BACK TO SCHOOL is an extremely nostalgic time for myself. A time laced full of sentimental longing, slight dread, but eagerness for a new start! Each school year for as long as I can remember, has began the exact same way: THE CLASSROOM SET UP! You know those few days before the official first day for teachers when you must complete the monumental and important task of making your room just perfect. Choosing your classroom layout, deciding upon themes, designing bulletin boards, and making everything fun and inviting for the new year! As a young child I always looked forward to helping my mom with these task, and even have vivid memories of watching her and fellow teachers make the infamous chair pockets! Then as we got older we sometimes hated to trade a day at the pool for furniture moving, but we did it anyways! Subsequently, as mom reached retirement and my sister and I began our teaching careers the tables turned. However, the classrooms remained. She has been returning the favor each year, and then some, as she is always a HUGE help to us in the classroom set up scramble. Well, as you can probably imagine, the stress was looming as I thought about how in the world I would do this all on my own this year. Adding to the equation trying to do so in the middle of the African bush!!! I thought about it a lot, prayed about it, and tried to not let it overcome me. I mean my classroom doesn’t have to be perfect does it?! Pushing it aside, telling myself it would get done, moving on!
Well then God, no matter how cheesy it sounds, sent an angel to Egbe!!! Last Saturday when welcoming our new volunteer team of 15 to the compound, Cindy Borody, stepped out of the van, gave me a huge, heart warming hug and said to me, “I have been praying for you every day!” Upon further conversation I discovered Cindy to be a long time missionary from SIMCanada. She was here in Egbe to simply accompany her husband James. James currently a lab technician with Worldwide Labs was in charge of setting up and training our lab staff here at Egbe Hospital in January. He and Cindy were returning this time for a week to check-up on how things were operating! Cindy joked that she was simply James “excess baggage”. However, I would consider it to be just the opposite -SORRY JAMES! You see, when James and Cindy served at Galmi Hospital in Niger for 5 years Cindy was the missionary compound teacher! Precisely what I am in the midst of trying to establish here in Egbe- and God just sent me an EXPERT!!!
WOW, I was blown away! Cindy told me she was mine for the week and would love to help me in any way she could. What an IMMENSE joy and help it proved to be. This women is FILLED and BURSTING at the seam with the holy spirit. She made the classroom set up a joy as we organized, sorted and decorated. All while she poured into me an abundance of knowledge and wisdom about teaching missionary kids inside a one room school house. However, the best lesson she taught me was to guard your passion and love for those kids. Don’t let that get lost and do whatever you have to do to protect it! Watching her hug on, sing with, and even stop to listen and pray with the kids around the compound made her such a hero to me. She allowed me to stop, relax, de stress and focus on allowing God to pour through me and into these kids instead of stressing over perfection!
So, there she was. The closest thing to my Mom helping me as I could get, and the warm feeling of BACK TO SCHOOL was restored. I love watching how my weakness is made strong through Him. He knows my heart, He knows the aspects that make this new season of life hard for me, and He brings me comfort with each new day. He even sends me angels!!!