When The Roof Caves In

IMG_1225When the decision was made to dedicate our lives solely to Christ service, Nick and I began to pray a very specific prayer.  Incessantly and persistently we asked God to tear down the foundation of our “house”. Desiring a home built exclusively on God’s foundation we realized our current home, although appearing beautiful and strong, had groundwork which was very weak. To continue building on with meaningless wants and desires would eventually cause the walls to come crashing down.  We needed to rebuild!

Although it has been tough and most days we want to retract this prayer, God is without a doubt answering it. Over the past few years we have felt our house being torn down bit by bit.   We have received this refining with thanksgiving, but as many of us all know our prayers never get answered with our own methodology. This hasn’t been a step-by-step renovation where we get to place all the orders: “Okay, today God take out this wall! Now, you may remove the ceiling. Here you go this is the color I chose!” No, this is not his approach. His way is often a little messier, far different, and far better then expected.IMG_1156

Last week nature gave us a not so soft, not so gentle reminder of our renovation desire. As we sat at our kitchen table eating lunch we suddenly heard a loud cracking noise, followed by a humongous thud on our tin roof. Then, our entire ceiling began collapsing overhead. Quickly grabbing Duro (the women working in our home) we all ran out the other side. Once outside we realized a large tree had fallen on our roof over the kitchen. No wind, no rain, just a tree with old rotten roots had buckled. The tree caused damage to nearly half our roof and ceiling, however, because of the strong walls and foundation the remainder of our house was left unscathed. Most importantly our family was safe as well!

Looking back, we are able to take away many lessons from this experience. The three foundations involved- the foundation of the tree, the foundation of our physical house, and the foundation of our lives- have painted a vivid picture for all of us. The tree was big, tall, and seemed very strong. However, its roots were dry and weak, and the slightest wind caused it to fall. Our house appearing simple, but built with careful attention received some damage.  However, its foundation and walls stood strong against the tree. Then, we look at ourselves. Our lives have been tested this past week, this past month, and these past few years in ways we never intended for and never asked for. Far from our plans, and far from our desires. However, through the rubble we still smile with an ever increasing joy! Our house is now built on solid rock and even when the roof comes crashing in overhead: We will not be shaken!holding house

“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 8

“Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher Appreciation Day

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CARE Africa Team with School Staff

The CARE Africa team had the exciting, privilege of hosting our first Teacher Appreciation Day! A time designated to honoring the teachers and administrators of Living Springs Academy, the school in which all twenty-eight of our CARE kids are currently enrolled and attending.   During this time together we sought to express our gratitude, question them about their needs, and of course pamper them a bit with refreshments. Teacher Appreciation is a well-known practice in the states, but for this group of educators it felt slightly bizarre to feel so appreciated!

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Classroom

Sitting amongst the crowd as a fellow teacher, I really identified and sympathized with their struggles. Teaching, no matter your location in the world, already offers its standard level of complimentary challenges. You know things like hours of lesson planning, grading endless stacks of papers, disciplining uncompromising children, keeping parents happy, and simultaneously remaining in step with demanding educational standards.   Then, add on top of that the challenges of teaching in Nigeria and the job really loses all appeal!   Classrooms have no fans or air conditioning when temperatures are above 100 degrees, books are scarce, no paint or pictures for the walls, a chalk board as your sole visual aid, an unbearable student to teacher ratio, below standard pay, and much, much more! You don’t have to spend much time in Nigeria to recognize the short falls in education; however, all things considered they must be applauded for their tenacity.

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New Science Lab

The burden to help right the wrongs of Nigeria’s education system has been on my heart since day one of moving to this country. However, such an endeavor is colossal in size, and much bigger then myself! I believe God is beginning to answer my prayers by calling the CARE Africa team to fully come alongside Living Springs Academy. Through our partnership we can work together in providing for both their tangible and intangible needs. Subsequently, sparking a small fire that will slowly begin to spread its way across this community, this state, and maybe even this country.

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Current Playground

Below is a wish list for this school. Some big some small, but valuable in improving this schools educational standard. I feel strongly that the numerous years my family has been involved in education has partially been in preparation for a time such as this. I know the resources for many of these items are at my fingertips. Most likely over half of the people reading this blog now are educators or somehow connected to the profession. So, pray about it. How might you be able to assist today in making

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Current Computer Lab. This Computer caught on fire last week!

a small, worthwhile, and lasting difference? Maybe it is through your prayers, perhaps through your gifts, or possibly through your time here in Egbe?

Living Spring Academy Needs:

  1. A Library- book donations, funds for books to be purchased in Nigeria, shelving, and training on how to best utilize a school library.
  2. A computer Lab – computers and computer equipment (new or gently used) and training on best practices in teaching basic computer skills and programing.
  3. Manipulative and Visual Aids for classrooms
  4. Toys and learning games for Pre- Nursery Classrooms
  5. Play ground and Sport Equipment
  6. Professional Development Seminars- child psychology, teaching english, and just best practices in all curriculum areas would be appreciated.