Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It takes a village...

This morning's 7:30am text from Loren notified us that sweet Bryan Clark had a fever all night so Patton could not come over to play. However, another quick sms said that Patton could crash 1st grade at RMS with Lilli and Miss Anna. And then Chrissy came over to watch Aidan. And then Asita came to pick up the menu and budget for tonight's Ugandan dinner. And then Joas came to make bread for our guest, Edward Isingoma. All of this before 9am, just to get Travis and I out the door to interview teachers for the last 3 opened positions and help lead the teacher orientation for Christ School Bundibugyo!

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes many villages to raise a school of children!

We are exceedingly happy to report that of the 9 vacant teaching positions, all have been filled! What joy to know this as school starts on Monday!

As these last weeks have been crushingly difficult, it was a great relief to see the library filled with smartly-dressed, smiling teachers, optimistic for the new school year. As I was negotiating with a small crew of men to clean up the school grounds and with a wonderful powerhouse of a woman to clean the head teacher's house, I could hear through the screen windows beautiful voices singing praise songs accompanied by drums and Boniface's guitar.

Travis led a devotional time as we read through 1 Samuel 16 and 17, reflecting on the characteristics of David as a servant leader. The teachers commented that David was courageous in the face of adversity. His fear of God was more than his fear of man, even if that man was a 9 foot hulking giant. He was willing to risk his life in pursuit of God's glory. Travis made the distinction that it is easier to be the kind of leader that Saul was, the big man who stayed in his tent, sending his armor out for someone else to fight. The kind of leader that expects to be served. But as a servant-leader, David put the needs of his people and the name of his God before his personal desires. The servant leader versus the cultural leader. The path of being a servant leader is much less glorious than being a cultural leader, and definitely riskier. Travis challenged the teachers that like David, one's own brothers and sisters may even "burn with anger" or challenge the teachers to leave such servant-leadership and go home. But to enter into the battle for the glory of God is worth it as that is when we truly see the Father at work, fighting for us.

And those words mean a lot to us too, as we are learning huge lessons fast about leadership. As Dr. Dan Allender in "Leading with a Limp" says, " Leadership is far from a walk in the park; it is a long march through a dark valley. In fact, leadership has been described as wearing a bull's-eye on your chest during hunting season."

Though we would love for hunting season to be over, we are encouraged by the prayers of many, the strong words of our neighbors in this very subtle community, the cheerful faces of teachers today, and the grace-filled conversation with Edward Isingoma and Pat at our dinner table tonight.

And we are grateful for the village that we have here. That Loren, Anna, and Chrissy are all super willing to be with our kids while we facilitate the teacher orientation this week. That is true servant-leadership.

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