Today one of those things you hear about but hope never happens to you happened to my good friend, Gary. As he was teaching in the school, he had to go to the storage closet to get an extra textbook. When he opened the door, a spitting cobra stood up and sprayed him in the eyes. He had to be rushed to the hospital, but thankfully is doing ok. I just got a message from him saying that other than one eye being itchy, he is doing fine. I am so very thankful that he is ok, but am dealing with a sudden snake anxiety (understandable, I think!) Snakes have always been a problem around here, but they have never injured anyone before. Please, please pray for Gary's complete healing and the protection of all of us here on this land, including the students at the school. I'd also appreciate you joining with me in praying off any new anxieties or fears.
Another recent cause for concern is the number of mosquitos that are out since it's been raining so much. Although Maun is not known for having high rates of malaria, it is of course possible. I try to be really good about wearing spray, but I had an unfortunate lapse in judgment the other day when I layed on top of my bed to take a nap without putting on spray. I woke up to 23 mosquito bites and two little mosquitos flying around my room. I killed the guys, but their bites have been itchy nuisances the past couple of days. Please pray for protection from the mosquitos and that there would be no outbreak at all of malaria around here. It might also be helpful to pray that God will remind me to put on spray when I need it!
I've come to a little bump in the road in obtaining my work permit here. A temporary one has been issued to me, but the permanent one cannot be issued until I have a criminal background check from back home. This is a new requirement, which is why I didn't already have one in my paperwork. I am finding it to be somewhat of a challenge to get that done from over here and am finding myself getting frustrated. The immigration office in Botswana can be very harsh and you definitely don't want to get on their bad side. I am praying for God to show me the best way to quickly get ahold of my criminal background check and into the hands of the immigration office before my temporary permit expires at the beginning of March.
Finally, there are some upcoming changes that will affect me around here. Graham, our cook and the man that lives on the opposite side and takes care of the boys, has resigned and will be moving at the end of February. The school's PE teacher and coach from Zimbabwe, Tundai, will probably be taking his place as the dorm master and two women will be hired to take care of the cooking and the administration side of things here. I am praying for several things with these changes: 1)That Tundai and I will work really well together and become good friends, 2)That the boys will develop good relationships with him and that he will be a spiritual leader for them, and 3)That there will be camaraderie and teamwork among all of us as staff members.
I appreciate your prayers so much and will keep you posted on how things continue to go. I was reminded today that although things are going so great, I am still in a spiritual battle and need to be on guard and always prayed up. Knowing that I have the faithful and powerful prayers of my spiritual family back home encourages me and gives me much greater confidence. Thank you!!
P.S. Could you also say a prayer for our computer technician, Adrian, who sadly and tragically lost his father in a car accident last weekend. We've all had heavy hearts for him this week.