Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 16, 2012

Greetings from Etago!


Today it was back to school for our group!  We started the day by climbing up a hill to watch the sunrise.  Then we went down to the school where Gretchen and I taught the nursery and pre-unit classes and Christiana and Matthew taught standards four through six lessons about Jesus' life.  After the lunch break, the younger children left, so Gretchen and I helped Christiana and Matthew teach the older children.  As we were taking a break from teaching and the children were drawing on the whiteboards, we looked outside and saw all the other classes carrying rocks.  For the last hour and a half of the school day, the children all ended up carrying rocks from where the truck dropped them off at the road to where Loren and Matthew were building a retaining wall for them.  The children loved to help!

One thing I've learned about the children here is that they LOVE getting their pictures taken, and then you turn the camera around to show them the picture, every child in a 10 foot radius will crowd around to see.   

In general, I think I can speak for my team when I say we love it here in Etago.  The people here are very friendly and they treat us well.  The only thing is, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.  I know that Christiana already said something about this, but they church they have here is literally about to collapse.  The walls are made out of a wooden frame and soil, and termites ate the bottom of the frame.  And because the church is on a hill, whenever it rains, the soil erodes and piles up on one side and drags the wall away on the other side.  Today we literally saw a chunk of the wall just fall off all by itself.  I don't know what all we can do to help, but your prayers would really be appreciated, both for the church building and our efforts in general here in Etago. Bwano asifiwe.
- Jennifer




Hello again from Kenya!

                The blessings and adventures continue on here in Etago. We weren't sure if going to Chotororo again would be possible on Sunday, because if it rained, the roads from here to there would be easily washed out, leaving us stranded there. But all were happy to see Sunday morning began with sunshine and pleasant breeze. As Christiana, Jennifer, and I were getting ready to leave for day 2 at Chotororo, I happened to glance out our open doorway just in time to witness a small Kenyan boy be put in the trunk of our host's car, and the trunk door slammed shut. This sketchy scene of events turned out to be okay when we discovered the Kenyan boy was a boy from our Etago school in standard 5, who was going to tag along with us to Chotororo. We tried a new method of teaching there; with Matthew narrating, Christiana frantically drawing utterly captivating pictures on the board, Jennifer acting as the reluctant prophet Jonah, and myself doing quite a stellar job acting in the role of "big fish," the story of Jonah was taught to the children on a whole new level. ;) Following the lesson, many pictures were taken, many hands were held (no proposals this time though…at least in English!), and many sad goodbyes took place as we left Chotororo. The people there were all so kind and welcoming to us, and the children so joyous to hear the Word and rejoice in it. What a blessing to be able to spend part of our weekend with the CLC's Chotororo, Kenya church! (Think about making that your next vacation destination! J )

Back at the school today, like Jennifer said, we taught our lessons until the afternoon was interrupted by the so very exciting delivery of….you guessed it!—ROCKS! Yes, rocks! (Used for building the retaining wall, as Jennifer said.) This seemingly ordinary element created over an hour of fun and excitement for the children, as well as us mission helpers. Christiana, once again acted "like a local" and was carrying rocks on her head, impressing many of the teachers. I guess I must've looked pretty weak, because I only carried a couple loads of rocks down the hill before a younger boy would meet me half way up the hill and take the rocks from me. This eventually led to me just standing at the top, handing rocks out to all the hard-working children. Even a two-year-old frequently found at the school was seen handing small rocks to Loren in his timid, helpful manner. The way everyone works together like a family here at Etago is so terrific, and I love it here all the more for that.

One final note…as I mentioned before, the kids here really love singing, so Christiana and I were practicing some songs. A combination of being very tired and wanting to show Loren what harmony meant after he told us the blatant lie "I only sing harmony" resulted in Christiana and I discovering hidden talent in our singing voices. "Bluesy" and "like half a barbershop quartet" were just a couple of the comments our raving fans had to say. So if you ask us, maybe you'll get to hear a fun new rendition of "Father Abraham" or "I Just Wanna Be a Sheep," some of the on-demand favorites here. J
Please continue to pray for us as we carry on our work as ambassadors of Christ!
Bwano Asifiwe!
~ Gretchen





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