Faith · Trust

Why I Keep the Faith

I’ve been writing a lot about keeping the faith through the difficult times, mainly because life has been uncertain this past week.  But today I’ve got a praise report.  A little glimpse into why I keep my faith in the God who holds my future in His hands.

Simply put: because He’s got my back.

You see, as I mentioned, life has been a little nutty lately.  I’ve been second guessing decisions and wondering if I’m where I’m supposed to be. Where He wants me to be.  But I’ve received little bits of affirmation lately, and my days just keeping getting sunnier. And that has nothing to do with the start of another African summer. 😉

On Monday, I worked with the creche kids.  I use a programme called Souns to teach basic literacy to the 3-4 year old classes, about 45 children.  I’ve been doing it for about a month, and I introduced a few new letters on Monday.  I decided I would assess each child individually for the first time, rather than having them work in groups of about 10 as I normally do.  I was blown away by these children.  Literacy is a huge problem in South Africa, and children are taught almost nothing about letters and reading until they reach grade 1.  No books at home, no parents reading stories to them at night….a generation deprived of these experiences by poverty and the HIV/AIDS deaths of their parents.  The kids did great with the assessment, and I knew we could push ahead to basic writing and reading, which is what I did today (Wednesday).  I made up some flash cards to help teach them some English words.  I showed them the pictures and taught them the words, then we worked together to figure out how to spell the words.  A few kids were even figuring out how to read them: “pih” “ah” “tih”….”POT!”

Watching a child read for the first time in an incredible experience.  I felt so blessed to experience this, and am so pumped up to keep working with these brilliant 3 and 4 year olds.

Yesterday, I got a call while at the food security project.  It seems that a whole delegation of higher ups from the Department of Agriculture is coming to the project in early November. They know of our work and are willing to put up some huge funding for the project if all goes well.  Funding we thought was completely lost to us, but now might fuel the expansion of the project and the creation of 4 new permaculture farms.  Funding that would transform my third year into more than I imagined.

I had arranged for a meeting with some teachers from a local primary school this morning, and in the meeting we were able to hammer out all the details for the garden club I’ll be starting.  Next week I’ll be holding a workshop, and from then on I’ll be working with grade 5 and 6 learners to teach them sustainable home garden practices while building a much needed school garden.  I spoke with my supervisor and another coworker about the idea today, and I’ll be going to meet with principals from 4-5 schools and 2 clinics in the area to replicate the project there.  I’m now in the process of writing a grant for supplies, and it looks very promising.

This is why I keep the faith.  Last weekend, I was telling friends that I had no idea why I stayed, and that all my projects seemed to have disappeared into thin air with their funding.  And now my cup is overflowing with several realistic, potential projects that could have a huge impact on my community.

Praise be to God!

-Jen

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