Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tests, Soap, and Mangoes.

Welcome back!  My good friend Abby is back from the States!  She is one of the amazing people I met last semester at Sahel and had to say goodbye to in December.  She finished her student teaching and went home to Michigan.  A turn of events brought her back to Sahel to teach English for the last couple months of school!  What a blessing it is to have her as a part of the community here again.  Please pray for her as she is recently engaged (congrats!) and stepping into these classes quite quickly.

For grades 2, 4, 6, and 8 Terra Nova testing was this past week.  Every morning, my second graders worked hard on this standardized test for anywhere between 1 and 2 hours!  I am so proud of them for working so well on this test!  While testing in the mornings threw our afternoon schedule off a bit, it gave us an excuse to relax and take a break on Friday...lollipops, games, Veggie Tales, and recess!

But don't worry!  We are still getting lots of work done in the classroom!  With only one more month of school, I am working hard to fit everything in!  Every morning in second grade, we begin with prayer.  Many of my students' prayer requests had to do with traveling or leaving Niger.  A few of them will not return next year.  While young children are often quite adaptable, these transitions are monumental for them and their families.  Please pray for me, my students, and Sahel as we do our best to close this year well and finish strong.  Pray for the goodbyes and hellos, transitioning from one culture to another.

This past Wednesday, I started studying 1 John with my sophomore girls' Bible Study.  We are using the SOAP method (thanks, Pastor Chris Gibbs!):  Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.  We are diving into just one chapter at a time.  In chapter 1, we focused on "walking in the light."  But how can we walk in the light if God is light?  We are sinners, so far from any sort of god-likeness.  And yet God's love reaches so much deeper than our worst sins.  What an incredible gift that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk in the light, covered by the blood of Jesus so that God sees us as his children, pure and clean!

Hot season is upon us, which means the temperature reaches triple digits by 10:00am easily.  The upside to hot season, is that this also means it is mango season!  While the mangoes in our backyard are not quite ripe, there are mangoes on just about every fruit/vegetables stand in the market!  My roommates and I have been enjoying mango smoothies on the daily (almost!).

Please pray for Niger.  While Sahel Academy is still open, many schools have shut down for the week due to the meningitis epidemic.  For details, visit: 

In an effort to remain grateful, here is a list of things that make me smile or cry :)

1.  My second grade girls, singing at the top of their lungs, every word of the songs from Frozen on the playground.
2.  Second grade jokes:  Why are a teacher and a train different?  Because a teacher says, "Spit that gum out!" and a train says, "Choo, chooo!"  hehe :)
3.  Mango smoothies...mmmmm.
4.  Hotwheels cars in the classroom store, making an 8 year old's day.
5.  Skype dates with friends when my day is just ending and hers is just beginning.
6.  Neighbors who bake fresh chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies and ask you to test taste...duh!
7.  The look in a second grader's face when you read a really good book and their eye's are glued to you.
8.  A classroom, newly arranged and freshly cleaned!
9.  Sleepovers with housemates...every night.
10.  Mentors who listen and ask good questions.
11.  Surprise emails from friends I've lost touch with!
12.  Laughter.
13.  Pictures.
14.  God's plan for my future...I have no idea what it is, but I get psyched and nervous all at the same time just thinking about it!
15.  Supporters who pray for me, give financially, encourage me, send me packages, email me, and skype!  Could I be any more blessed?!

Thanks so much for your support, for praying and for keeping in touch!  You are a blessing to me.

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