A Message from Rachel  in Zambia

Hi TPHD!

Hope you’re all well! missing you all a lot, and I really really really appreciated the birthday cards, thank you so much. It was so lovely to get them, and I really appreciated hearing from you! Missing home is one of the sad things about being away, but I’m excited to be back soon and see you all again.

I thought I’d send a wee letter to let you know what I’m up to out here. The school I’m at is called Sakeji, and is in the actual bush at the top of Zambia. It’s a boarding school for primary school age kids, some missionary kids, but mostly Zambians. I’ve been teaching maths – can you believe it, Jean?!  And updating the seniors on current affairs, helping the juniors learn how to write in cursive (useless, boring..), and teaching the Modern Studies class for the oldest grades. Unbelievably, I’ve also got 3 piano pupils. If only they knew their teacher’s history with the piano.. I’m also helping with a Sunday school class. This one has almost 40 kids in it, so it’s a bit mental and a totally different experience! But I’m learning great new songs, and Debbie’s song (the way-oh song..) has become a favourite! We are learning about Heaven this term, and it is the most exciting thing. 

 This week is Birthday Party, when we have a big party once a term to celebrate all the kids birthdays as we can’t celebrate each individually. The newest member of staff MCs the festivities.. uhoh. The theme is ‘Around the World’, so this term there will be a stereotypically Scottish MC leading the evening. I’m currently trying to work out how to make bagpipes out of recorders and a plastic bag.. And maybe dye my hair ginger with some orange ‘jolly juice’, all in the name of stereotyping.

The teaching side of things has been challenging as I’m not a teacher in any kind of way, but it’s an opportunity for me to learn a lot, as well as taking some of the burden of some other teachers. God’s shown His hand in it all too, as I have been able to get more acquainted with Zambian politics, and my news class has forced me to keep up with current affairs which I never did before, and as a politics student this is seriously not OK. I may even have practised the piano a smidge more than before. I can’t find a good reason for Him making me teach handwriting though.

Throughout my time here, I’ve been getting to know God a lot better, and have seen Him working clearly in both my life and the School. It is amazing to witness direct answers to prayer, and is a great honour, and very humbling, and exciting, and overwhelming, to realise that the God of the Bible is living and active, and using me! The logical next step is to accept that the Bible is therefore entirely true, and is 66 booksworth of God’s message to us, His only written word. So that’s where I am at the moment – trying to discipline myself to finding out as much as I can about God by reading His word. That, and trying to learn how to pray as I get to know Him better, is taking up much of my time.

So, that’s the long and short of my trip thus far. Over the Easter holidays I went on a wee adventure which was entirely and completely the work of the Lord. He beautiful compiled an itinerary of interesting activities for me, and remembered every step my earnest prayer of not making me have to travel by myself! Jings. It was brilliant fun, and I was literally passed from chaperone to chaperone.  But now it’s nearing the end of term and I have a 2 week period of nothingness between that and my flight home. So I have another opportunity to trust God to guide my plans. As Corrie ten Boom said, He makes the plans and we sign them, we don’t show Him ours and just ask Him to bless it. That’s a prayer request though, right there. What should I do? Where should I go?

Anyway, this is a long letter and it hasn’t even mentioned my traumatic experience with army ants parading through my house in the dead of the night, or the incident with the lizard [accidentally] suffocating under my pillow, or the fact that is absolutely freezing here, and I only brought two jumpers.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon! Woop!

Lots of Love

Rachel

July 2011

 

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