Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last Week

As I work through my truly daunting list of ‘Things that MUST be done,’ ‘Things that probably aught to be done,’ and ‘Things I would LIKE to be done’ lists, I’m so grateful to be finished with report cards. Huzzah—I survived 7 years of the crazy! I got an average of 5 hours of sleep each night last week, and I was on the verge of tears a few times, but there were no major meltdowns, and so far I have managed to snatch a few naps while also being productive. God is good.

Lets see… A lot of this last week is a hazy blur as I marked, wrote report cards, and worked on a variety of end of term related projects. I celebrated Thanksgiving two days late with Beth and Ruthie.

Progress continues on the covered play areas; they are starting to pour the floor.

We celebrated leavers party tonight--games, food, and the presentation of bibles to the leavers. The theme was Bible Characters.

And, the Zambian skies are again amazing. Just two more days till I head out!

Monday, November 21, 2016

"I have no great joy than this,"

"to hear of my children walking in the truth." - 3 John 4

The highlight of this last week was to see one of our grade 9 students obey the Lord in baptism. Having watched this lovely young lady grow up from grade 3 onwards, to see her making this public profession of the new life I have seen in her was truly special. It was also special that her dad, a missionary at a nearby station, was able to baptize her as part of our joint prayer meeting. The Lord has really been working in the hearts of particularly the junior boys this term, and Satan has also been at work, but to see these glimpses of what He is doing is such a privilege.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thus begins the last 'normal' week of school

I’m trying to remember what all happened this last week. Um… Half-term, the 7-9th graders made it safely back from the Copper Belt sports tour, my kids were totally ‘hung over’ for most of the week, and I had a busy weekend on. I’ve been working through preparations for next term—things as mundane as notebooks and binders set aside and labeled and the more exciting such as a big ‘where to find it’ document for whoever fills in for me. I have my big bag half packed, and I need to weigh it to figure out how much of the stuff currently stacked on top of it is going to get to go home that way.

So far my shoulder is holding out; I’m being very careful how I use it. I’ve started playing through the whole program once a day to try and build up some more endurance, and I’m being careful how much I knit to avoid straining it prematurely. Please pray that I’ll be able to make it through the program and the rehearsals without too much pain.

Parting shot: The skies here remind me to lift my eyes up to my Maker and the source of my strength.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

His Mercies are New Every Morning

I am so glad that there are new mercies for every morning, and that no week lasts forever. This past week was quite a challenging on several levels. For one thing, last week my grade 7 students had seven national exams to write, and directly after writing the last one on Friday morning they and the grade 8’s and 9’s headed down to Chingola for their annual Sports Tour. So, there was a lot to do to get ready for that, and there was a lot of shuffling classes around to make sure that the most vital things were accomplished. Grade 6 wasn’t left out of the testing joy either—Phil had me doing a lot of Key Stage 2 (the British systems) assessments with them that ended up filling up a lot of the week as well. There was a personal melt-down early in the week when the last straw was reached over a vacuum cleaner (don’t ask), and I wadded through so much marking. I had to get the grade 9 students ready for the practical part of their music exam, and there was, of course, the usual duties and things to accomplish.

After that, what a blessing to have a weekend off! To have the chance to make my favorite molasses spice cookies and a big pot of chili, drink good tea, knit, spend time with Ruthie and Beth, and just breath. It was a rainy weekend, so I got to enjoy the sound of rain from the comfort of my house for once! It is in the midst of times like these that the Lord’s goodness shines out all the more, and after some sleep, some time alone, and some time with Him, I am feeling better. So, just in case you thought I was some kind of super Christian, I am in need of grace just as much as the next person!

Parting shot: Grade 1 and 2 girls roller skating this half-term.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 8

Last week was…intense. While I didn’t have a sudden invasion of grade 9 music students and power stealing teachers, my cleaner for most of the school buildings didn’t show up for work all week, and I didn’t hear anything at all from him until Friday afternoon. I suspect that the only reason I heard from him then is that the ‘bush telephone’ had let him know I was starting to shake the bushes for him. Thankfully he came into work this Monday, so while I am writing a letter for his file, hopefully this won’t happen again. My students probably hope so—one of them who was out to lunch for large portions of Friday afternoon ended up doing some community service cleaning in the admin!

This week is also an intense one in my classroom; my grade 7 students are writing their national exams. They need to keep up with the core items of their regular studies as well, and then on Friday as soon as they finish the last exam the grade 7-9 students are heading down to the Copper Belt for their annual sports tour. So, before they go, I am trying to get two pieces of paperwork done—one for the Teaching Council of Zambia and one for Imigration, as well as a baby gift that I want to send to some friends. I’m trying to get corrections done and make sure that while not overburdening my grade 7’s, that I’m also getting done what must be so that we can finish the term in good shape.

I’ve also started the lists of things that must be done before I leave Sakeji for my furlough on the afternoon of December 1st. It’s hard to know how much to put and how much to leave to my substitute’s good judgment. Speaking, of, that is a prayer point—who will be taking my class while I’m away. So, prayers for sanity, strength, patience, and grace would all be appreciated!

Parting shot: I love frangipani blossoms like these ones; so lovely!