Monday, 13 October 2014

School Trip 2014: Mpumalanga Tour

Each year our school plans an excursion for the students.  This year our older kids, grades 4 to 7, had the opportunity to explore the eastern part of our province for two days.  It's always an adventure exploring new parts of South Africa, and bringing a bus load of kids along makes it even more entertaining and unpredictable.  At 4:30am we met at the school, took attendance, and loaded the bus.  Our group was a combination of roughly fifty students and teachers.

The first place we stopped was the Lydenburg Museum.  There the students learned about the history of the area, including the ancestors of the present day Pedi culture.

 Next we drove on to Pilgrim's Rest, an old gold mining town which is now a common tourist destination.  After buying some souvenirs our group visited the beautiful views at God's Window and The Pinnacle.

After a long drive up steep, narrow lanes in the mountains we made it to a silk farm run by Africa Silks.  The tour guide showed us how silkworm cocoons are used to make different types of silk.  The students really enjoyed seeing all of the stages in the life cycle of a silkworm.  Our last stop of the day was at Mac-Mac falls before heading to our guest house.

Day two started with a tour of a coffee plantation.  We learned all about how coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted.  Then we got to taste a sample with some delicious chocolate cake!

Next we went to the Sudwala Caves which were once a safe haven for a group of Swathi men and women seeking refuge.  We ended our adventure with a swim and a braai (grill out) at a nearby park.

The long hours of travel didn't keep the kids from having a dance party in the bus all the way home!

We thank God for keeping each of us safe during our travels and for providing our learners with hands-on education!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Heritage Day

On the 26th of September our school celebrated Heritage Day!  It's a day to celebrate the rich cultures and traditions in South Africa.  Our students were encouraged to wear traditional attire of their culture.

Each class also prepared a traditional song or dance to perform in front of the school.  It was a wonderful day of celebrations!

The Grade 6 ladies presenting a chant to the school

Ndebele represented on the left and Swathi represented on the right

Zulu boys!

Left to Right: Pedi, Ndebele, (me), Sotho, Swathi, Zulu

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Concordia Irvine Team

For the past two weeks we've had a group of students and professors from Concordia Irvine visiting our school.  They are currently on a ten-country tour of the world, but this is no vacation.  While they travel the students are taking three different classes about missions and culture.  They are also coming with open hearts and open minds to serve in each of the countries that they are visiting.

At our school the students split themselves up to assist in different departments: kitchen, administration, and classrooms.  They also helped out with clubs and led Wednesday night worship services with the staff to build relationships and praise God simultaneously.

I thank God for such wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ and ask that you would join me in praying for them as they continue on to other countries.

A mix of African and American worship music

Steven helped me out with the chess club

Elaine and Alex spent their two weeks here assisting in my classroom

Elaine working with the grade 5 class

The entire group from Concordia University Irivine singing us a goodbye song

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Spring Day!

The first of September is celebrated in South Africa as the first day of spring!  It's tradition to pour water on someone to welcome in the new season!  Of course, it doesn't quite feel like winter has completely left us, but at least the days are slowly warming up and thawing us out!

Our school had a special Spring Day celebration on Friday.  We had jumping castles, popsicles, and tons of water to make the day enjoyable!  Even though the morning was chilly the kids still threw on their swimming suits (or swimming costumes as we call them here) and participated in the fun!
My goofy fourth graders enjoying the day!

Finishing up lunch before chapel!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Word

This morning as I went through my morning routine, I opened up my Bible to read through Revelations 21 and 22.

A little over a year ago I started reading the Bible from Genesis 1 with the intention of reading from cover to cover.  At first I would read five chapters a day, but I soon realized I couldn't focus much on the content when I read so much.  So for the most part I've been reading two chapters a day.  It seemed like I would never make it out of the Old Testament, let alone to the end of the Bible.  But thanks be to the Spirit who kept me motivated to read day in and day out!

While reading straight through the Bible isn't the highly recommended way of covering the pages, it did give me an interesting perspective on how the Bible is set up and the chance to discover people, places, and events that I had never heard of before.

I know that reading through the Bible doesn't make me an expert, but I also know that the more I delve into it, the more I will think of God's Word on a daily basis and apply it to my life.  I won't put my Bible back on a shelf, but I'll focus now on the tiny details that God has etched into the history of our beliefs!