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Salaam Tani Itakum

Salaam Tani Itakum

Hello again!  Greetings from Sudan!  The rains have begun here – with a big storm on Saturday night.  It was so windy and I was a “bit” afraid that big branches from the tree were going to fall on me, so I slept the rest of the night in the house that I live next too.  Guess I am not as tough as I thought.  But the rains are coming slowly – so I think I will stay in the tent a little longer.  It is a crazy life, but I do sleep so well in the tent and the cool mornings are very nice. When the rains eventually come with full force I will move back to my old classroom which is not partitioned with UN tarps.  But for now the tent is good.  I think my kids get a kick out of the fact that I live there.

I wanted to write again to let you know how things are going here and to ask you to please pray.  Again I am so grateful for all of your prayers.  When I began school after the fire I expected it to pick up just like it always has in the past.  On Saturday and Sunday I visited kids and their parents telling them their was school again this time at 9am.  On Monday morning I waited, and waited, and waited, some students came on time, but it is very normal for them to come late especially when the time has been  changed.

Eventually more and more students came and then a large group, which waved to me from the road but continued to walk by.  My heart just sank, broke rather. I later found out a local teacher had begun teaching again and the students were going to his school.  Liz and I experienced problems with him last year, dishonestly, drunkenness, heard stories about him beating the children, lying and telling people he was the headmaster of the school our school.

He is not a trained teacher and to my knowledge has begun the school so that he can be paid by the Sudanese government.  I wish that I could explain to you why after almost 1 year of teaching the same kids a portion of them would choose to go to the school of an untrained, drunk, abusive teacher, but I don’t understand myself.  I have about 50 kids now that come very consistently and it is so good to have more one on one time with them.
It has been encouraging hearing stories from kids and parents telling their kids to go to my school, to have students (especially the chief’s children) blatantly choosing to come to my school and trust what I am teaching them.  I don’t understand all of the cultural issues or what the students think education is for example having a class called p1 or copying from the board all day.

I am confident in my calling here, confident in what I am teaching and the way that I am teaching, and confident in my relationships with students and within the community.  I have had issues with this man yelling at me, yelling at the children, and threatening me.  I have support from the Sudanese staff here who know the community well and this is not a conflict with the community but with one man.

I am asking you guys to please pray for us here – That God would use this situation to glorify Himself – He would make something beautiful come out of this situation He would strengthen me and the other teachers and encourage us
That the other teacher would come to know Christ For wisdom in how to handle this situation best For strong community relationships to come out of this conflict For even stronger relationships with the kids to come out of this conflict

Again thank you very much for your prayers and your support.  I would love to hear how things are going in your lives as well.  This has been a challenge – one that I certainly was not expecting, but at the same time, the Lord is here, His Ways Are MANY!  It has been amazing I think for the kids to see that we are continuing to teach – no matter how many students come and we continue to love ALL of the kids whether they come or not.  I am also really starting to share more and more about God and his love for them.  Please pray that the Lord would give me wisdom in this as well.  That they would truly understand that they
were created by a loving Maker!

Again, thank you for all of your support.  Thank you also for financial gifts to help me replace things I lost in the fire or help
with the housing situation here in Goli.  Thank you very much.

Love,
In His Grip,
Jen