Tuesday, September 5, 2017

School is up and running

The Miqlat Primary School, Thuchila is up and running. Well, mostly. The uniforms are still being sewn, the desks are being varnished, the chairs are being finished but school started on time. There are two classrooms - one a standard (grade) 4 & 5, and one a standard 6. Both are being taught by young Malawian men. One of them grew up in the Miqlat system through the Kogoya program. They both seem like they will do a good job. They are being assisted by the facilitators at the center.
It has been fun to see this come to fruition. Soon all the bugs will be worked out and the kids will be getting a far better education than they could get at a public school.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dedication

Today was the day that the Miqlat Primary School Thuchila was dedicated. Our team arrived at the center and were greeted by a bunch of beautiful women from the community all dressed up and dancing and singing. After a time we had the privilege of stuffing the backpacks that FOPC members generously donated with notebooks and pens.
Meanwhile the community was gathering in the field next to the school. There were big speakers blaring music with people dancing. Before the "official"'program even started there were various church and community groups dancing and singing. Very entertaining!
One the district education manager (DEM) arrived, the actual program began with he and Pastor Kirk cutting the ribbon and unveiling the dedication plaque. After that there was a tour of the school followed by many speeches, dances, a key presentation, a symbolic giving of backpacks and more speeches.
The first student from Thuchila to graduate from post secondary school training was presented a sewing machine as she just completed a tailoring program. She gave a beautiful speech about how Miqlat had taken her from a place of hopelessness to success.
The event closed with over an hour of dancing. From very young to not young at all people had so much energy and joy. All in all a very beautiful day.
Dinner tonight was spent with a couple from the U.K. who are doing ministry with village pastors and some of the older students at both Hope Centers. Tomorrow we will go with them to Kogoya where Pastor Kirk will lead a one day seminar. There will be some festivities out there also and we hear we might get to paint some chalkboards. Looking forward to another adventure.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

All here

Today Kirk and Laila arrived so the "team" is all here now. Kind of strange to be in a place that I have been before that is usually bustling with energy and noise and craziness and have it be calm and quiet. Today before picking up Kirk and Laila I ran errands with Sally. In the past when with a team I could never understand why people running errands took so long. Today I understand. We went to a bookstore to return some books and order some more and every part of the process was slow. We went next door to get some chalkboard long rulers and they had to go who knows where to get the 5 we wanted. The traffic around the city is slow but also crazy! I gladly gave up my front seat from the airport so I didn't have to see all the near misses. People walk right in front of cars and never bother to look. Mini bus drivers are crazy! But this is Malawi and so I take some comfort in seeing these things that stay the same each time I am here. Tomorrow is the school dedication and I get to go hug some kids I love with all my heart.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Small but mighty

On Sunday a group of 3 people will be heading off to Malawi to be there for the dedication and opening of the Thuchila Hope Center school. Kirk and Laila are leaving Sunday night from San Francisco and going to Africa via Turkey. Lauri is also leaving Sunday night but going straight to Malawi from Sacramento. We will arrive a day apart just in time to get ready for the dedication happening on August 31. School opens on September 4 so please be praying for both of those days.

Kirk has a busy schedule meeting with pastors, community leaders and Miqlat staff and Lauri and Laila will  be helping at the school or wherever needed. We are looking forward to what God has in store for us.
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Kirk and Laila 

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Lauri and Joseph who first met in 2010.