Wow, I am amazed that tomorrow is already February! It has already been almost a month since I arrived! Time does fly. It is a strange feeling because on one hand I feel like I have been here months already because I have experienced so much. On the other hand, it feels like time has flown by since the minute I arrived. Now being in my second week of full time school, I feel much more acquainted with the way things run and my position as a teacher. The daily routines and activities have gotten a lot easier for me and I’ve gotten used to my own schedule. I’ve also gotten to know some of the students a little more and have been enjoying spending time with them outside the classroom. Nwabisa and Nontando (see picture top left) are a couple of the bright and cheery ninth grade girls that always bring a smile to my face. They are an absolute joy to be around. Last Wednesday several of the girls drew pictures for me to put on my wall (top right) which made me feel oh so special. While I know it is important to maintain a student/teacher relationship for the long term teachers, my ultimate goal here is to form relationships with the students and make them feel comfortable opening up to me about anything. I absolutely respect the discipline the teachers here try to maintain, but it has been a little difficult for me to be more that way because it does not come naturally. I am getting the hang of it in my classes though, but I try to make sure to show them I want to be their friend outside of class. I could imagine that would get more difficult if I were to stay here longer.
Lately I’ve been feeling so unworthy of God’s multitude of blessings and provisions He has placed in my life, and I wonder why He has given me so much when so many people receive so little. Yesterday evening when I was outside enjoying the sunset (see picture top right) I was asking Him that and all of a sudden He spoke to me. It was so clear and direct that I didn’t even really need to process it. He told me that if I went through more difficulties in life then I wouldn’t be strong enough to come here. In a way it made sense to me and in a way it didn’t. If I experienced more trials like the students here have, wouldn’t I have more to relate to them with? On the other hand, I know myself to be not strong when it comes to trials in my life, and if I were to experience more I might not want to come to a place like South Africa where people are faced with more difficulties and hardships than I can even imagine. Regardless, I was so beyond amazed that God spoke directly to me and answered my biggest question since coming here. I feel His presence with me stronger here than I ever have before and feel my strength renewed daily by Him. It is amazing.
Before I go, I have a prayer request that I am going to keep a little vague for now. A few important things I have kept close have gone missing, and I have so far had no luck finding them. Everything will be okay, and for now I have a peace about it all, but it would be wonderful if there were to turn up again, so prayers for that would be much appreciated.
I wish I could share so much more, but my time (and I’m sure yours) is limited so I’ll leave the rest for later. Thank you all for keeping up with me and my little African adventure! Till next time!
P.S. The picture on the bottom right was taken today in Arts & Culture class. The kids had so much fun with sidewalk chalk!