Sunday, September 26, 2010

Covered in Kids

This week Jenna and I arrived at our school hoping this would be the week we actually would get to see our kids and teach. And it was! We decided to arrive early so that if school got out early again we would be there. We waited for the older kids to get out of class and the younger ones waited for their older sisters and brothers too. As we sat on the brick wall, we were well aware of all the eyes looking at us and Jenna dared to pull out her camera and take some pictures of all the cute faces. Before I knew what was happening, we were surrounded with about thirty kids on all sides! All of them wanted their picture taken. I decided to help Jenna out and took some pictures too (and I wanted some). Even though it was chaos I loved being in the middle of it and watching them get so excited over their own photo. When our interpreter, Dave, arrived he almost called to find out where we were when he saw us covered in the crowd of children!

That was just the beginning. After our classroom was clear from the previous kids we moved in to start our class. We waited for several minutes and then to our joy, they all came flooding in! I think we had the biggest class so far this term! A couple of the young ones who waited with us on the brick wall joined too! They quietly listened so well and were an adorable addition. While Jenna taught her part of the lesson she paused to ask if they had any questions after a confusing part. Our class hasn’t asked any questions so far even if they are confused, but this time they didn’t stop asking questions! Jenna never did get back to her lesson and the rest of the time was filled with answering their good questions. They asked insightful questions about Heaven, Hell, and God.

I walked away that day knowing God was moving, prayers were answered, and kids understood. Praise God!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Treasures in Africa

In an earlier blog I wrote how it has been hard to focus on the here and now in life and that my mind has been wondering into the future too much.

“… do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” Matthew 6:34

Today I thought about God’s gifts to me now. In fact, today itself is called the present! After living in Africa now for eight months I still had a, “I’m in Africa!” moment. I am living in Africa right now! During my morning jog today I found myself surrounded by blesbok and wildebeest with springbok and fallow deer in the distance. Right now I am sitting under a roof made of grass. I spent the weekend with my close friends who I have laughed and cried with and who are also missionaries who have been working here for years. I have treasures in my friendships here along with the beauty I get to wake up to each day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Day with Lillian

When we entered Mme (mother) Lillian’s house she had porridge made for us on the stove. She loves to feed and take care of us. We were not her only visitors this time. She also had family over shortly after we arrived. One of the visitors was a baby over a year old. We enjoyed watching Lillian care for a baby and some of us had fun playing with the baby too!

Strike Suspended

Since last week the teacher strike has been suspended, however, we waited until this week to go and teach just to make sure the students and teachers were back in the schools.
As we rolled up to the first school where Jenna and I teach, we noticed many students leaving the school and grew concerned. It turned out that for some reason school got out early and all the kids were already on their way home. Only one of our students was left and she said she would let everyone else know that LaunchPad classes are back so next week they would be there.
It was a relief that this wasn’t the case with all the schools! I joined Alicia and Alaina at their school and Jenna joined Jace. Even though it was sad we couldn’t be with our kids this week, it was nice to see other teachers in action and get ideas and meet their kids. I know God has a reason for everything, I might not fully see the reason here but I am trusting in Him.
We are hoping the teacher strike is resolved soon as it is only on hold for now. Please continue to pray for the strike, the teachers, and the students as they may be behind in their grades this term as a result. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lows and Highs

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was bright and warm and the wind blew to cool off the heat.
Over the weekend we went to Johannesburg and spent two days and a night there. We were there to pick up Alicia who had been in Cape Town with her parents last week. This was a rare opportunity to get to spend time in the city going to the market, out to eat, and the Mall. I found it hard to not miss home through all the driving in the city, and on the roads we traveled our very first night here when we arrived in South Africa for the very first time. I still had a good time and a lot of fun.
My homesickness has been coming and going for almost two weeks now but it has also been a growing experience in my relationship with God. He has been speaking a lot on my heart. He is helping my live for today and every moment without thinking so much about going back to the States in December. My heart still tries to wonder into the future and what I want to do next. I only have two and a half months left in South Africa and I need to finish strong.
Back to today, (my thoughts are so scattered!) Tuesday mornings are usually filled with classes, then an earlier lunch. After lunch we have BTS (Behind the scenes) work which is mostly in the office. Office work is defiantly not my calling, but surprisingly I got a lot accomplished today. My director has been working with me in setting goals that I didn’t think I could do but today proved I could! I think having Monday off and the short jog during lunch break helped. Mostly I thank God for giving me renewed strength and a clear mind.
To end the day Thrive staff has ultimate Frisbee planned every Monday and Tuesday evenings. I enjoy playing with them and today was especially fun! It has warmed up enough now to enjoy a whole hour in the warm sun.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blessing or Blessed

Our visits with Lillian on Thursdays have continued to be my highlight of each week. We gave her a Bible a few weeks ago and have been reading some scriptures to her during our time with her. She has been so excited to own her own Bible! We were excited have an opportunity to bless her after feeling in dept to all the blessings she has given us. However, this last week she cooked us a whole meal of everything she thought we would really enjoy. (no chicken feet!) She cooked us rice, chicken and onion, and squash. It was really good. We know culturally that it isn’t polite to refuse anything that she would want to give us, but it is hard to eat such a meal knowing she can’t afford a meal like this for herself every day. Here is a quote from her that day:

‎"I may not be rich in money, but I am rich in God's Word and that is what matters and what will get me to Heaven."

She is an inspiration to us and I hope we are just as much a blessing and encouragement to her.