As I entered the room of 20 second graders at Bondeni center, I was greeted with smiling children who then proceeded to clap and shout “Wow!” and gestured their hands towards me.  This is a routine “welcome” for guests in the classrooms. They would stand and sing a song and recite Bible verses.

As a second grade teacher myself, I was so thrilled to observe and see what happens in the classroom on a regular basis in Bondeni.  The room was extremely small, hot, and had a small square where light beamed through the metal roof.  In the front, the teacher had a chalkboard, a small desk, and old curriculum books.  The students sat close to each other on wooden benches.

The teacher proceeded to teach the students about harmful and helpful animals.  As the kids answered, they stood up and answered in a very respectful way.  If the teacher responded, “Good job!”, the students would clap a few times.  The lesson was dialogue and a few main ideas written on the board.

I was very humbled by being a part of the classroom and seeing the daily hard work these teachers put in – 6 days week, 8-4 daily, and never had breaks.  The teachers had very little material and visual aides to help them teach, but I could tell the students loved school and were learning every day.  My favorite  part, was when they stood and recited Bible verses with such joy!

Our team brought children’s books for the Pangani center and they will be placing them in their library to share among the schools.  The lady who is the librarian was so excited!  She said, “This is an answer to prayer.”  Such little things I take advantage of…I have so many books in my classroom with easy access for my students all of the time.

I look forward to many more interactions with the teachers in Bondeni this week, model/share lessons, and work with the students. I’m excited to see how God will use me this week at the school.  I also was very blessed to spend the afternoon in the slum, interacting with the people in the community with “Bringing the Light.”

I’m very grateful for everyone – as you have been such a wonderful encouragement to me and my team here in Kenya. I have loved reading encouraging notes given to me, knowing we are being prayed for, and your support in every way.

10 responses to “Wow!

  • Myron El

    Wow! I can’t imagine eight hours a day, six days a week. There would be no achievement gaps here if we did that!

    Seems like an awesome experience witnessing the complexity of learning in such a simple display of willingness. I wonder if we are open to the wisdom God wants to impart to us? He is trying to teach us twenty – four & seven and we still have big gaps in the learning process.

    Lord help me to be open to your guidance every step of the way!

  • Beth McIntyre

    Kristen- Great to read your blog. Thankful that you were able to take books to the children.
    Beth and Larry

  • Jill

    I’m so happy that you are there safely. Those children will see God’s light around you! Please keep the posts coming, I love hearing about how you are doing!

  • AmyHyman

    Kristen, so great to hear all that is going on there and see pics! Praying for you daily! What a light you are to the world! Keep going, you’re doing awesome! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Suzy

    Ed! So happy to hear news directly from you. I am sure that seeing what other teachers deal with in other parts of the world is very eye-opening. I hope that you, in addition to bringing hope to those teachers, are refreshed in your own life as a teacher. Love you lots and can’t wait to see what else lies ahead for you during your trip!

  • Jay Dziwlik

    Kristen, God is so good and apart from Him we have no good thing. It is humbling to serve and to see that God works through you and the things you least expect. We love you and are in prayer over you. I look forward to your return and the news of God’s work you were priviledged to see. Jay

  • Jill

    its so neat to see photos of where you and your team are 🙂 We are praying for you and the team…(as I know many people are)…when the tough get going, remember “you can do all things through Christ”. Keep up the great work! love ya! your big sis.

  • Mindy

    Kristen!!! So good to hear from you! We’ve been praying for you and your team every day. Man, I’d love to be there with you in those classrooms… I’m quite jealous. You will be such a blessing to those kiddos and the teachers. I can’t wait to hear more when you get back. Miss you! Min

  • Dontie

    Just had a chance to check out how the trip is going. So exciting to see “home” through your eyes and the eyes of those on your trip. Wish you could be there longer, but am glad you got to be there and experience all you have. I know you will be in their memories for a long long time! Continuing to pray for health and safety. Enjoy Masaai Mara!

  • Heather

    So wonderful to hear about the trip and God’s work being done thru all of you. We all miss you and continue to pray for a great trip. Love Heather

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