Well, the first week of official classes has been completed. At ABIDE, our week really starts on Tuesdays. Tuesday through Friday we have classes, as well as other various activities in the evenings. On the weekends we focus time on outreach and missions…the level of intensity will build up as we go. Then Monday is a sabbath for students and most staff.
On Thursdays and Fridays, we have time reserved in the class schedule for Life Skills. We have a variety of topics/activities scheduled to build up the girls’ skills before they leave. This past week our first topic was an introduction to music. We had a guest speaker come and teach those lessons. The girls loved them! They have been practicing what they learned ever since. In fact, they were excited to sing for an evening fellowship (church service) at our “home church.” We had a surprise visit from some visitors from America when we returned home, and they had an opportunity to bless the team with their song as well. They were really cute, asking me afterwards how it sounded. It’s nice to have so many beautiful voices singing around the house all the time! They are also working on learning the keyboard and guitar. I’m so impressed with their enthusiasm and determination with these instruments…I mean, I had a total of 6 piano lessons in my life, and I skipped the last one! I even lived with a piano teacher for a few years, and never bothered to learn! I am sure that by the time they go back home in December, these girls will be quite competent!
Last week I woke up one day without a voice and no real explanation…People keep telling me it is because of the dust…but they haven’t lost their voices!! Regardless, it has made teaching somewhat challenging! Also, I’ve met several people over the past few days (neighbors, American visitors, etc.) & I always find myself explaining that I don’t normally sound like this! After I explained to one of the neighbors we visited, she said she was going to ask if my voice always sounded like that! Hahaha! Well, the good thing is, I think it is on it’s way back!
The past two weekends the students’ ministry focus has been Prayer Care Share. We split up the students to go two-by-two to meet their new neighbors, ask if they could pray for them, take advantage of any opportunity to care for them that may arise, and if God leads, share the Gospel. The idea is simply to build relationships with the people in the community. (I could certainly apply this back home!) The people have been so welcoming and willing to invite us in. The first week, we visited a man who said when people come to pray for him, he feels stronger. This past Saturday I went with two different girls as they went back to “their houses” from before. In two hours, we only had time to visit two houses! And it wasn’t because they were far; it was because they were so excited to see the girls return, and bring me along. At the first house (with two families) we visited, played with the kids, prayed, and were sent with a big bag full of gifts (avocados, tomatoes, sugar cane…). Then they walked with us to their neighbor’s house. The littlest girl (around two) cried as she saw me leaving. I’m used to little babies crying at the sight of me…scared of my white skin. But this is the first time a little one cried because I was leaving. I picked her up and consoled her for a moment, then handed the little sweetheart, tears and all, over to her mother. At the second house we chatted, prayed, sang, read Scripture, had coffee & snacks, then eventually left. We passed by the first house again, and the little one was all smiles again. On Sunday evening we passed their house on our way to that evening church service. Like typical children here, those four kids yelled “mzungu!” when they saw me (which means white person). So, I stopped and told them since they know my name, they should yell “Lisa” instead…the next few minutes we kept hearing “Lisa! Lisa!” from behind us.
Ok…so I have been sitting here for a few minutes trying to decide how to wrap up this blog post, and I haven’t come up with anything that really concludes it…
So I will just leave you with one of the verses I read this morning that really stood out, has been underlined, and will likely get written on the whiteboard in my room later today:
“The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11