This past week has been so much fun, work and ministry wise. Monday-Wednesday I was the substitute teacher for the Standard 4 class. I was a little nervous about it, because I had been warned that this class kind of had a reputation for being difficult. While they were a little bit on the noisy side, they were absolutely fanstastic kids. Very respectful, very helpful, and really quite funny. It's a small class, with only 9 kids. The first day I was getting a bit frustrated because they were very loud and had trouble paying attention (and we had some issues with swearing that day). The next day, though, they really stepped it up. I enjoyed actually teaching instead of just playing and working on art projects all day. I told their teacher that I would be glad to help out again if she ever needs it, and so we're already set for next month when she has to leave again. The boys made me chuckle. Every day when they were leaving, I would give them high-fives. I think that the boys are going through puberty, though...the girls would give me the high-fives and leave, but all the boys wanted hugs. That class really is quite sweet, though. I am looking forward to working with them again.
I was so happy to get back to my class on Thursday. The first thing that was said to me when I walked into the classroom was "Miss Ashley, I am so happy to see that you are back here with us today. I missed you." :) Yep, that's an exact quote from a 5 year old. Too sweet, right? Ok, so many funny things have happened that I am just going to list a couple of them.
- The other day, we were watching the last 30 minutes 101 Dalmations. All of the kids were really getting into it and were getting nervous when they thought that Cruella Deville was going to catch the puppies again. Suhail (who is definitely one of my favorite kids in the universe) was sitting on my lap and suddenly screams out "RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIFE!!"
- I went to go read with the Standard 2 kids for a while, and when I came back we were watching the last bit of Lion King (I swear, we don't normally watch movies in class...this is the 2nd day since I've been here that we have done a movie). I've been wanting to watch this movie since we've been out here, so of course I get completely pumped up and start singing along to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" then quoting all the lines of the movie. Luckily the kids didn't get annoyed with me, and in fact, many of them loved that I was doing it. At the end of the movie, (Suhail was sitting on my lap again) when Rafiki lifts up Simba's son, I lifted Suahil above my head and say "Liooooon Kiiiiing" (yes, I have been wanting to do something like that for a very long time). I almost dropped him, though, because he was giggling so much that he almost squirmed out of my hands.
- We are teaching manners to the little kids, and when I asked Suhail what you say when you want something, he responds with "Tuesday."
- Little Darren (another one of my favorites- let's face it, I have about 15 favorites) winked at me. This boy is 3 years old and weighs roughly 5oz. (yep, Aaron, I am sticking with that number). I almost fell over from laughing so hard. Something that is just so adorable about young boys with crushes is that they don't even try to hide it. I have caught so many of the kids (in both reception and Standard 4) just staring at me with a dreamy smile on their faces and I have even heard a few sigh. It cracks me up.
- I was crouching on the floor in the classroom the other day to put something in someone's backpack, and two of the kids came up to me whisper in my ears (both at the same time. I wanted to smack them away). They left, and within half a second I heard someone else in my ear whispering "same same same same same." I looked up over and it was Darren. He's on this huge kick right now of loving things that come in pairs, and he starts singing a song he made up that is just the word "Same" over and over again.
- The other day, the little kids were using worksheets to practice telling time, and while I was talking with one of the girls (Mmapula), another one (Jua) came up to me and asked if I could help her with the worksheet. Mmapula goes "Oh, that is so easy; even a four-year old could do it." I told Jua that, yes, in a moment I would help her. She walked away and Mmapula looks at me and says "No, but seriously, can you help me with it?"
Oh, the kids. I just adore them. There are many, many more stories that I can't think of off the top of my head. I really should be writing them down.
We have also been staying busy with our ministry opportunities. Wednesdays we do hospital ministry, Thursday nights we have church, Friday nights we have Fire By Night (we took last night off), Saturday mornings we do prison ministry (which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things out here), Sundays we either do Children's Church or prayer ministry in the adult service, and then after church we have discipleship ministry. This afternoon we are also doing Evangelism for the first time. Next weekend we are heading out of town to one of our branch churches in the bush, about 3 hours away. That is going to be a really intense weekend. We'll be doing a lot of discipleship and evangelism, with pretty much no time for rest or sleep. Should be exhausting, yet amazing! We're all looking forward to it quite a bit.
One last thing- I just want to share something that I have been learning and I am truly amazed by. We talk a lot out here about prayer and the desires of our hearts. There have been a lot of little things that I have been bringing to the Lord in prayer as a desire of my heart, and He has been answering those prayers so quickly. I could give probably a dozen examples from my time out here, but here is just the most recent: we were told on Sunday that we were going to be moving to another house on the plot this week, because they wanted that house to permanantly be the intern house (or something like that- I still am not quite clear on the details). When we went over to check out the house, we realized that one of the rooms only had a bathtub- no shower. The guys said they would be willing to take that room, even though they were grossed out by the thought of having to take baths from now on (since girls have a lot more to do when they shower than guys do). The night before the move, though, we were told that the girls had to take the room with the bath tub, because "girls like to take baths." Well, with everything else that we have been dealing with around here, that kind of pushed us over the edge. That night, I was praying that we wouldn't have to do the move. Yesterday (the day of the move) we were told that the move wasn't going to happen until a shower is installed. Praise the Lord :)
Well, I should wrap this up. Gotta share the wealth that is my computer. I hope that you all are well. I have been a bit homesick lately. I lent the movie Elf to Sarah the other day, and when I went over there it was playing. Bad idea. Now I just want to be surrounded by Christmas all the time.