Thursday, December 10, 2015

waiting and wondering....

"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform." So true - I always seem to be at a loss as to why God changes my travel plans without consulting me first. Of course if He consulted me first, His wonders probably wouldn't be as wonderful.

My Plan
Take a week to finish cleaning my house and classroom.  Drive down to Solwezi with Lina for a final road trip and time together. Fly down to Lusaka.

God's Plan
Allow Lina to get malaria so she is no longer able to drive me down. Arrange for a flight to be leaving Sakeji the next day with space on it and room at the Guest House in Lusaka.

Needless to say I didn't get all the work done that I had left to the last minute (serves me right) and got to spend very little time with Lina as she was too ill. Then I had to purchase the ticket for the new flight (why does it ALWAYS cost me extra!) and pay for 2 extra nights at the Guest House.

Normally I wouldn't be so upset about spending extra time in Lusaka but as I couldn't do much shopping (low cash and no space in bags) it made my time there rather boring! Thankfully some friends asked me to pick things up for them so I had some excuses for shopping! :) I also got a manicure and haircut to kill time, plus the price was right $24 for the whole deal!

Now I sit in the Lusaka airport departure lounge and wonder what to do with the last 2 hours of my time here in Zambia. It still hasn't fully kicked in that this is my last time. I'm sure that will hit me sometime after Christmas when I'm wondering what God has planned next for me.

I think I will post one more post once I am back in Canada. Maybe after Christmas. Then I'll shut this blog down.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


How do you sum up 6 years into one blog entry... I'm not sure I can. It had defiantly been an interesting adventure if nothing else. I'm not sure I fully knew what I was getting into when I first embarked on this journey; I'm not sure I would have followed God's command if I had!
I have taught 8 grades of kids in the 6 years I've been here at Sakeji and each group is so different and each student so unique and special. My first year here (2010) I decided to copy my JK teacher and put up footprints of each of my students. I've carried that on and now there's a path around 1/2 my classroom.

It's hard to believe that I've been an influence on so many lives in such a short time. I pray that I have been a good influence in their life and that they will remember some of the important things I have taught them in their time in my classroom. But mostly I pray that they will come to know Christ as their personal Saviour.
Today has been a hard day (and it's not over yet). There is much excitement about it being the last day, the kids are over the moon to see their parents (as it should be!) but it's also a day of goodbyes. Not just to me, but for the students who won't be returning next year. Some of them have been here for most of the school career and are moving on to high school - most likely another  boarding school, probably not a Christian one. They will have a whole lot of 'new and exciting' experiences to look forward to but they are also leaving behind their friends and 'family' at Sakeji. I usually skip breakfast on the last Thursday of the term, but I think I will make an exception this last time to say my final good-byes to the kids.  


Friday, October 30, 2015

Half Way Point

The halfway point I believe was actually last Wednesday, which means I only have 5 more weeks with this group of kids!
Almost three weeks ago now I got a cold (courtesy of the students) which got pretty nasty and then developed into a sinus infection. My grade one class was so sweet to put up with all my coughing, nose blowing and lack of voice. I got so many hugs and "hope you feel better soon!"s. One of my little cuties said to me, after a particularly bad day "Miss Sheach, I hope you feel better tomorrow. I'll pray for you tonight!" The next day when I mentioned that I was feeling a little better so was so excited and said, "I knew it! I prayed for you, so I KNEW you'd be better." Oh to have the faith of a child! Unfortunately I wasn't completely healed at that time, it's been a long, rough trip back to full health.
 I am very thankful to those who were able to cover a few of my classes when I just needed to sleep and for access to antibiotics! I can't imagine how missionary-teachers in the past just carried on through the illnesses, often times without the proper medicines. Makes me feel like a real baby!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Through the Eyes of a Child

Last term we started a project called “Communities Around the World”. Each we week we learned about a different country of the world, looking at their food, language, culture etc. I has been a lot of fun both for the students and me! With the amazing age of technology we live in I was able to Google pictures and find YouTube video clips for them to watch each week (learning the language, animals, various sports/games, modes of transportation) which made it all the more real to them. Occasionally we also had some yummy treats in class to correspond with the country we were learning about. I think the country that impacted them the most was Kenya. Probably partly because it is also an African country. When we were looking at various pictures of the housing there we came across some pictures of children living in poverty in and around dumps and piles of garbage. This really impacted my kids! One of them said, “I want to cry! Can they come live at my home?” It was so touching to see that they were wanting to help. The next week instead of learning about a new country I asked them if they wanted to help out some of the poor people like those in Kenya. They were very excited to do this! So we went on the World Concern website and looked at their gift catalogue. We talked about the different ways we could help out and then I let them choose some ‘gifts’ to purchase. I was very impressed with their choices. They chose to send some kids to school (“so they can get good jobs and get money for food”), a vegetable garden for a family (“vegetables make you healthy and strong”) and some Bibles (“so they can learn about Jesus”). As we had a little money left at the end we also got 2 soccer balls.

I have to admit I was a little surprised with how excited they were about the whole thing. I have done the “gift catalogue” in the past with my students and never had such enthusiasm before. After thinking it through I realized it must have been because the previous classes had never “seen the need” before. Showing my students the pictures of people in poverty really opened their eyes to the world. Unlike cynical adults, children still believe everything should be “fair” and children (people) living in poverty just “isn’t fair”. Even though they are only 6 or 7 years old, I think they realized how much they are blessed to have a home, and good food and be able to go to school. They were excited to “share” some of their good fortune with others because it made things more “fair”.
Even though I work with children every day, I often forget that they aren’t just “kids” they are little people and they can share and contribute to the world around them now, not just when they are grown up. Sometimes we can even learn from their simple child-like thoughts – ‘there is a problem, how can we fix it?’ I’m glad that although I’m there teacher, I’m still able to learn from them! J After all Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”  

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Beginning of the End

Ok, so the title is a little dramatic sounding, but it is the beginning of my last term here at Sakeji. It's SO hard to believe it!

Despite the rocky start to my holiday, I did manage to get home safe and sound with all my luggage and spent a wonderful 3 weeks with my family in Ontario. I then travelled to Kenya and had an awesome week with Lina, visiting various places in Nairobi and on the coast of Mombassa.
At the beach.

Visiting my old highschool

All too quickly the break was over and school had started up again. We are now entering the 2nd full week of classes and are fully immersed in all our classes. In my classroom we have been having some fun learning about plants and getting our hands dirty (literally) as we plant various seeds. I did something a little different this year and placed our pea seeds with a damp paper towel in a Ziploc bag which was then taped to the window. usually they're in a glass cup hiding in the back room. The students weren't too sure that it was going to work (no dirt) but we SO excited when the seeds finally started sprouting. (I forgot to take pictures). Today we transferred them from the bags to our little "hats" (pots) as I was worried they were a little too moist in the bags. As most of them have stems and leaves growing I don't have to worry too much about them digging them up at this point. :)
Wearing their pots as hats

This past weekend I spent a long time cleaning and sorting my living room. I'm trying to sort out the stuff that I am not using (and not likely to use this term) to either return it to where it belongs in the school, pack it up to take home or give it away so that the next occupant of the house doesn't have to deal with it. It's funny how quickly you can accumulate "stuff"! I got my living room mostly under control so next weekend it's on to the pantry and loft room (which are both big "storage" areas). I wish my Mom was here to help out, she's so good at organizing and getting rid of the un-necessary stuff!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What a Trip!

Why is it that my trips seem to continually be getting worse?
Wednesday I was all packed and raring to leave, of course I had to wait until parent-teacher interviews, and all the other end-of-term stuff was finished. Finally after the Children's production was done I hoped in the truck with my friend Mel Ferguson and her party and we were off for Nyangombe. We reached the house shortly after 10pm, had a chat and cup of tea then off to bed as we had an early morning planned. 4am brought a knock on my bedroom door - time to get up and start a new day although I had very little sleep I was still excited and things were going according to plan. We reached Solwezi a bit early and I was able to get checked in (with just a little issue over my extra luggage). The flight was short (just an hour) and I had arrived in Lusaka. Things were still looking good. I caught a cab to the Flight House and got settled in there before I took another cab into town. By this time I was starving as it was almost noon and I hadn't eaten yet. I had a lovely brunch at Mugg and Bean (my favourite café in Lusaka) and then window shopped for a bit before returning to the flight house for some much needed sleep. The next day, as planned I got up, had breakfast and checked out of my room. My flight wasn't until the afternoon, so I walked to the new local mall and wandered around a bit before heading back to the flight house to await my taxi. The taxi arrived nearly an hour late! This is when my plans started to fall apart. After a terrifying ride to the airport (I thought I wasn't going to make it b/c I'd be dead!) I got into the HUGE check in line. Shortly after a lady came along and hurried me to the front of the line so (ironically) I wouldn't miss the flight. When I went to check in they told me that my ticket wasn't showing up on their computer. WHAT??! After much waiting (and watching the time tick away) they decided they would allow me on the flight (as they had mistakenly cancelled my ticket) but that my luggage would not be able to come with me. I would have to pay to have it sent later. I was not going for that! So they told me "too bad the desk is now closed" and walked away. I was steaming!! I stormed my way back out through security to locate their office, which was locked (despite the sign that said 'open'). In a panic I called home to let my parents know I wouldn't be arriving when they expected me. Dad said he'd try and work on things from his end. Finally, after waiting over an hour the office opened and I had to deal with the same lady as before. I tried to tell them politely that they better put me on the next flight out. They said the next available flight was in 3 days. However, they could put me on the one the next day, but it would be stand-by, on each leg of the 3 part journey. And on top of that, I would have to pay any differences in price! So it came down to paying them to maybe find me a flight home or going with some other airline. Hmmm hard decision; I left the office. Thankfully I was able to say at the flight house for another night so I wasn't "homeless". My dad and I spent the next 3 or more hours trying to find a cheap flight home asap. Such a thing did not exist. The only availability was 1st or business class. Ouch! Big hit to the bank account! But praise the Lord, we were able to get a flight.
And that is how I find myself in the plush business class lounge at the Lusaka airport. Despite my nervousness this morning, everything went smoothly. I arrived early to the airport, checked in early and now here I sit relaxing and being served coffee/tea and biscuits. :) I could get used to this! Sadly, this will probably be the only time I'll be able to enjoy such luxury. So I'll live it up while I can and thank God for His goodness in taking care of me! (my earthly father is pretty awesome too!)I just pray the rest of the trip is smooth sailing!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Crazy Long Weekend Ahead!

I tried to post an update a few time over the past week but Blogger and my computer and apparently not on speaking terms as it wouldn't work. Here goes another try...

We've got a nice crazy busy long weekend planned here at Sakeji. Just to clarify this has NOTHING to do with either Canada Day or the American Independence Day. Actually, Zambia has two national holidays called Heroes & Unity Day (or something like that). As it was rather close to when we were going to have our half term and our Sport's Day, it was decided to roll everything all into one crazy package! On top of that we have 20 students + 4 staff visiting from Amano Christian School (Chingelo area). The Amano group will be arriving tonight (if they haven't already). Tomorrow they head off for a day at "the Rapids" or the cottage and we at Sakeji have our SPorts Day (track & field). I am "Head Child Wrangler" for the races tomorrow, which means I have to make sure to get the right kids to the starting lines at the right times. It also means that I will have no voice left by noon (at least that is what happened last year) must remember to take lots of water with me!

Sunday will be our usual Sunday Schools etc through the day. I am responsible for the afternoon Senior Sunday School (about 40 kids, grades 5-9) this time of course we will have the Amano kids joining us. Thankfully I have had some volunteers to help out. I've also decided to do a big game of Bible Jeopardy so hopefully it will run smoothly.

Monday officially is the start of our half term (although the kids that are going home will have left on Sat. aft). We break up the responsibilities between the staff members so that (hopefully) we'll all get a bit of a break). I think at the moment I only have a craft activity on Tuesday and a swimming supervision on Monday. I'm also responsible for getting an evening snack ready for about 60 kids on Monday night, but I got that covered already.

Overall it should be pretty fun, even if the kids do get a bit crazy. It beats teaching classes! :)