July 5, 2011 Teacher Conference, First Day—New Day, New Challenges
Today we had a totally new experience at Lulwanda. The school hosted its first teacher’s conference. We enrolled over 50 teachers from Lulwanda and surrounding schools. We were amazed at the blessing of being able to have the chance to witness the goodness of God through the faces of these teachers. They arrived in the morning ready to listen and learn different and new ways of teaching. Kathie Hartzog taught the nursery school teachers. Mary Thrasher taught the P1 (first grade)-P3 (third grade) teachers. I taught P4-P7 teachers. The rest of the staff took the Lulwanda children to make crafts, to sew, to cook, and to make small race cars for a derby event later in the week. They also taught health classes and worked in the different classes.
What dedicated people (Marc, Kathy, Charles, Derrick, Brodie, Valerie, Bonita, Gay, Mike and J.W.) they are to have worked all day keeping the hundred sixty-nine kids busy. Here are some of the more comical events of the day. J.W. says he had 150 in his group alone. He had third grade (P-3). Charles was locked in his classroom but was rescued by Favor our wonderful librarian. Valerie made necklaces with about all the girls and house mamas there were in the whole school. Marc’s group had paint all over of the place with multiple colors on one brush done at the whim of the student painting. Mike had to apologize to the house mamas for the paint being over the uniforms. Gay intended to organize the cooking of rice treats and wound up feeding rice treats to every student as they crawled all over her like ants. Brodie and Derrick broke up a fight among the first graders.
Our challenges are with the new students and the new mass of the community children who are now with us at the school. We know that God has a plan for us to influence these children, present the Gospel, and reach out to those who stand outside the fence. I always have to return in my mind to the students we watched outside the fence last year. Marc talked to me after his first trip about these children. While we love having the resources to reach out, we also have the growing pains that the challenges with getting the village students into the family structure already established at the Lulwanda home. Our efforts to present the gospel to these students and to all of the Lulwanda staff are most apparent through the staff and student devotional time that went very well. Charles is presenting this time to the Lulwanda staff and students daily.
Gay reminded us tonight of the need to be of one mind and one body. We looked at Romans 12, Paul’s great theological work written to the church, and we also know in our hearts that we are called to here with one mind and in one spirit to rejoice to those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. While this place has much cause to weep, it rejoices so that all of us rejoice with it.