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Chalkboards for Kenya- Many Hands Make Light Work

The last year was overwhelming in all of the best ways.  I've been waking up lately and my reality has far surpassed anything I've been dreaming.  Great place to live. Amazing friends.  New car.  A job that I adore- working in places that I've prayed for decades for- twice.

Sometimes I act surprised when God gifts me with what I ask for even though He has laid it all on my heart. But I'm finding the less I try to do the more that comes through.  It's a daily reminder- it's not you Sarah.  SARAH ROSE-- freaking SIT ON YOUR HANDS AND STOP TRYING TO FIGURE THINGS OUT! :)

Psalm 37:4- Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

James 1:7- Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

At a team planning meeting last October for the schools in Kenya we were brainstorming ideas on how to get students more engaged in their classes.  Engagement also means knowing exactly where students are working.  Now I LOVE when students write and take notes.... but that can seriously take up some time to read and it doesn't give them a quick response with academic feedback.  Through the discussion we came to the idea of response boards.  I use whiteboards in my class-- but expo markers with a classroom of children can cost sometimes up the the price of your first born! We also don't want to introduce anything that can't be reproduced in Kenya. So enter in chalkboards. Things they have in Kenya--- wood, chalkboard paint, chalk!

We made our first batch in December and they were a huge hit.  We got our service club, Panther Cares, involved who painted all of the boards.  We introduced them at our teacher training in Mombasa and the teachers loved them!

Our two directors/pastors--- doing a little paper/rock scissors
I came back home with pictures and stories and my kids really got involved.  One gave his Christmas money to help buy the soccer team uniforms.  

Without jerseys they aren't allowed to play which in an area that generally doesn't have electricity, no market, etc. can lead to boredom/trouble. Jack's gift changed more lives than he could possibly know or imagine.  

Thanks Jack.  You're a world changer.
Team in their uniforms courtesy of a 7 year old story about it all! 

These jerseys spawned a whole lot of goodness to come forth quickly our of little minds.  

They began donating books, selling lemonade and cheerios, anything they could do to help.  The family I live with started collecting student soccer jersey, shorts, and cleats to send to the kids from all of the local soccer clubs.  Home Depot donated the materials for the 2nd round of boards and the Boy Scouts cut and sanded them before the students at my school painted them.  Boy do many hands lead to incredible things.  My class raised money to purchase soccer balls that wouldn't be destroyed. (check out one world balls)

Once in Kenya, I was speechless most of the time because I couldn't take in all of the goodness fast enough.  Kids who in December weren't in school, eating more than one meal a day- were now running around playing and greeting us in English. Not to say that there aren't days when things are hard, frustrating, and you just want to go eat a mango.... but Disneyworld can't compete with seeing two worlds connect to have powerful experiences for all parties involved.  

Small miracles make big miracles.  See below

Soccer team donning jersey's from Franklin, TN and One World balls purchased by my 2nd grade students
our babies using the 2nd round of chalkboards with materials donated by the Home Depot, cut and sanded by boy scout troops in Franklin, and painted by the hands of Pearre Creek Students
Students with their teachers trying out their new chalkboards with sorts donated from Pearson
library and computer lab before... just missing a few small details ;) 
First library- complete with DEWEY DECIMAL! Many of the books donated by students
First computers with Wifi in the village!  This woman here is a miracle worker!
First pile of rocks, praying over the first stake, and walking out how big we want the new church to be! June 2015
New Church with Foundation--- bigger than we all imagined Sept 2015

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Walls on the church! Jan 2016

It's days like today that I remind myself that I don't know what it will continue to look like in the future, but surely sweetness and awe has to be in the mix!  Stuff like this sure makes me care less about politics/what's for dinner and more about who I'm passing along the way.  It doesn't take much to change your community which then impacts places you didn't even know existed in the world! The Bible asks that we hangout with people, eat with them, and if they need something give it (read Acts).  I think I can handle that for today and possibly tomorrow and hopefully invite a few people to join in as well:).

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