Sunday, January 11, 2015

December 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

As 2014 draws to a close I thought I’d send out one more newsletter this year about life at Sakeji. I was able to come home to Texas for Christmas, so I have been enjoying spending time with my family, both sets of grandparents, and as many friends as I could fit in. I will be heading back to Zambia on January 5th, and Lord willing I’ll be arriving back at Sakeji on the 8th. Prayers for safety in travel and a quick turn around before term would be appreciated!

This past term was a real challenge for everyone at Sakeji, but the Lord really gave us a lot of blessings as well. We were short two full time staff members, but the Lord provided two short termers who were a great help. In addition to all the usual madness that comes from finishing up a school year, writing the final report cards, cleaning up classrooms, rehearsing for the end of term show, and meeting with parents, we had the great privilege of baptizing eight of our older students at the end of term. Several of our students had been asking about taking this step of obedience, and after they received their parent’s permission we were able to schedule a time before all the meetings and programs when we could gather as a school down at the pool and watch these eight young people proclaim their faith publicly. God is so good to give us little glimpses of the fruit that is growing in these children’s lives; we pray that their example will encourage and challenge their school mates, and that they will continue to grow in the Lord over their last few years at Sakeji.

On the practical side of station life, our remodeling of the main sitting room is finally finished! Having that space back has made video nights and half-terms so much easier, and the staff have sure enjoyed the new furniture and ‘posh’ surroundings! The vaulted ceiling really opens the space up and cuts down on the dirt falling through. The new sidewalk at the front is still being put in, but that project can just about be ticked off our to-do list. The school is planning out our next big maintenance project; there is talk of renovating Lower School where the grades 1-3 classes are held as well as taking some time to knock out the multitude of little jobs that have been accumulating over the years.

As we go into 2015 there are lots of exciting opportunities for working with our students as well as some new challenges. As of now there are no short term helpers coming to Sakeji for first term, so there will be a bit of extra strain on the permanent staff. We will have several new students to train in school rules and expectations, and I’ll have a new class of sixth graders to ‘break in.’ With the death of the Zambian president Michael Sata in October, things are still rather up in the air as to who will be stepping in. We just celebrated 50 years of peaceful independence in Zambia; we pray that this transition of power will go smoothly and with a minimum of conflict. I know I ask for this often, but I will always need wisdom and patience from above as I teach my academic and music classes. These precious children are the future of Zambia, and how we pray that they will be well rooted and founded in the Lord during their time at Sakeji. May we seize the teachable moments and have the discernment to deal with the heart issues of our students.

Thank you so much for all your prayers, letters, e-mails, and gifts of all kinds over this last year. I am constantly amazed at your generosity and loving care of me. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2015 will be a very blessed year.

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

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