It is hard to imagine how much more full four months can get but working here at RVA continues to show us that four months can fly by with every day full of exciting possibilities. It has been good to be back so let us fill you in with some of what has been happening with us. We will include prayer and praise requests at the end of this update.
Both Todd and Kylie continue in their roles of teaching P.E. and being the Dean of Women as well as coaching extracurricular sports. Cassidy, Titus and Ella continue their roles of being students in grade 11, 8, and 4. They would say that school here is tough but they are all doing well. Cassidy is taking on some leadership roles in her class as well which is neat to see her developing her skills in.
After spending the year in Canada and getting involved in several things there and being “busy” we realized when we got back and into life again here that we had not lived for the past year at the same intensity as we experience here at RVA. There are always things to do, people to meet with, students to teach, activities to be planned, go to and be involved in. Life is full here with not as much “down time” as we had in Canada. We find that we even if we had access to TV shows here we just would not be able to sit and watch like we did when we were back in Canada. However, we do miss that ability to watch those favourite shows as well. The culture of RVA revolves around interacting with people much more than we get used to in Canada.
We also have the privilege of interacting with so many people from so many different cultures. It can be challenging but it also makes us better people in realizing that there are so many other ways people live in the world around us. Every year we celebrate our multicultural mosaic and do fun activities on what is a Kenyan holiday during our school term. It gives a glimpse into what it is like to be created with different ideas, values and ways of thinking but ultimately recognize that we are all created equally and accepted unconditionally by a loving God. Todd gets to organize a 5Km run during this day as well. He is always amazed at how fast people are finishing 5Km at 7,000 ft in 20 minutes.Pinewood Derby is a highlight event for many of the students in the school. This is where the RVA culture and wood meld into a fun expression of creativity. Students and staff work at creating the best engineered, most creative, most unique or fastest car to run down the 50′ track. It is an exciting day that ends with awards that the students celebrate their achievement with. We have made a car in the event for the past 13 years and now have many cars to show off. Here are the Dubber creations for this year in the back and from years past.
Todd and Kylie attended the Global Leadership Summit event held in Nairobi. We attended for the first time in Lethbridge last year with approximately 300 people. This year we decided to go again and registered for the one in Nairobi. Little did we know that there would be about 2000 people there. Most of them were Kenyans as well which was such an encouraging thing to experience and know that there are so may people who are developing their leadership skills in this country.
We recently mourned the loss of a Kenyan family member here. Mary, who we have known for a very long time, lost her husband suddenly to a stroke. He was 68 years old. We have done a lot with this family from helping them put gutters and a water tank up to catch rain water to supporting them with finances to help take care of homeless children. We attended the funeral which was a different experience for us but we learned a lot about how death is handled in Kenyan society. Many people were there and many groups presented songs and spoke. We were so thankful that he had accepted the Lord in 2014 and are at peace that he is with his Lord and Saviour in heaven.
Looking ahead to the next school term both Todd and Kylie will be coaching Field Hockey. Kylie has been coaching the varsity field hockey team for several years now. Coaching the Junior Varsity team will be a new venture for Todd who, ironically enough, became the first “trained” Field Hockey coach in Alberta under the National Coaching Certification Program in Canada. We are looking forward to working together in this sport program and developing student athletes to do their best.
We have to remember that this is a Christmas Edition update. Hard to do that here when this is the “summer” season here below the equator and temperatures are in the high twenties and low thirties. We do have a Christmas tree which helps us remember that we are getting closer to celebrating the birth of our Saviour.
We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
Prayer and Praise:
- We are grateful that our vehicle in Canada sold and we were able to use the funds from the sale to pay for repairs to our vehicle in Kenya. God is good.
- We have a lot of good staff to work with at RVA. We appreciate what God is doing in the hearts of people who come here to invest in the lives of the students.
- Please pray for the student body as many are influenced by things of the world. Pray that we as staff will meet them where they are at and that they will make appropriate choices so that everyone can live in community.
- Please pray that we will start into the second term of school well rested and ready to engage with the students coming.
- Please pray for Mary and her family as they mourn the loss of her husband. It will be a different aspect of life for them.