Missionary Monday- Africa

Muli shani bonse (How is everyone),

Natotela saana mukwai (thank you very much)!! I have officially received all the barrels and boxes that were sent to Zambia. The process of getting them all to Mpulungu was fairly smooth, although it took a lot of communication and coordinating. Thankfully, we have a friend who works at the bus station who was able to call me when buses arrived so that I wouldn’t have to wait at the station for hours. Buses usually arrive in Mpulungu around 8:30PM, but the night I went to collect my barrel it was more like 10:30PM…and there was only one!! The bus conductor assured me that the other one would be on the bus the next day. He even described what the barrel looked like to reassure me. And sure enough, at 10:00PM the following day I collected the final barrel.

The kids have already come over to my house to play games and do puzzles, enjoyed the toys during school break times, used the art supplies in class, and have had epic soccer games. The kids get REALLY into soccer games here. They get very passionate and argue and always want to play, so another teacher and I have decided that soccer is a very “emotional” sport.

Seriously though, thank you for how you provided for the school, these kids, and me. It’s a clear picture of how Christ unifies His body, and the church in Acts….No one was in need because they all gave what they had.

On another note, we had a 2-hour planning meeting concerning next school year. It turns out that our current head teacher will be heading back into the classroom so that he can begin a distance learning program to earn his diploma. So…I’ll now be co-leading the school with another teacher. This will include: teaching English to grades 4&5, coaching teachers one-on-one in the classroom, leading teacher training sessions every week (hopefully), and visiting the villages much more often. I’ll also be developing a character trait program that will be used in conjunction with our assemblies and student devotion times (REALLY excited about this!!). The other lead teacher will handle a lot of administration details, guardian relations (she’s Zambian so she can communicate with them much more easily), and will be teaching grade 2. 

Stepping into a leadership role so quickly is something that I didn’t expect, but at the same time is something God had already put on my heart and prepared me for. I remember going through the leadership sessions back in discipleship and feeling like God was telling me that I better get ready to step up and take initiative. Taking initiative is not my strong point, but something I’m excited to grow into. Clearly, God is guiding this whole process.

We’ve also decided that we will no longer have grade 7 at our school, and six teachers who were with us this year are leaving, or will be asked to leave. There are still three teachers remaining who are not OM missionaries. Two of them are Jehovah’s Witnesses so another teacher and I will lead devotions for their classes, and they will not be leading any after school programs. It’s not ideal to have teachers who aren’t Jesus Followers at a Christ-centered school, but until we can find teachers who are committed to Christ and the school, we hope that they will see the light in us and that seeds of truth will be planted in their hearts.

It was really a great meeting. We all want the Good News II Orphan School to be a model school in the community. We are all passionate about developing the students holistically, and ensuring that we are making the best use of our gifts, resources, and opportunities. 

* Please continue to pray that the items in the barrels would be a blessing to the teachers and students, and that we will follow God’s guidance as we prepare for a new school year. I’ll be going into “uncharted territory” as a school leader, so please pray for wisdom, initiative, and God’s grace as I go from here.