All in a day's work

A post by Morgan Casteel:

Morgan is an intern for Arise Africa and will be working in Zambia until mid October.   

I have been in Zambia now for the past two weeks working on all sorts of projects.  We are very busy getting ready for mission trippers to come over.  The complex is at its finishing stages and it has been fun to help get the office set up, pick out the finishing touches and see it all come together. I’m most excited to spend time in the courtyard at night. We have a fire pit, comfy chairs, and we are adding more stringed lights! All we need now is people to share it with!

We also have been going to the second Arise Home, which will be finished in mid July.  It has been fun to watch and listen to the Arise Home girls get excited about their new home.  I love how Arise Africa really wants the girls to get to pick out their own paint colors and bedspreads.  We are trying really hard for them to get to make their own decisions. Pictures to come soon!

I also have been hanging out at the current Arise Home. It’s been great to see familiar faces from my last visit and to meet new ones like Mary and Christine. Looking forward to spending more time with them all! Here I am with my girl Alliness.

Alliness, Nelly, and Doro taught me how to play a new kind of ping pong called blow ball where you have to blow the ping pong ball from one side to the other. It’s impossible to play without laughing so we had a great time making a fool of ourselves together.

In other Arise Home news, Fred and Mukonda's mom visited them at school yesterday.  Arise Africa works really hard for their mom to still be involved in their lives even though due to various circumstances they are unable to live with them.  It was a great surprise for the boys!

I have also visited Taonga school, which is the newest school for Arise Africa to partner with and have children in sponsorship there. The child sponsorship officer at the school is Kochelani.  I love watching Kochelani work with his kids. When working on letters to sponsors, I read the letter in English and he translates to the local language, Nyanja. I appreciate Kochelani because he makes sure his kids understand everything in the letter and takes time to explain the letter above and beyond for them. At Taonga school, these are the first letters these kids have received from their sponsors. It’s so sweet to see their faces light up as we read their letter to them. Here is one of our kids receiving her very first letter!

The kids and teachers were very excited to see a new face at school. During break time, kids run around the schoolyard, work (viciously dig up the ground) on the school garden, and roll tires around. This bundle of energy rode his tire everywhere and I was very impressed by his balancing skills. It doesn’t get cuter than this!

During grade 3 break, a group of students gathered around to ask me all sorts of questions. Some of their questions cracked me up, like when they asked me what my favorite type of shoe was. When break ended, they wanted me to join them for class so I did. I was very impressed by the teachers at the school and encouraged to see these kids eager to learn and receiving a good education. Here are a few of the girls reading together.

I have also spent time at Grace school. I enjoyed chatting with staff as we prepared and served lunch. After lunch, I sat in on the K-2 Bible class. I was so impressed with the planning that went behind Bible class and Lucy’s ability to keep the attention of 40 some young kids. GO LUCY!

My favorite thing to do in Zambia is to help the kids write letters back to their sponsors and I got to do more of this at Grace. Nothing beats a front row seat into the joy and opportunities sponsorship brings these sweet souls. This is Solomon reading a sponsor’s letter to one of his kids.

Interns just arrived and we have a full week ahead of us! I will write again next week!

God Bless!

- Morgan