Missionary Monday- Sarah Todd (Africa)

Hello Prayer Fam, 

Life has gone from 0 to 60 as the new school term has begun…Okay maybe 30 to 60; we were already moving during the holiday month. The rest of our “down time” was mostly spent with our friends outside of OM (our Muslim friends as well as a missionary family that lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere about an hour away by bush road), and an outreach that came to visit the lake. It was uplifting to spend time with all these friends and their families, as well as have a little time to relax before the busyness began. 

During the holiday month I also completed my first reports as the new clinic administrator for the medical clinic on our base. This job includes keeping track of all the patient records and medicine stock, and completing the monthly reports that are sent to the government clinic. The missionary who was doing this job previously has finished her commitment and has since gone home to London. Our nurse is also away in England as she studies for the nursing exam, so the work for this has been quite minimal. 

Clinic administration isn’t the only new job I’ve taken on recently. I will now be attempting to teach English to the ladies who cook in the school kitchen. I’ve never taught English as a second language before (especially to adults), but didn’t want to miss an opportunity like this. I’ll also be leading a professional development session for the teachers of the school, and am helping a fellow missionary understand more about how to teach her children who are struggling to read. At some point in the coming month I’m also hoping to visit Chipwa village to provide more assistance and guidance to the preschool teacher I trained before. 

Like I said…busy!! It’s been a great kind of busy though. I’m really enjoying being with the students again; I was getting quite antsy without them around. Along with that, the new school term is off to a good start here. I feel like I was able to jump right into the classroom after holiday without skipping a beat. Little did I know, that I was going to be the only teacher who actually taught anything the first day (or week for that matter). Apparently in Zambia it’s customary to have the students clean the classroom the first day of school and then do fill-in-the-blank review work for the rest of the week. I had the students play games to review the parts of speech they learned the term before, and compose a story about what they did over their holiday month. 

The team got news on Friday that there will be some changes coming to education in Zambia and to our school. There was a Teacher Training College at the base in Kabwe that will no longer offer a teaching certificate or be registered with the government. This means that all the teachers who received their certificate from this training will need to go back to a registered college and get an actual diploma. At our school here at the lake this includes at least 6 teachers. Zambia is also changing the requirements in general, saying that teachers must have passed their grade 12 exams and earned a diploma (seems obvious, but many teachers here have not passed grade 12 and do not have diplomas) in order to teach. While this change is very good, it may complicate some things for us. However, these changes won’t happen right away, rather over time since we’re way up North at the lake. Things like this tend to initiate in bigger cities and then ripple out to everyone else. 

This has me, and the rest of the team, dreaming about what our various roles could be in the near future when all of these things come to fruition. From what I’ve discussed with others and prayed about myself, my role would most likely include providing more professional development for the teachers here and working more in the villages to initiate real community transformation (and as long as I’m still hanging out with kids, I’m happy!). As a team, our desire is to do the work that has the most impact for the people of the lake and to do it well. This means more discipleship and more work in the villages. The leadership team has taken time to look at the current ministries and determine whether or not we actually have the capacity to do them, and whether or not they will fulfill the vision of our team. 

The vision of Lake T is to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers around the lake, worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth. This comes from John 4:23-24, which I just happened to read this week. “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 6:29 also says, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” This verse makes it clear what we ought to do, and it’s simple. We want our efforts here at the lake to reflect the truth in these verses. Our task is to believe in Him, and to share that faith with the people of Lake T in the most genuine and effective ways possible. 

Please pray:

-that God would guide us as a team as we navigate through the vision He’s given us, and that He would give wisdom to work and live in a way that fulfills His plan (that’s a hefty one!).

-for the leadership changes that are currently being worked through and will take place soon. 

-for team members who have visited the hospital. There are 3 women on the team who are pregnant and due soon…pray that they would receive the best care. Also, pray for a team member who has been seriously sick for more than a week with something undiagnosed. 

-that God would provide more workers. We are in need of faithful people to come and serve. Whether they be an accountant, teacher, sports coach, nurse, building/project manager, or anyone else. 

-for immigration issues. We have new team member who was able to get a temporary permit for $300. If immigration doesn’t approve her for a 2-year work permit she will have to leave the country. Also pray for mine, it was apparently not approved, but lost this whole time (classic).

-for the orphan school ministry. That we would be able to shift into becoming a place where students are receiving a truly high quality education and being fully discipled. 

-that God would constantly be drawing us closer to Himself.

Thank you so much for praying through these requests with us. God hears us and He answers. Know that you are greatly treasured and loved!!

In Christ,