First year of school complete! We had our end-of-year closing program last week. It is amazing to see the growth in all of our students. When we started school in June, after the first day of class, I was so overwhelmed. I’ll be honest, it was pretty much chaos those first few days. We had to establish more rules than I thought we would with the parents and the students and I really did not know how the school was going to work. After a couple more weeks, though, as the children adjusted, things started to look more like a real school…with some type of organization. If you know me at all, I like things to be organized and under control which is funny that I chose to start a preschool since both of those things are often impossible.
It is clear that God has taught me so much through these past nine months, really since I have moved to Malaybalay one and a half years ago. I have been stretched and challenged which has helped me grow in many areas.
I have learned a lot of the local language. I am for sure not fluent yet and that will take time but I can converse pretty easily and my vocabulary is growing. I have also learned a lot about the culture of the community here. This is also something that I think will take years to understand and learn but I am working on it.
I have learned how run a school. This is not without the help and hard work of many so thank you all! I am still learning but it is kind of insane to think about me running a real school since four years ago I did not want anything to do with any type of job that was related to any form of school let alone start and run one. My plan was to be a nurse but God’s plan is always perfect and I love my job now.
I have learned to live on my own. From living in my parents’ house to moving half way across the world to live by myself, I have learned many things like how to pay my bills (which is quite interesting in the Philippines since you cannot just mail in a check or pay with credit card but you actually need to go to each company to pay each bill with cash) and how to cook (well, still working on that one but I can survive now food wise and have learned a lot of local dishes and how to cook with local ingredients that I have never seen before).
I have also learned how to be a part time mom. I expected to help with the babies at the children’s home a little but I did not expect to have strong attachments with them. The first baby that came to the children’s home after I moved here was only a week old. I named her and she is very attached to me. I buy her diapers and milk, take her to the doctor, stay with her in the hospital the times she has been admitted, and spend the night when she is sick. She is the most precious baby and I pray every day for the adoptive family that will get to take her home to be theirs. I have also become close to a few of our older kids. As we are making changes in our children’s home, they will be transitioning to other homes or moving back with family. It is going to be hard for all of us but I know I will still be able to stay in contact with them. I will be moving one of our girls up to Manila tomorrow who I am closest to, it often feels like she is my daughter. I will get to visit her but please pray for her as she makes this big move to a new home and for me as she will be so far from where I live.
I am so thankful for all the things God has taught me and all the things I am still learning. I am excited to see all the things He will teach me during this next school year.
I will be heading back to the States from April 7 to May 23! I plan to visit friends, family and churches in California and Georgia so I will be traveling some during my time home. I am excited to be able to spend a lot of time with my friends and family in the midwest…especially my precious nephew :). Hopefully I will get some time to rest too.
Thank you again to everyone who has made this first school year possible! I could not have done it without you all!