Monday, March 24, 2014

family...

For spring break, my family came to LUSAKA!!


Mom, Dad, Maegan and Robert made the trip together to visit for the week with bags loaded with a taste of home and sweet blessings from the rest of the family.  There was definitely so much I wanted to show them while they were here and not nearly enough time! Our first stop on the way home from the airport was Chelston for them to meet our newest kids. They were greeted with songs and dancing and very excited kids. We then headed to Tree of Life for them to see where I spend most of my time. They were able to meet so many of my students before we headed home for them to unload.


Tuesday and Wednesday we toured some of our schools, spent time at FCA and played with the kids. Wednesday was a holiday in Lusaka and they worked out at the school helping me with different projects! It was so much fun having them at school with me!




Thursday we went to school early and then saw more of Lusaka before we boarded a plane down to Livingston. Thursday afternoon we visited Victoria Falls. It was absolutely beautiful complete with multiple rainbows.


Friday we went to Chobe National Park in Botswana for a safari. It was a perfect day for a boat ride and safari!


Saturday we enjoyed a hike down to the Boiling Pot and Victoria Falls one last time before we headed back to Lusaka.


After one last afternoon with our kids, we packed them up and headed back to the airport. I could not have asked for a better week with family. I am extremely blessed!!


"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." -Miriam Adeney

Saturday, March 22, 2014

teen leadership...



This past January we held Capturing Kids’ Hearts Training for our teachers.  From this training we were given the opportunity to start Teen Leadership for our Grade 7 students. On March 8th, we did a Teen Leadership Workshop to kick off this program! All day our Grade 7 students worked hard and learned what being a leader looks like. Many of our students have a picture of leadership as an opportunity to control others around you. Many of the topics in Teen Leadership lead to a Servant type Leadership. This concept is very new for our students along with filling in blanks on a worksheet, group discussions and journaling. Things that are so common to us are a challenge when teaching here, but our students accepted this challenge and worked so hard.



 




The ministry provided chicken and chips with a soft drink for the kids and they were so excited! We had some playtime at the hilltop with an intense “football” game and just some time for our students to get away from their normal routine. I am so amazed at how much our students absorb and how eager they are to learn more.


At the end of the day, our kids each got up and did a 1 minute speech about themselves. It warms my heart to hear each of them talk about where they came from and where they want to go. Each of them are dreaming BIG for their futures and I am so blessed to get to be a part of helping them get there! 


I could not ask for a better group of Grade 7 students to be the LEADERS at FCA.

Friday, March 21, 2014

studying...


In Zambia, Grade 7s work hard preparing for their big test that determines what Secondary School they can be placed in. They study all the time and work extra hard at school. We have been holding extra study sessions for them on the weekend to help fill in the gaps they have. These kids are all so eager to learn, they give up their weekends willingly to get extra help.


One day when I was filling in for an absent teacher at FCA, I read the book "No, David" to our Grade 7 students. We talked about how many things their teachers have said, "no" about since school started. After creating our long list, each student made their own book about what they have been in trouble for and then ended their book the same way "No, David" does, with "(Their Name), I LOVE YOU!" We discussed how when their teachers redirect them it is only because they love them so much! Tough love has been a new concept for our students this year at school, but it is exciting to see them understanding how much our entire team LOVES EACH OF THEM and wants the best for them!!


Our students are having some amazing opportunities at FCA and are learning so much! Our team of teachers at FCA is growing and we truly have the most amazing staff for our kids! It is just wonderful to see our kids excited about learning!! 





For testing in October we have to register our students in different testing centers throughout Lusaka. Our kids at FCA are testing at 3 different centers. In order to get registered the students have to go to the center and sign off that their information is correct. Below is small group of our Grade 7 students who are testing at Chainda Basic School. The day they got registered for their test was a big day for them. They all dressed "smartly" as they would say! They sure are a great group of kids! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

perspective


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a house mom for 6 amazing boys. These boys are at Chelston, our transitional housing facility. When our kids are first rescued from the compounds, they are placed at Chelston to help teach them discipline and prepare them for their new home. I headed over to Chelston after work on Friday unsure of what my weekend would look like. When I arrived, I could tell that my kids were not so sure about having a Mazungu (white person) for a house mom. At first they were quiet and just stared. They all knew me from school, but can you imagine having your principal come be your babysitter for the weekend? The boys cooked dinner before I arrived, so we ate dinner together first. After they saw me eat nshima with my hands it was like I had passed their test and I could stay!

These boys put a whole new perspective on life for me during my time with them. They were adults who lived in the bodies of children. They hand wash their own clothes, do all of the cleaning in the house and cook full meals without help from anyone! Sunday morning I woke up at 5:00 to one of the boys preparing lunch for after church. When I went to help him he wouldn’t even let me, so I just talked to him while he cooked the meat, cut and cooked the vegetables and started breakfast! These kids have raised themselves and taken care of others around them for years.  Throughout the weekend these kids called me mommy. We played games, read stories, and I taught them English while they taught me Chinyanja. We had devotion together, worshiped and laughed!! Everything was new and exciting to them. Saturday night we invited all 40 kids over to our house to watch a movie. I hadn’t planned on everyone coming so I only had my laptop. It did not even matter. All 40 kids piled in and watched Finding Nemo. They laughed at the different fish and covered their eyes when the sharks came out. They watched in awe on that tiny screen. 

  
Each of these children has been pulled from a hopeless situation. They now have hope. They now don’t have to worry about where food will come from or if they are safe. These kids get to be kids.

On Saturday I had to leave to go speak at a caretakers meeting. I was gone for maybe a couple of hours before I returned back to Chelston. When I pulled into the gate my boys came running, shouting, “mommy, mommy!” With huge smiles on their faces they lined up and one by one jumped into my arms.
 



I am so unworthy to share God’s love in the ways that He allows me to here in Zambia, but I sure am thankful He is letting me!