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.