Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 5: Zacchaeus and Trusses

Today the whole team went to Malewa Primary School to meet 300 elementary and middle school kids. The night before, we had a quick planning meeting about a bible story we could teach the kids. We all agreed that the story of Zacchaeus in Luke would be appropriate for the students. We decided that Carrie would read the passage from Luke and I would make the application for the kids. Then we all taught them the song we all know from childhood and taught some basic motions for the song. After several times through, the kids had it. After we finished the song, we took the kids outside to play soccer and we taught them Duck, Duck, Goose! Then they taught us some name games where we had to remember names in a few minutes time; that turned out to be interesting as some of their names were Swahili and others were English.

Teaching the kids was a familiar experience for me since I had been a preschool teacher before I went to China in '08. I had subconsciously “sworn-off” kids because I had been burned out. I noticed for a few years after China, I had lost my touch and desire to be around kids. But that has since faded. I felt really natural with the kids and I felt like I was in my element. That was an encouraging step for me to take. Maybe my swearing off of kids was pride, I'm not sure, but our being there with the kids at Malewa Primary reminded me that Jesus allowed the children to come to him. I have felt like the disciples when they were too prideful and busy with larger, more important matters, so they thought.

We left Malewa to have lunch and begin our afternoon duties. We took Simon, a pastor of a few churches with on the way back. He and Matt had to ride on the carriage on the roof of the Land Rover. How scary, but after some time, I wanted to try it, but I was always dressed inappropriately for that rugged of a trip.

Simon's wife is a teacher at Malewa and she mainly deals with the spiritual side of their education. Associated with the school is a church where the head leader is called a prophet. This prophet is idolized to put in bluntly. Before we arrived, there had been some controversy about our coming and the head of the school had tried to cancel the event. Apparently, the prophet of the church didnt feel that missionaries coming to teach the kids about the bible was a good idea. So you can see why I used the word “idolized” in describing the situation. Once again, seeing and hearing firsthand helps us know how to pray for schools like Malewa and churches.

We enjoyed a relaxing lunch and then headed up to the work site to build the trusses for the community center. We used raw cut damp spongy cypress “2x4” wood. I learned a lot about building trusses. I can officially add that to my resume:)

After several customized cuts for each individual truss, we figured out how to make templates and cut all similar pieces. One truss was taking us up to 30 to 40 minutes. When got the system flowing we hit a record time of 15 minutes and 27 seconds. We had a few hours to finish 11 trusses. We accomplished that goal. Since we finished, were earned our day of fun, but you will have to wait for that story:)

Each night we had dinner guests and the evening guests were a couple who run an environmental camp in Naivasha for the local kids and a guy who had been teaching English in Sudan. I have enjoyed getting to know other people in Africa who are giving their lives to spread the gospel. It has been so inspiring and it takes the edge away from actually stepping out to live in another country. I remember what it felt like after returning from China. The abrupt uproot of my life wasn't evident until I came back and tried to re-establish myself. Over the years, I let fear set in of not having the comforts of life. Comfort is like stagnant water, it stinks.

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