During our performance at Maplewood Presbyterian Church in Edmonds, Washington, Pastor Barry reminded us that “children are teachers.” I am blessed to be surrounded by ten great teachers!
Lessons I’ve learned from the choir..
Getrude teaches me what it really means to serve one another. She consistently is looking for ways to assist. I was very touched one day when she helped me put on my shoes. Her gentle ways and heart for service is a shining example of Christ’s love.
Jackie offers a great lesson in courage! At the beginning of the tour, she had an completely valid fear of dogs. She has learned the role of dogs as pets in our culture and overcome her phobia in beautiful ways. She fearlessly and joyfully now takes dogs on walks. Yesterday, she even played with a 180 lb St. Bernard. Jackie is a very brave girl that when she faces her fears often finds new interests!
Joan is giving me some serious lessons in humor. I am learning that I did not know sarcasm until I met her! She is very witty and constantly making me laugh. She’s also very creative in the kitchen and one day even made us Pineapple Juice Tea. I am still uncertain if it was a legitimate recipe or if she was making it up as she went along, but the results were a very refreshing beverage and a very proud Joan of her homemade creation!
Cissy exemplifies the power of affection! She is always holding my hand or giving me hugs. These gestures are great motivators for days that can be long and tiring. Whenever she runs up and gives me a hug, I gain a new perspective and I am able to be content in the moment.
Dianah shows me that a little bit of confidence can go a long way. She is a studious young girl with a confident approach to life. With great ease, she can scramble eggs, watch over younger kids, and perform so beautifully each week! It’s quite impressive how quickly she finds a way to assert herself and become a leader in most situations.
Julius teaches me the importance of helping others carry their cross. He always appears at my side to take anything that I might have in my hands and carries it himself. He brightens my days with his smile and joy that overflows from within him.
Jafari teaches me the necessity of laughter. His giggle is so contagious and so full of life that regardless of how heavy a moment may be, if his laughter is heard, my heart is warmed. Moreover, he is a gifted artist that if I watch carefully perhaps his skill for drawing Curious George characters will rub off on me!
Joseph reminds me how crucial it is that we let one another know that we are deeply loved. His warm greetings, hugs, and using his words to inform me that he loves me provides immense peace . He shows me the deeply profound impact of verbal affirmation.
Charles has given me many lessons on the helpfulness of watching out for one another. If I’ve misplaced my keys or dropped my hair tie, Charles will be the first to notice and make sure that it is properly returned. He’s observant and in surprising ways watching out and caring for the people and things around him.
Allan really makes me think and is encouraging me to be a lifelong learner. He is very curious and asks many questions. Rather if he is asking questions with concrete answers like “What is the tallest mountain in America?” or more subjective questions such as “What do you want to be when you grow up?” (By the way, when he asks that question, I also answer “Aunt Jessica”.) He teaches the importance of seeking knowledge.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
In addition to my days being filled with lessons from the kids, I am blessed to learn from the rest of the staff too! Alice is the school teacher and her gift for teaching is so natural! I really appreciate learning from her particularly during our staff devotions, the way in which she shares the Gospel is extremely encouraging. Phionah, the choir director, is teaching me the Ugandan ways! In addition to enriching my life by broadening my understanding of another culture, she is also trying to teach me salsa. She’s a fantastic dance instructor which can be seen by the choirs’ performances, however, I am not the best dance student. Josh, the tour leader, has taught me a lot of Taylor Swift lyrics. Beyond his pop culture knowledge, he is a fantastic teacher in many areas. In the 34 minute lesson he gave me on how to back up the trailer, not once did he show any sort of frustration. So, in addition to me gaining some new driving skills, he taught me what it really means to be patient, encouraging, and determined.
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. Sorry it’s taken so long for an update…obviously I’ve been busy learning some things!