A Good Day at School

Saturday, August 23

8-23By Sherri Kirkpatrick of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA

…I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty…I can do all things through God who strengthens me.

—Philippians 4:11–13, NRSV adapted

While in Zambia, we met the new headmaster, hired for the Kasompe School, sponsored by HealthEd Connect. His obvious ability and passion impressed us. Then we met with the school board and learned something unexpected. A board member said, “We have a problem. The new headmaster cannot read or write.”

Trying to appear calm while inwardly panicking, I asked for confirmation, “Can’t read or write?”

“Yes, that is a problem,” replied the board member. “That is why he is teaching nursery rather than fourth grade.” I took a long pause to recover. Then I asked, “What is the reason he can’t read or write?”

“He broke his glasses and cannot see,” they told me. I sighed in relief! We can fix that. So, we decided to advance him his first paycheck so he could get his eyes examined again and buy new glasses—we hope sooner rather than later.

We moved on to everyday matters. The usual lunch at our schools in Zambia consists of porridge (made of cornmeal and soya flour) or nshima (thick cornmeal) and beans. Because it was the last day of school before vacation, there was a special meal!

Our good friend, Gershom, wrote, “It was a good celebration. Food was just enough for all the children, the cooks, and the staff. We had nshima, chicken, salad, rice, and potatoes. This was a wonderful experience for the schoolchildren. Parents who were present were happy, and children took home a favorite treat, orange soda, to share with their families.”

This meal was a generous offering of love. It took more than 20 cooks, working over wood and charcoal fires, to prepare the 165 meals for Kasompe School and 259 meals for Chipulukusu School. Gershom called it a wonderful day.

Prayer for Peace Generous God, we pray most gratefully for the plenty you provide. May we partake mindfully. May we use the strength we gain to share the peace of Christ around the world.

Spiritual Practice: Reflection on Hunger Reflect on all the people and work that make our bread possible. See and remember the farmers growing and harvesting the grain; the millers, bakers, transportation workers, and grocers. Offer a prayer of gratitude and blessing for all who work to make our food. Ask for compassion and courage to offer bread to all who hunger.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will be content with what I have in preparation to share.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  24 August 2014

    Another great story of your work in Zambia. God continue to bless you and Jac in your work.

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