Monday, June 20, 2016

Reports and Officially Winter Now

My big project for this week was to get my mid-term reports done. I will be passing them out to my students on Monday; I sure hope some people get a little shock in the right direction! I’ve also been e-mailing these reports to the parents who requested them, and sending e-mails celebrating A’s on recent tests and asking for prayer on recent fails. Never having worked at a ‘normal’ school, I have always been almost totally isolated from my parents except for beginning and end of terms. This year I am utilizing the tool of Class Dojo and more e-mail contact with my parents to try and recruit them to help me reach their children through encouragement, prayer, and admonition. I have received some lovely e-mails from parents, and now that my students know that A’s and F’s will be brought to their parents notice, it gives them an extra level of motivation to do their best. I want to be sure to communicate success as well as concerns, because each of our lives are a mixture of both. While it is a little more ‘administrivia’ for me, the results so far are well worth it. If a few e-mails will serve my students and their parents better, than that is a task I am happy to undertake!

Two of our short-termers flew out this week, and I find myself already missing them. An aspect of missionary life that is very difficult to communicate to people who have not lived it is the constant, emotionally exhausting cycle of hellos and goodbyes. These girls were a part of my life for only six weeks, but in that time they were such a blessing. Not only because they did photocopying and other school tasks for me, but because they spent meaningful time with me. God knew that in the midst of this year I was going to need a gift like these six weeks, and I am so grateful. I wish them all the best as they return to take summer classes and finish up their studies; who knows but that they might become full time missionaries themselves some day?

Today is our winter solstice, and now the short nights are going to start transitioning back to longer, warmer days. I am very grateful for my handknit sock collection just now; with temperatures getting down to 10 and 11°C at night in houses with cement floors, wool is a very welcome treat! The greater burning of Zambia is well under weigh; when I drove into Ikelenge to check the mail I saw much evidence of the smudges of smoke I have been observing on my afternoon walks. When I think how lush and green everything was just two months ago, it amazes me again how much this landscape changes during the year. We will start burning the school firebreak soon; they have already done some slashing in preparation for it. I look forward to the night they burn the side of the airstrip; I love to go up and watch it. When one considers the raw power of a bushfire, the devastation left in its wake, and the new green life that springs up in hope from the ashes, there are some powerful parallels with our own redemption story.

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