Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Challenging week with good moments

Last week was not the best week I’ve ever had, but God gives more grace! My students had their math brains hijacked by aliens (at least that explanation would be slightly better than the one I suspect), I felt like for everything I remembered/did another two weren’t taken care of, and I was tired, tired, tired. There were moments of laughter as well; I had a projector appear in the bin where I put the cleaning cloths for my cleaner (eventually we figured out that one—child listening error), and I got my junior music classes started on their pieces for the Christmas Music Assembly. I had some great hugs from second graders, and gave my piano students Christmas music. I read a great book, Unoffendable, and did the usual cleaning cloth laundry.

After all that, it was such a treat to have a girl night with Ruthie and Beth on Saturday, and then to spend Sunday afternoon out at the cottage with Tanis and her girls, Ruthie, and Mare. We put our chairs out on the shallow ledge of the river, ate brownies, talked, laughed, and in my case knit. It was so relaxing and such a treat after all the hustle and bustle of the week. I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to do something like that later in the term, and I’m so thankful that I got to fill my soul with some quiet, good fellowship, and time enjoying God’s creation.

Parting shots: That afternoon when we set a good part of the back of the school on fire...

And this is how paw-paw grows. See the yellow one? Almost ready to enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Some snippets from the first full week of school

* My cleaning woes have quieted down a bit now, but it was a very, very busy week, and I was tired, tired, tired!

* We had an epicly awful fire drill on Saturday; Lower School didn't hear and some kids were out for fitness groups--over 8 minutes to get ourselves assembled. When clean up started right after, I went into my classroom and jokingly remarked, "Well, we lost Lower School!" And then the 9th grader and I said in unison, "They're all dead!" to which the 5th grader asked how we managed to say that together. Great minds?

* We had board meeting on Friday; everyone traveled safely, and there was a good fellowship time afterwards.

* I have really been enjoying getting to know the two lady short-termers; one is a 'repeat visitor' and one is new, but they have been such a blessing to me.

* We have had a few good rains--early in the year for us, but very much appreciated!

Parting shots:

Wild Zambian skies,

Kids hard at work,

and Sunday river.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

Today start the first full week of our third and last school term of 2016. The week and a half before the kids arrive are full of standard teacher tasks such as going through textbooks, rearranging and cleaning classrooms, and planning. Because this is Sakeji, there have been more exciting jobs to do as well—hospitality for 5 newly arrived short termers, a trip into Ikelenge for a few supplies, moving two classrooms from their temporary locations into the mostly finished lower school, coming up with new cleaning schedules, ordering two terms worth of cleaning supplies from a new company, and a quick trip to the Copper Belt for cheese and butter among many other things. Thankfully I wasn’t involved in all of them! There is an incredible amount of work that goes into getting ready for a term, and while there are always ‘hiccups’ along the way, God is faithful and provides strength and grace.

As mentioned, this term we have 5 people out to help in various areas ranging from filling in for the Ronald’s as dorm parents, co-teaching grades 1-5 with various other staff members, and of course Sunday schools, craft times, supervisions, and all the other odd jobs that need doing. It is such a blessing to have this help; my science class is in capable hands this term, so I have a little extra time to work on the Christmas program music before we switch to history. Three of our short termers are ‘repeat’ visitors, so they are slipping into routines and schedules well.

I am planning to be away on furlough from December of this year through at least April of next year. I am so excited about getting to spend Christmas with my family! It has been two years since I was home, and I feel that the Lord is calling me to serve my family and recharge for a time. We don’t know who will be filling in for me at present, but are praying that the Lord will exercise the right person to step in while I am away.

As I finish off this year, there are some specific ways to pray for me this term. First, since I will be away for at least a term, I am working on planning and doing as much ground work as possible now so that the people who fill in for me will have as little inconvenience as possible. This is a bit challenging as I have full responsibilities this term to work through as well, so prayers for wisdom and strength are always appreciated! Secondly, I injured my right shoulder a little over a year ago, and it has been giving me trouble on and off ever since. Stress definitely makes it flair up more, and unfortunately, playing piano for extended periods of time also makes it worse. So, prayers for wisdom in how to use my practice time to best effect, and to be able to play the Christmas program without being in great pain like I was last year would also be greatly appreciated. And thirdly, for 2017 at Sakeji. At the moment we are still very much in need of more full time teachers, and there is an initiative from the board of education in Zambia that we might have to comply with that will greatly complicate our ministry. As always, this is the Lord’s school, and we look to Him to provide and direct for the future.

Thanks again for your prayers and for keeping in touch with me. I could not do this ministry without your support. I hope to see many of you when I am home, and look forward to catching up on your lives.

May we be found faithful, wherever we are called to be!

Parting shots--some pictures of the refurbished lower school--the bathroom, the grade 3 and 1 rooms, and the back room respectively.