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Thursday, March 8, 2012

School supplies

It is an understatement to say that I have experienced true joy during my time here in Malawi.  There are certain situations where I am amazed at what I am witnessing and where I know if I weren’t here, I would never experience what is before me.  One such situation happened this week.  I had received a huge box filled with school supplies from my Uncle Bob and Aunt Pam. Upon receiving it, I was amazed at their generosity and thoughtfulness.  They included many items that were in bulk, such as boxes of crayons containing 64 each.  They had hoped that I could use the supplies in my classroom and just split them up between students.  As I was looking at the supplies, it struck me that they had sent more than enough.  There was plenty for me to split the box in half and give half to my class and half to a local school. 
I have never been so thankful to see school supplies before!

Over the Christmas holiday, I had the privilege to go to a school near Chinsapo, a local village, with the Chisomo idea.  This organization has partnered with a school close to the village.  The school’s head master heard about the work the Chisomo Idea is doing in the village to help those in poverty.  She offered to provide six scholarships for children who by no means could afford tuition to attend school.  I went to school with these seven students on their first day.  I was amazed as I saw the excitement on their faces and realized they were being given an opportunity they would never have dreamed of.  It was amazing to sit down with the administration at this school and hear a bit about their staff and students.  Everyone was so welcoming and I was thanked numerous times for visiting.  Since I had already been to this school and seen what it was like, I thought this would be a perfect place to take the supplies. 

When I went back with the supplies, I was once again greeted by a warm welcome.  I watched as a teacher came into the office, asking for a stick of chalk.  She was told there was none left and there had been someone sent into town that could hopefully pick some up.  I sat there listening, knowing that in my 5 years of teaching, I have never once imagined of going without a whiteboard pen or even the color of my choice for that matter.  I can’t even fathom teaching without any supplies. 

This is the office at the school.  The cabinet is against the
opposite wall so you can see how wide the room is. All the supplies,
 including text books are locked in the cabinet. 
When I explained that I have relatives that sent out school supplies and that I would like to give them to the school, they were amazed.  They lined everything up on the desk in the office and sat there looking at it.  The Principal was gone for the day, but the assistant was present and he thanked me multiple times.  He then took the supplies and locked them in the cabinet in the office.  After about ten minutes of waiting, he unlocked the cabinet and took the supplies out again.  He counted how many there were of each item and then he asked me what the foam letters were.  I told him these are stickers and you can take off the back and stick it to a piece of paper or another surface.  Instead of just putting everything away, he asked me if we could try out one of the foam letters.  He took a piece of paper and handed me one of the letters.  I took the back off and stuck it to the paper.  I told him he could use these to write out words such as “math.” He smiled and said, “We could spell out the name of our school with these!”  It was so humbling to watch the joy that this brought him.  He carefully took the letter off the paper and re-stuck on the backing.  It was so evident how much this gift meant to him and how much the school needed and appreciated supplies. 

I drove away in amazement, as I knew that what had just taken place made a huge difference to the school.  I am so thankful for the support and love that I feel from those who are not here with me.  When something like that takes place, I know I am not in this alone.  I may be the one that is physically here in Malawi, but there are so many who are playing a huge role in my time here and the work that is being done.  I wish you could be here with me to experience first hand.  It is my privilege to share with you as you play such a huge part in my experiences and you bring so much joy to others and myself.  

This is one of the classrooms at the school.  There was nothing else but a chalk board in the classroom.  

Here are the six students who received scholarships.  The men on the outside are employees of the school and the ones I gave the supplies to.  Cosmas is in the blue button up shirt.  He helps out with the Chisomo Idea.  You can see the school building in the background.  


  1. God bless Cosmas and these six students!! I will be praying for them as i am sure they have many obstacles to overcome! thank you for sharing this picture!! they are beautiful, each one!

  2. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you in support and prayer Christy! What beautiful people you are serving - and what a beautiful God!