>Wow….time flies

>Ok its been forever since I’ve posted, and the reason is that the internet is SOOO slow out here! Its become increasingly frustrating for me as the time has progressed. I am sure i’ll be in shock when i finally get back to the western world with their fast FAST internet! :0) It will be a welcome change, I’m sure.

Every day I walk back and forth from my classroom to my house, and on the way I look out over the spectacular Rift Valley. On days after it has rained, the air is cleared from dust and haze and I can see individual trees that are what seems like forever away… other days (like today) it is drier and the dust is whipped up by the wind blowing over the escarpment, making dusty haze float over the valley as it bakes silently in the African sun. At night I can see fires blazing on the other side of the valley and always wonder who sits around the fire and what they talk about… the scenery here is so spectacular, and it stirs something deep inside me that I can’t put my finger on. I sense a peace and certainty of God’s absolute power, and a sense of privilege that I am so small in a world that is so vast, and God is mindful of me.

Today was my last day of teaching here at RVA…. I give my chemistry exams on Monday, so please pray for my students as they prepare and then while they take their exam… I sincerely hope I have done everything I’m able to prepare them for the rest of the school year.

It has been a full month in every possible way… personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually….the whole 9 yards.

Classes continued to get more and more difficult to prepare for as the material becomes more challenging. Its neat though, because as the material gets more complicated, my students are understanding more and more of what chemistry is about, and that excites me.

I raced a car in the schools Pinewood Derby, but didnt’ win any awards. I had a blast making it though! It started as a block of wood and ended up as a VW Bug… fun times in the woodshop with power tools and lots of sawdust and paint! :o) It was a full day with 4th graders through adults racing their cars down the track, with digital sensors and timers calling the winners of the various heats.

The school celebrated Multicultural Day, where we acknowleged the >34 nationalities that make up the student body, with kids from Ethiopia, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England, Switzerland, Canada, Korea, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, among many others. We are a true melting pot! :o) There was a ceremony where some students did a Korean fan dance, which was beautiful.

Amber and I dressed up in typical Red, White & Blue….

I sent an email update with info on the Spiritual Emphasis Week and the aftermath of that, which has continued to be a real movement of the Spirit on campus this term even after S.E.W. ended, which was a real prayer of the staff here. Students are taking itiative to impact their worlds with the truth of God’s love and grace, in ways that I never saw during my time as a student here. It is truly a new movement and its awesome to see.

It was also a special experience to see commitments that were made during S.E.W lead to baptisms last weekend here at Kijabe. Students who grew up taking faith for granted made the decision to claim it as their own, and made that statement public by being baptised. RVA holds baptismal services twice a year in their own baptismal in a shady nook on campus that is dedicated specifically for this purpose. Students gave testimonies, shared scriptures, and the RVA community celebrated with them as they took this important step in their walk with the Lord. A girl that was in Suswa while Amber and I were there chose to be baptised, and it was a privilege to be here to witness that.

A good friend of mine came up to visit for a few days, and a group of us went on a hike up Longonot, the volcano that sits in the middle of the Rift Valley. It was an amazing view from on top of the volcano rim, seeing how tiny Kijabe is in the grand scheme of the terrain. It was steep though! And I was very sore the next day, but it was an accomplishment and a good time away from campus with friends.
On a personal note…I’m in the process of applying to graduate schools to start a PhD program next fall. An expensive process! But worth it in the end, provided I get accepted somewhere. :0) Its also been a time of personal attack as Satan tries to fill me with doubts about all sorts of things…. whether or not I should go to grad school, where I should go, what kind of vocation I hope to pursue and how that intersects with my scientific studies…. I am especially susceptible to anxiety and failing to trust the Lord for my future… Ironic since I have been a witness to such amazing orchestration on His part to get me here at RVA for this time…

I was able to work out 3 weeks of extra volunteer work at A.I.M’s headquarters in Bristol, England and am excited to explore another position in missions. This one will be much more support-oriented, working on special projects for the international directors in areas that often need ‘one more body’ to help, and I’m happy to take a load of their backs on any way I can. At this point it will be helping to prepare the international offices to host a conference in January where they hope to streamline Human Resources and Personnell processes, which will involve computer & office work….a big change from what I’m doing now! But I am excited for the change in scenery, for a new and different opportunity, and to explore another missional vocation as I continue to explore where the Lord is leading me professionally. I fly to England the 30th of November, and home to Charlotte the 23rd of December. When i return, I will be unemployed, homeless (i’ll bum off my parents for a little bit longer….) and without a car, so it will be an adventure! :o) It is a continual process of turning over the Lord and choosing to trust Him…but its not easy for me!

Please continue to pray for me as I finish out the term, that I would say goodbye well, leave my students with a sweet taste of Jesus and of science, and that I would lean solely on the Lord for his sustaining grace and that I would pursue His will above my own.

I’ve included pictures of some of the stuff I’ve mentioned here….

All for His glory~~


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2 Responses to >Wow….time flies

  1. Heather says:

    >I’ll be praying for you Ash! I’m excited to hear of all that God is doing in Kenya!

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Ashley,We are excited to hear about all that God has been doing! Know that we are praying for you as you take your next steps of faith.Love, the Burdens

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