Friday, August 26, 2011

A Day in a Nutshell

. . . Not that this post is going to be that short. It’s just that it could take many more pages to fully describe a day in our lives. Keep in mind, school hasn’t even started yet, and we’re already off to the races!

Sometime after 4:00 am, we manage to open our eyes and climb out of our mosquito nets to start another day. After some personal study time, which is not usually completed without “no-see-ums” biting our limbs, we head down in the early morning pre-dawn for worship (5:30 am) with the students. We sit on a hard wood floor and hum along with the Karen songs and sing along with the occasional English song. Next there is opening prayer, a special song from a group of students, and a worship talk given by one of the older students.

Worship over, we all try to find a spot with enough room for the next activity—morning exercises. After our muscles have been properly stretched and flexed we put on our shoes for about 15 minutes of running/walking on the property across the road. At least it isn’t raining this time. . . . Sometime during this activity, we will probably end up with a few flowers as gifts from the little girls. And believe me, the first thing we do when we get home is take a shower. Oh yes, it’s cool (thank the Lord, they don’t know what cold water is here!), but it feels so good!

Not more than an hour later we find ourselves at the school kitchen waiting in line for our serving of breakfast. And we don’t have to wait long before there is a little smiling face wanting to get our food for us. Although some of us have found it a little tiring to eat rice for every meal, you can’t turn down a good bowl of rice and vegetables when you have been hungry for the last 2+ hours.

Breakfast finished, we meet with our Karen language teacher to go over the things we have learned and try to learn some more Karen words. It’s a struggle for all of us, but we’re catching on. After cramming a whole bunch of new sounds into our memories, we spend the next few hours working on things such as washing laundry (by hand), lesson plans for the coming school year, catching up on emails, and various other activities that take up the time so quickly.

At 3:00 pm, we join the students for their second work period of the day. It’s a good time to learn some new Karen words—or at least practice the ones we already know. Today the assignment is to stack the bamboo and wood that has been collected for the cook to use for firewood. By the time the job is completed, we are all tired and hungry, but another invigorating bucket shower comes first.

After a while we realize that campus is awfully quiet, and we decide to go down and see if supper is ready. Oh my, there's hardly any food left! But there is enough to fill our stomachs, and we even get to finish off our meal with some real bananas.

Next comes another evening worship with the students, and some of us even end up with a little someone on our lap. After worship we exchange goodnight’s with a few of the students, and we’re headed home for a good night’s rest. Ahhh. . . . Yes, the bed is a little harder than what we are accustomed to, but it sure beats sleeping right on the floor!   

On a side note, one of the most common sights during the day is seeing a cat sprawled out on one of our trunks or maybe two cats twisted around each other snoozing away. You see, there are two cats up here at the house which tend to sleep most of the day, but in the evening and early mornings they come alive, jumping on top of whatever may be in their way to catch a gecko. Not to mention their rather amusing tackling matches. Oh and, you don’t have to wonder when their food bowl is empty. You may get to hear some rather loud meows as early as 3:00 am.
"I've been purring over these books all day. . ."

No, life is far from boring around here. At times we feel taxed to the utmost yet full to the brim with all the blessings that God is pouring out.

Do keep all of our students in your prayers. There are approximately 100 that are here right now, and by the time school starts on September 5 we should have a total of 250. They are so much fun to work with, but the devil is right on their heels, and they need our prayers.

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