Saturday, December 11, 2010

for the past week or so taylor and i have been singing the twelve days of christmas every day. sometimes we sing it when no one else is around, other times we sing it in the midst of large groups of people, such as on the bus ride back from butajira with forty other people on the bus. whatever the case, it’s definitely helping us get into the christmas spirit, that and the fact that i’m blaring christmas music from my room daily ☺

there have been many soccer games after school for the past couple weeks, with the different grades competing against one another. it’s been a lot of fun going to watch these games and witnessing the pride that the students have for their classmates—no doubt there has been lots of cheering and yelling! in my opinion, it’s much more exciting to watch a game where you know the people who are playing, and this was definitely the case as i got to watch my 3rd graders compete against one another—3A versus 3B. some of the boys had told me earlier in the week that they were going to be playing and asked if i would come watch—obviously i said yes. i seriously loved watching my boys play, and i was very impressed by their footwork and overall soccer skills—the game ended with a score of 1-1. i’m looking forward to watching them play again, as well as getting to watch my 4th graders show off their abilities ☺

zondra’s birthday was this past week and we got to have a bonfire to celebrate! it was definitely a memorable occasion and hopefully something we will get to do again. we sang lots of praise and worship songs, as well as christmas songs (with matt playing the guitar) and get this—taylor and i taught some of the house kids the electric slide—awesome...yes. to say that we had fun would be an understatement.

the stars here are unlike any i have ever seen—the sky almost looks fake and a picture would not do justice. the sky is pitch-black, with millions and millions of little lights shining ever so brightly. the grandeur and their exquisite beauty again point to God’s magnificence and creativity. i love that i appreciate something as simple as stargazing, another example of noticing the small blessings that can be displayed in grand ways.

i can’t even begin to put into words how excited i am for my family to arrive. it gives me so much joy that they will get to experience little snippets of my life here and get to meet so many of the people that i have grown to love. for the past couple of weeks i have been telling almost everyone i come across exactly when they arrive—i am sure they are tired of hearing about it by now, but oh well! ☺ my family will be here at project mercy for 4 days, allowing them to see various aspects of the ministry, such as attending church, watching me teach, witnessing the various trade skills, and of course, playing with and loving on the children. after that, we will all fly to kenya to go on a safari for a week! again, cannot contain my excitement regarding this opportunity! it’s going to be so amazing spending all this time with the people i love most, and even being able to celebrate christmas together in africa—what a blessing.

seeing as how i will be away for my students for over a week, i have shared with them about my family’s arrival and our upcoming trip to kenya. despite the fact that i’ve clearly communicated my plans with them (and of course had it all translated into amharic), a good majority of the kiddos think i’m going back to america and not coming back. many of them keep coming up to me and putting fake tears under their eyes and saying things such as, “no go to america, sad teacher”. even though i don’t want my students sad or confused, i will admit that i am enjoying this slightly, as it demonstrates their love for me and desire for me to stay with them. while i am away, matt, a twenty-six year old guy from indiana, will be taking over my classes. he is here volunteering for the month and there’s no doubt in my mind that the kiddos will love having him as their teacher.

this will be my last blog entry before christmas, so this is me wishing all of you a very merry christmas with family and friends! enjoy this special season and cling to the truth that we have in Jesus—we are nothing without Him!

please pray...

- for taylor as she travels back home to washington (she leaves tuesday,december 14)—she has been a true blessing and i will miss her so much!

- for my family’s safety as they journey here to ethiopia (they leave thursday, december 16)

- for patience and understanding as i continue to foster relationships with the people here.

- that i might continue to develop a spirit of selflessness and love as Jesus does.

something to consider..

“You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace amongst those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14