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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Day 9 Wednesday 1st August

Everyone so far has been telling you they have been having an early start. Well, the really early start has been 6.15am when the teachers have been getting up ready for school. We have been taking part in assembly at 7.30am which still amazes me. The children are so genuine in their worship and a real love of the Lord shines through.

Yesterday evening a child came to me in need of support and I spent lots of time talking with her and giving her some much needed love. This morning the first thing I saw when I arrived at school was her running up to me. Moments like that make you realise that you really are making a difference.

The rest of the day was truly delivered from prayer. The last week and a half have been filled with elements of frustration at the way African teaching varies to the standards we have in England. However, we had identified teachers that had potential to really take on board the things that we wanted to teach them. Today we were given a day with 6 teachers from across the Grace School who took part in a morning of teacher training. We started the morning with prayer as we were worried about how to deliver some of the new but essential elements they needed to really consider in their planning. It was a lot for them to take onboard but they asked lots of questions and were engaged in the activities that we carried out with them. After a lunch break, which at school is 10.45am, we asked the teachers to plan a lesson for tomorrow where they could try out some of the techniques that we explored with them. They were so inspired that we had teachers running off to get materials to make resources. The UK teachers are going to go and teach with them tomorrow to support them. At the end of the day the teachers were so thankful saying that we had been an answer to their prayers and sang us a lovely song. This token of appreciation made our hard work and continuous early starts and late nights preparing resources by hand for them so worthwhile. Two teachers have asked for our email address which is such a positive sign as it means that we can continue to support them even when we return home.

Whilst this was all going on the pupils were outside having a ‘sports day.’ Our youth team went down for an hour to join them which was great. Lots of the children who board at Grace School have begun to come up to the bible college in the evening where our youth have been sitting outside with them teaching them to make friendship bracelets.

Rod, Tony and Tim were busy fixing computers at the school yesterday and when this was mentioned to one of the teachers today she asked me if I would teach her how to use a computer. That is my task for after school tomorrow.

The craft ladies met again this afternoon and I went to join them. I had originally planned to just go and take some photographs of the group that have now truly bonded but ended up doing some pinning for them in preparation for a patch work banner. A gorgeous little 3 year old girl, who’s mum is in the group, decided that she wanted to come and help me so climbed up on my lap and kept passing me bits of material, paper and pins quicker than I knew what to do with them. We then spent some time playing together.

The music suite (5 keyboards, 2 broken desks and an old door) has been coming on today. The hope was for 5 desks which the 5 keyboards could be placed on. However, only 2 tables without tops plus one door was found. The amazing Tony, Rod and Tim modified what they had and made tables with space for power cables to be passed through them.

After a tasty dinner we closed the evening with devotion time where we heard that Khoshi (the only female student at the Bible College) had told Susie that many groups come and go but each of us in our team had really made a difference. This was such a lovely end to the day and seeing as some of our projects end tomorrow, will really help us finish them feeling that we have done our best and helped the people of Siyabuswa.

The adult team have raised a glass to all the successful tasks that we have undertaken so please join us, as all of you back home have been so supportive that you deserve the ‘well done’ too!

Time that I signed off now. Speak to all you soon.

Frances x


  1. Brilliant, Frances--so heartening to read this. I think you may have caught the Grace bug! The teacher training is something that has been needed for a long time--if they keep going with the new ideas it could be transformative.
    Every blessing for your last couple of days there--enjoy!

    1. I think I have caught the grace bug. Will really miss being here. Today was great, we saw some of the teachers delivering lessons following on from the training. Some of the things we had done were evident so we party they continue to build on this.

  2. Raised a glass here too for all your devotion, dedication to the work there. Soon, you'll all forget about bacon and chips! :)

  3. Francis you and the team are such an inspiration. Your entry brought a tear to my eye. I cannot wait to hear all about your trip in more detail when you return. Katy