"I'll care for you, love you, and teach you, always. For you are my tenderheart." - excerpt from "Papa Do you Love me?" A Masai story by Barbara Jane Mosea
This is how we began our day in the simple office inside the school. We are constantly reminded that the Lord loves us wildly, loves these children, and that He will care for each of us, always. God has been at work in amazing ways since I have been here. I've become more and more dependent on the Holy Spirit and less and less on myself (John 3:30). It is such an honor to be a part of such an amazing ministry that is tangibly serving the last and the least. I cannot express how many times a day I find myself thanking the Lord for this opportunity. Last night in my quiet time, I was reminded, "He who trusts in His riches will wither." Prov. 11:28 - it is comforting to know that it is not what we have materially, but spiritually. The joy of the Lord is upon us; He is our strength and He is the leader of this trip, school, and community.
The children, like all children around the world, like to ask for things, and a phrase they use is, "Mark this face." That stuck with me, because I am marking those faces, not to bring them candy or balls, but as the future of Kenya, as change in a filthy, corrupt, world that seems to have left them behind. Today, my heart was awakened in a way in which only God could do. He knew what I needed, and gave me just that. My heart is for children. I know that I am gifted in the area to teach, and it was such a strong affirmation today of why I am called to this profession (and the scary reminder that part of me wanted to leave the profession just 7 months ago). The confidence, joy, and hope that a teacher has the gift to deliver is beautiful, and something we often times forget.
I spent time working with kindergarteners, first, second and third graders today. In each class, I am working with the teachers to help them best serve their children's needs, which means engaging the advanced students as well as spending extra time with the students who have difficulty. At times, I was working with smaller groups of students to reinforce skills as well as give that extra confidence boost. I am so humbled that the teachers are open, receptive, and asking for help. We may not realize it, but in essence it is saying that, "I am not succeeding at my job, and I need help." How many people really are willing to do so? How they can let me in so quickly, break down personal and cultural boundaries, and trust me to work with them and their children can only be a work of God. There is a mutual relationship of respect and admiration, and for this I am thankful.
The best part of my day was being able to work one on one with kids, and to see the joy in their faces when they were making progress. To see their confidence increase right in front of my eyes is another gift from God. Too often we forget how much words of kindness and encouragement mean to one another. He who refreshes is also refreshed! There are so many moments of God's glory throughout the day that I could not write them all to you. He is so tangibly present, and at work in the lives of the teachers, students and their families.
The holy spirit also tangibly answered two of my "immediate need" prayers - very awesome to be in tune with the spirit to experience His presence so clearly. Where/when is your heart most alive? Thank you for your prayers - again, they are absolutely felt, and still seriously coveted. Please continue to pray for God's love and glory to shine through us - "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 ESV) Without God, I am nothing.
Pray that I would have the wisdom and understanding to best serve each teacher and student, the creativity and ingenuity to do so, and that he would restore and empower me each time I step into a room, only the way He can do. Please pray that our team is bonded in harmony, protected by Him, and our time is best spent meeting the needs of the school.
Our team verse(s) is Colossians 3:12-17 "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:12-17 ESV)
Thank you for all that You do to encourage me, empower me with prayer, and protect me with the Holy Spirit. Wholly His, Jen PS I am learning the Lord's prayer in kiswahili, and my accent is starting to sound pretty legit for a muzungu. :) Asante sana Bebe!