The second great blessing came at lunch time today when I met with seven of my students for our first weekly Bible study meeting. These are the kids in my class who are participating in Project 3:45, and we decided to meet once a week to discuss what we are learning. It was absolutely incredible to have Bible study with my students!! This was definitely a first for me as a teacher and I LOVED it!!! Oh my gosh, I honestly don't even have words for what an awesome experience this was from me. I can't wait until next week!
God is doing so much in these kids and I seriously just can't believe what I am seeing. Please keep praying for them and I'll gladly share more praise reports soon!!
Here's the latest:
- Most of my students went on a four-day camping trip with the standard 7 teacher and had a wonderful time. I missed them so much and must say that I was incredibly relieved when they safely returned to the school. :)
- Election day has come and gone here in Botswana. This day only happens once every five years, so it was an exciting day! We were reminded again how very blessed we are to live in this peaceful, stable country where, unlike many countries in Africa, we have no need for fear on election day.
- There has been an amazing amount of ministry going on lately, especially among the kids in my class. They have just suddenly become so open about spiritual things, asking some really great questions in class. Several of my students have joined with the teenagers in participating in Project 3:45, an initiative to get the kids reading their Bibles everyday. Last week I taught the nine participating students in my class how to do the REAP method of studying their Bible and we are going to actually meet each Tuesday during lunch to discuss what we are reading and learning. Bible study with my students....incredible.
- The ministry with the youth has lately been going really well! Friday's Fire by Nite was probably the best one of the year. The best part about the night happened after the great worship time had finished, after three of our student leaders had shared powerful testimonies, and after Matt preached a powerful message, when he asked if there was anyone there who had yet to surrender their lives to Christ and wanted to do that now, about 10 to 15 hands went up...including one of my students!!
- This student and another one have been coming to church and Fire by Nite with me for the past couple of months. I've sensed God working on their hearts and have been praying a lot for both of them, so you can imagine my joy when I saw this young man raise his hand. One of the most special moments of my teaching career happened soon after that when he came up to me after Fire by Nite and said , "Miss, I'm ready for a change." We chatted for a bit, I made sure he knew what decision he was making, and then we were able to pray together as he surrendered his life to Christ. Definitely one of the most precious moments of my life.
I wish I could update more, but my computer battery is almost dead! I'll be sure to update again soon, but until then, please continue praying for the youth and specifically for the kids in my class. God is working. He's working in a really powerful way. I love having a front-row seat to watch!
- One of the teenagers came to my classroom with my camera that I'd left at Fire by Nite on Friday, which I presumed was long gone. He saw it there and recognized it as mine, picked it up and held it for me over the weekend. I was so excited to see it in his hands this morning! And so very proud of his honesty and responsibility.
- I had a little send-off for most of my students as they embark on a four day school camping trip. I'm really excited for them, but admittedly sad to see them go. I'm going to miss them! Praying for a very safe trip with tons of fun adventures.
- With only four students left in class, I needed to be creative with my teaching. I don't really want to teach any new concepts to 1/5 of my class, so I decided to have some fun with them with a competitive game of Monopoly! (Hey, there's learning there...economics, math, business skills...) Sadly, I lost. But we had a great time!
- Every Monday afternoon I get to hang out with a bunch of teenage girls as we study the book, A Young Woman's Walk with God. I love this time with them and always feel so blessed afterwards.
- Two of the girl boarders and one of the boys came over to the house after school for a hilarious game of Spades. I love laughing so hard that my stomach hurts...something that happens often with these three. :) Sadly I lost this game too...badly...but at least we had fun!
- Theresa (my housemate), Ashley, Dietra (two of the interns), and I went to Audi Camp for some girl time and cafe mochas! It was such a nice little outing and I really enjoyed getting to know them more.
- Ashley and I hosted "Aerobics Night" in my classroom for a 30-minute workout with any of the boarders who wanted to come. We had a really good showing and collectively burned A TON of calories. So great!
- Now I'm ending my day by watching an episode of 24 before enjoying what will surely be a great night's sleep.
Today we found out that our water tank was filled for us to have water for today so we could do laundry, dishes, etc. We were warned, though, that this water was river water and would not be suitable for drinking. Um, understatement. I'm not sure this water is suitable for anything other than flushing the toilet. I'm pretty sure there is more dirt than water in this liquid coming from our taps. Unfortunately I didn't study it close enough before doing laundry, and my beige sheets are just a tad bit more on the brown side now. We've been boiling the water so we can wash the dishes in it, and the jury's still out on whether there's any point in bathing with it. Will it cool us down? Yes. Get us clean? Don't think so.
On top of this crazy water issue (which by the way is affecting the entire village), we're also in the middle of an incredible vehicle crisis here at the mission. Two missionaries' cars are in the shop for repairs with no known completion time, Pastor Jerry's new jeep was involved in a terrible accident this week that totaled the jeep (but amazingly left its passengers unharmed), one of the mission vehicles was in a wreck the day before and another one needs to be put in the shop for something minor. It's crazy! Vehicles are precious here and it is such a burden when they are down. (I have some experience with this myself.)
Needless to say, we'd love your prayers! Both for the water and power situations to be fixed and for God to work out this vehicle crisis. The missionaries and staff also need prayer to remain content in this time and to stay focused on the ministry we are here for. All of these inconveniences are nothing to the Lord and I know He will bring good out of this time. Thank you in advance for your prayers!
But I will do it, with the strength, the peace, and the joy that the Lord will provide. Thankfully, the kids, the teenagers, the adults, the country of Botswana...all of them belong to Him. They are safely in His care and I know He's going to continue the great work He's doing in all of them. Maybe I'll see some of it from afar. Maybe I won't see or hear from some of these people again until Heaven. Either way, I rejoice that God will not leave them. He loves them so much and will continue pursuing them for a deeper love relationship with Him. I was just one person in their lives. He will send more. And though they've blessed me more than I can possibly express, He will give me the strength to leave them in His hands and open my heart up for new relationships, for new students, for new youth to pour into, for new experiences and opportunities to share Him with others. The chapter is slowly coming to a close....but I know a new and exciting one will quickly follow. And praise God that He will hold my hand as He leads me into it.
Lord, give me all the strength I need, and please, please help me to make these last couple of months the most special, most precious ones yet.
We've seen quite a bit of good lately. Here are some praises:
- Matt, Kelly, and I have been investing in a group of eleven teens who we see great leadership potential in, as well as a heart passionate for the Lord. Our leadership meetings (held every other Saturday) have been wonderful and great encouragements to us. I'm so excited to see how God continues to work in them!
- Project 3:45 has been going for three weeks now and we are seeing good fruit already. (This is an initiative to get the kids reading their Bible every day.) Many of the kids have commented on how much they are loving reading the Word.
- Some of the youth who've been really resistant to the Lord this year are beginning to change. We see their hearts softening and their hunger for the Lord growing. So exciting!
If you would like to begin praying intentionally with us for the youth in Botswana, specifically those we work with, please contact me to let me know and I will give you more specifics on things to pray for. We've prayed that this term would be the most powerful one of the year, and we still believe it will be. We've already seen God answer prayer in huge ways, and we believe so much more is yet to come!