in sanctifying my own character to learn, and lots of moments when I just don’t have the answers. Hearing from you and knowing you pray for me and the ministry at Sakeji Mission School is a huge encouragement to me; know that I pray for you as well when the Lord brings you to mind and I receive letters and e-mails from you.

May He find us faithful wherever He has called us to be!


This last week was pretty uneventful, and I wasn't sure what I was going to write about until something unfortunate happened yesterday afternoon.

I slipped on a wet stone on my walkway and took a good ol' fashion fall. The books I was carrying went flying, and I got to pick myself up and hope the guys up by the shop hadn't seen me. At the time my right foot (on which I had fallen awkwardly) hurt a little, but as stumbling or mis-stepping are fairly frequent occurrences for me I didn't think much of it. I taught my two classes, did clean-up and prep, and was starting to think about going on my usual Friday afternoon walk. However, on the way home from upper school I realized that something was seriously wrong. By super time it was a pretty hard, painful limp to the dining hall. Other staff graciously pitched in and took my dish duty for me, and then the school nurse came over and checked my foot and brought me crutches should I need them. Nothing is broken, it's just pretty sore. So, I'll be limping around for a few days until this heals. I'm hoping for a quick recovery--my feet need to take me lots of places in the next few days! I was really touched when one of my students gave me a belated Valentine's gift this morning of a purple gel pen and the ultimate expression of love here at upper school--some sticks of pencil lead. These kids can be so sweet!