Well, as of Saturday I am officially on my own here. The team left and I am now the only person staying at the Retreat Centre. It will take some adjustment after being used to seeing thirteen other faces here every day. I was pretty down after they left. I like the peace now, but I loved having them around. I got especially close with one of the girls named Katrina. We would take walks together at the end of the day and talk talk talk. It was so great having her around to spend time with at the end of the day and spill my guts to. As you can probably guess, she's the girl with me in the two pictures above. Today I was surprised by a sweet letter she left behind for me which made me oh so happy :) I know we will stay in touch and I feel so blessed to have already made a good friend during my time here.
Although I'm sad the team left, I know them being gone won't detract from my amazing experience here. I am so blessed to have a few of the staff members take me under their wing and make me feel so much at home here. In addition to me, there are four other young American female teachers here and they have all been so welcoming and friendly. Having them here makes all the difference. The whole staff has been so warm, welcoming, and encouraging, and I can see now that Bridges is incredibly careful at selecting the perfect people for this place. Everyone is perfect for their own position or subject they are teaching and I am amazed to see each unique staff member working well with everyone else. Susan Wadley (her and her husband founded Bridges Academy) also arrived on the 15th and will be here for a month total. It has been wonderful having her around. She has been staying with the students in the girls dorms and it's nice to know she's just next door to me. I am going to be helping her a little bit on the weekends with fun projects and activities with the kids. On Sunday we both oversaw beading, which got pretty messy and chaotic but it was so much fun watching the girls (and a few of the boys) get so into it.
This week is our first full week of school and so far it has gone well. I'm a little busier now with class prep and a fuller class schedule, but our work days end at 4:00 (since we have to be at the school at 7:30 every day) so it's nice to still have a portion of the day left after I get off, except on Wednesdays because I'll be doing after school art activities at 4:00. And because I'm only teaching four classes total (two art classes and two Arts & Culture classes), my schedule is significantly lighter than the full time teachers, who should all be getting medals of honor. I don't know how they do it along with all the extra things the do, but somehow they do. God has called the perfect people to serve here and I feel so honored to be a part of their team for a little while.
Well, that's it for now! Before I go, here are some things to pray for: Some of my art classes haven't been easy. It's taking a lot more than I thought to get the older kids into even trying. Pray that I can make it more exciting for them and that they'll actually get something out of this class. Also, pray for my first devotions that I'm leading for the 10th grade girls tomorrow. Pray that the Lord will speak through me and give them exactly what He wants them to hear every time I lead. And lastly, pray for the new kids. Some of them haven't been saved and are struggling. Pray for their hearts and that they will open them to the Lord. God is so present in this place and I know that with your prayers, He will be living in each and EVERY one of these kids' hearts. Thank you again and again for your support and prayers!!!