Thank you to God that school is starting and that our kids can continue in their education at Rift Valley Academy. They have moved around a lot, and they have been blessed to go to some great schools such as Scofield Christian School and Dallas Lutheran School in Dallas, Texas as well as Colegio Diospi Suyana in Curahuasi, Peru. We are hoping and praying for more great opportunities for learning here in Kijabe, Kenya. Also Allison starts here first day teaching 9th grade English!
Please pray for the students and families of Rift Valley Academy this weekend. Today was the new student and parent orientation and tomorrow is called “Arrival Day,” which means that the dorms will be filling up with our boarding students for the next school year. It also means lots of goodbyes, as parents drop off their kids and go back to the countries where they serve.
We are part of the new family group, so we’ve been at orientation also, getting tours of the school and learning about all the activities and programs the kids can be involved in. However, we got to walk down the gravel trail to our home with all four kids. Blessedly, at this time, all four kids have said that they are happy that they still live with us—ha!
I stood in my classroom for an hour this afternoon while new parents and students walked through their high school schedule. Ninth grade is a time when many families decide to make a change from homeschooling or local schooling to American schooling. RVA is their best option, even if means boarding their kids. I met so many wonderful parents who fell into three categories—totally chilled because this child is the second, third, or fourth in their family to start at RVA or happy for their kid and relieved not to be homeschooling anymore or nervous but making a peaceful truce with the situation. It was inspirational to hear about where they work and what they do. These people are spreading God’s love in some tough places. Please pray that I can be an excellent teacher to honor the trust they are placing in us. I can tell I’m really going to enjoy spending time with these kids.
Could it be for selfish reasons perhaps?
The straightest path to happiness is devoting ourselves to the happiness of others.
If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. ISAIAH 58: 10-11, NASB
Alcorn, Randy. Happiness (p. 291). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me. . . . I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are, but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying, and ecstatic” existence.[ 23]
Alcorn, Randy. Happiness (p. 282). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I have a friend April who goes on walks or runs or swims almost everyday, and she takes Instagram photos of what she sees giving some sort of fun quote or Bible verse that snaps the experience into focus. These images and quotes always encourage me, and they challenge me to pay attention to what is going on around me for which I can praise God.
We were having an “Ask Allison” time at dinner last night, and the question was posed to her “How do you stay optimistic and joyful?” And she mentioned that recently when she was tempted to dwell in discouragement as she was walking home from the school, thinking of all the lesson plans and teaching she had in front of her, she heard a bird sing, and she was reminded that God had made it all, and that the song of that bird was one of his gifts to us. And her worries lifted some, and her optimism and joy settled in again.
This morning I could hear the monkeys yelling as I read my Bible. What weird and wonderful animals they are!
And I found this quote, and I remembered April and Allison. I want to look around at what God has done and is doing in his creation for the sake of remembering the happiness I have in him!