Doug and I finished up teaching the month of medical missionary training at the lay-evangelism school.
I substitute taught at the primary school for one week. That was a VERY full week. Each day after teaching, I would spend almost my entire afternoon and evening grading papers and preparing for the next day's classes. It was a very challenging week for our entire family. Doug was also teaching full time at the other end of campus with the lay-evangelism school. It seemed to take it's toll on our little one, and I hope not to make the same mistake again...
|Some standard 3 and 4 students at the primary school|
I managed to lose the house key in a big mess of trees, leaves and wood. I praise the Lord that after several days of searching by multiple people, it was found and returned to us (and the offered reward was paid.) It was cheaper than having another one made, and so far of the four keys we have had made, we have only been able to make one of them work (after some extra filing!) So I was HAPPY to pay the reward and get my key returned. It also helps me to sleep better at night, knowing that our house key isn't in the wrong hands.
I am continuing to teach my six piano students. I was asked today if I would consider teaching more piano lessons at the primary school if they are able to get a keyboard. There is a possibility that I will be asked to teach music down campus also.
I have developed a real challenge. Ever since I started riding my bicycle up and down campus, I am having a lot of very tight muscles in my right side and they are causing me a lot of knee problems. So now I am avoiding riding my bike, which is very inconvenient. I would REALLY appreciate prayers about this. If I start teaching more down campus, I need to be able to get up and down campus faster than walking (which takes over 45 minutes down hill and more uphill.) Getting a vehicle is not in our budget at all, and I would like the exercise of using the bike.
I have also been working on getting someone to come and teach us Swahili. I am thankful that this is working out. It looks like next month we will continue with more classes if all goes as planned.
Doug has been continuing to install the solar lights in the various local staff houses. He has also spent time working with several staff members on their solar systems (helping with batteries and other things.)
We have started having more issues with the water system. One of the lines was pinched to a staff's house and now there is a leak again somewhere. We ran out of water at our house yesterday. We are not getting as much cooperation hunting down the leak and getting it fixed as would be nice. We would appreciate prayers regarding this.
I had some fun with the science classes. I taught asexual reproduction in plants for one class, and the different states of matter and water in another. I made some ice and brought it to class. Every student wanted to touch it. They don't know much about ice here. I showed them how water condensation forms and also how it melts. One of the things to discuss was the density of solids versus liquids and such. I asked the students if ice would float or sink in water. They ALL said sink! They haven't seen much ice. After class they asked for my big chunk of ice. I gave it to them. They smashed it and you should have seen the hands flying to get a piece, and then off to the water spigot to rinse it off and then into their mouths it went! Often it came out quickly too! It is a lot colder than most are accustomed to!
We got invaded by army ants this last week. Joshua found them as they found him when he went to the bathroom. They were in his room, our room, the bathroom and hall way. I found some bug spray that had been left by the previous residents and proceeded to make "war" with them. Joshua got several bites from them.
|One of the dead army ants. See those big pinchers!|
I put some insect pellets around the house (more stuff left by the previous people). As I was watering it into the soil, I realized that there was a line of the army ants around two sides of our house. I spent some time tracking down where they were going. The pellets did a good job of getting rid of them. When I looked today, I only found dead ones all around the house.
One of our big projects was moving the container to it's "permanent" location. We had footings made, unloaded the boxes and things from it, and moved it with a forklift. It took a lot more time than we would have liked (which it almost always does.) As we were loading the boxes back in, we tried to get it more organized. I am so thankful that not one of my canning jars got broken during the LONG move. I had packed each jar with socks, or other things, and then around them also, unless I had proper packing material (which wasn't often.) We also found some other things we are happy to put to use. My bird book is the only thing that we know is missing so far still. How we misplaced it, we don't know. I would be using that a bunch if we could find it. We think we have unloaded all the "book boxes." If we only lost one book and one bolt, I think we are very blessed for certain. I am about ready to give up and purchase another book! The bolt was replaced.
|Moving the container with the forklift.|
We received an EXCELLENT report regarding the teaching that we did for that one month of medical missionary training. The students told the director of that area that they were very pleased with the teaching. Some were very surprised at what they learned and were thankful for it. We so appreciate the answered prayers regarding this. Many of the students have been putting things into practice and have been receiving good results as they practice what they have learned. We have heard some very exciting reports from many of the students as well as the staff. There are some additional "doors of opportunity" that seem to be opening up with the medical missionary work that we are doing here. We have an important meeting to go to for tomorrow and Friday, and something else that I will update on later. God is really doing WONDERFUL things here. We just keep praying that we will not run ahead, fall behind, or go to the left or right, but continue with Him in His work here.
The plane mechanic is in his last week here. He is wrapping up the loose ends of his work. We will miss him when he leaves back to the US next week.
I am thankful that the head teacher has returned to the Primary school. Many of you joined us in prayer for little Paulina one of the students that was deathly ill in the hospital. God has answered our prayers and she is back in school! Another student's mother just died (his father and sister died last year.) We have so much to be grateful for. We are unsure what will happen with him at this time. He does have older sisters and brothers, but we haven't heard for certain what will happen.
We have continued to have people come needing reading glasses. Each time it is so nice to see them "able to see!"
We got a young cat a few weeks ago from another missionary family. He is adjusting very well to our home. He and the dog seem to be fine with each other. The neighbor's cat isn't happy about him coming. So far I haven't seen any evidence of him catching a mouse or rat, but he has gotten a lizard's tail, a gecko, several grasshoppers, a horse fly, he tried to eat a bee, but I took it away from him, and a bat! I helped that one get away. Hopefully he is getting the rodents also.
|Tommy our cat|
We ordered treated posts for our garden. They were not cheap, but the need to grow our own food is of a great value to us. We hope that the dog will do a good job of keeping the monkeys out of the garden once it is fenced. The rest of the mabanzi (slab wood) was delivered yesterday. Doug has been cutting down (and cutting up) the trees that had parasites in them around the garden and clearing the way for the fence. We have workers helping to raise the height of our chimney this week also. It was quite short and we were having more issues with smoke in the house. It is almost done. I hope it helps a lot!
We are in the middle of the dry season (6 months no rain.) But today - after 3 months of dryness - it rained! We heard thunder and it actually rained. It was sort of strange having rain after so long. During the rainy season it rains almost every day.
Tomorrow we will be traveling to attend health leaders meetings.
Thank you to everyone for their support, prayers and encouragement. PS - I have again been asked to make sure that anyone that is sending funds through the West Plains Next Step Church start using the updated address that I have posted under the "donation" page.
God is doing wonderful things. Time is short and now is the time for the work to be done! Thank you for being part of it!
- Tamara (and the guys!)