Sunday, December 5, 2010

Watches and Time

I have heard the phrase “Americans have watches and Africans have time.” Today was one of those days it was true.

Today was an adjustment day for the kids, remembering how to sit at church on wooden pews or the concrete floor, how to entertain themselves during the long prayers and readings and announcements in Lebwisi, and how to last longer than an hour. After encouraging them to “hang in there just a little longer”, we threw in the towel after an hour and a half.

We hurried them to take naps in time for the big CSB end of year staff party at 2:30pm. As Travis was heading out the door with his speech in hand (and us soon to follow), he received a text that it was postponed to 4pm. Arriving at 4pm, he waited around until at 5:30pm he returned home. Learning that it was estimated to be at 7pm, I knew our kids would not be able to endure a long night of speeches and then a meal. Lilli was very disappointed as she loves goat meat. However, Patton was relieved and said very emphatically, “I will not order the goat!” So, I stayed at home with the kiddos, making dinner from a precious box of Kraft mac and cheese that we brought back with us (thanks, Mom!) and reading “Mr Poppers Penguins” to some very tired children.

Travis, Chrissy, Anna, Pat with Kym and Lydia celebrated with the staff. Travis asked for staff to share surprise of good from the year. He relayed that his surprise was arriving to Uganda and becoming Chairman of the Board of Governors for CSB (director of the school)! He shared that working with the staff and studying the Bible with them on Tuesday nights has been a highlight of the year.

Other comments from the night include:

“Dear Chairman, we were all worried when they said you were coming. You are what they say is an “unknown quantity”. We did not know if you would be harsh or mean. We are pleasantly surprised. (Does that mean Travis is an old softie?!)

“Those S4s (a challenging group of students that graduated this year), I swore I would never want them to have my mobile number, but when they left, they asked me for it, and I even gave some of them it!”

“The surprise for me is the smiling faces you see here. At the end of last year, we left not smiling. We did not know what was going to happen. I am surprised to see all of us here smiling.”

Indeed, it has been a challenging year for CSB as it has undergone tremendous transition. In one year it went from a missionary being the headmaster/director to a Ugandan as a headmaster to now to Scott acting as the chairman and now Travis in the chairman position. But, somehow, the school has continued, and even done well! We are thankful that God has his hand on the students and teachers here and for the completion of another year.

We are are still praying that God would quickly bring someone with African educational experience (and a 6 year old little girl!) to assume leadership as Director of Educational Ministries.

I would ask for prayers for Travis this week during the following meetings:

Monday- Staff meeting regarding next year’s contracts

Tuesday- Board of Governors meeting

Wednesday- Parents meeting

Thursday- Meeting with Deus (headmaster) and Loy (accountant) regarding closing the financial books

Friday- End of year review with Deus

We have heard that one of the top qualities that missionaries must have is flexibility. Whether it is doing a job that we never anticipated or even when a meal will actually start, we are having plenty of opportunities to have this character built into us. Lord, keep us flexible and open to whatever you bring our way!

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