Back in February, I visited one of the top schools in Lusaka and noticed their plan for field trips, or school tours as they call them here. When I returned to school I asked some of the kids if they had ever gone on a field trip. They quickly said no, but of course started asking if we could take one.
Our school and kids have been blessed with everything they have from people back home. At this point in the year, I was working hard to give our kids the understanding of taking care of what you are given. We were learning the best way to say thank you and show appreciation is to take care of what you get because someone had to work hard to pay for the items they receive. So when our kids asked, I told them we could take a field trip, but I wouldn’t ask for the money, they would have to earn it. From there our grade 7s created a leadership team, wrote a business plan, waited on approvals to go through every level and started a business.
Their business was titled Blessed Products and all of the FCA kids participated. After a rush order of canvases from South Africa, we had our older students paint a picture and our younger ones did a handprint. Every Sunday during market our kids sold their handprints to raise money. We sold out after the third week and did another rush order where the kids all painted another one! It was an amazing experience for our kids to see the hard work behind preparing and selling and to watch them earn money for something they wanted! So many lessons could be taught during this time!
A few weeks ago, the Grade 7s took their first field trip to the Parliament Building. Because they had worked so hard to earn this opportunity, they weren’t going to let is pass without taking full advantage! Our Grade 7 teachers did an incredible job of getting our kids prepared. They went over all of the rules and reviewed everything they needed to know about the Zambian Government before we left. When we arrived we sat through a session of Parliament and then our kids were able to ask any questions they had. After a while we had to cut them off, because there was so much the kids wanted to know!
The next day I was invited to sit in on their discussion of what they had seen the day before. Kids' hands were all up in the air and I truly cannot remember a time I sat through a lesson where both the teacher and students were so excited about what they were learning. I was amazed at our kids naming every person at Parliament the day before and what their position is. Their knowledge amazed me and their excitement was overwhelming.
At the end of the lesson, Dennis, our head teacher at FCA, told the kids that their trip to Parliament was the first time he had ever been. This man has taught for many, many years and had never had the opportunity to go. When he finished up his lesson, he reminded them that the chance to go to parliament was an opportunity not everyone received and how thankful they should be for the advantage it would give them on their exams
As I left their classroom, I just stood for a moment, taken back. The children sitting in that classroom, talking over each other in excitement from what they had seen, were not too long ago the same children sleeping in ditches and used by their families only as a source of income. These same kids who used to run the streets, are now are fighting for high marks on their National Exams and holding conversations about what the Minister of Health said in the last session of Parliament. How can you not see how much our God loves His children when you see Him pull them from darkness and give them a new life. WOW! What a mighty God we serve!