Prairie Wife of the Week 2015 February Flashback Elizabeth
Posted February 6, 2015 by Prairie Wife - 1 comment
When I first introduced Elizabeth to our readers she was headed to Africa to work with children and develop a curriculum for a school in Gulu, Uganda. I am so pleased to share with you all that she has accomplished in the last year. I also encourage you to take them time to really read her open and honest views about the struggles that many women are dealing with…it truly makes me grateful to live in America and I feel like perhaps there may be a trip to Africa in my future!
Prairie Wife (PW): Last time we spoke to you, you were getting ready to return to Gulu, Uganda and work on developing a school curriculum. Tell us about your work over the last year!
Elizabeth (E): I have had an amazing journey in Gulu, Uganda over the past year. When I first arrived I began working on writing science curriculum for P1 and P2 (1st and 2nd grade) and finished both of these mid-year. It was so exciting to see the lessons I wrote being used in the classroom. The pupils loved the activities because it got them out of their seats, a place they spend too much time in the schools here! The curriculum also focuses on integrating the Word of God into every lesson. It integrates the truth, which is also something that too often is left out of the teaching here. Now our pupils get to actively participate, to step outside of a box that has had them trapped for so many years, and learn about Jesus and how they are fearfully and wonderfully made!
In the middle of the year I changed positions and became Dean of Teaching Staff. I began to work with the teachers, encourage them, train them, and work alongside them as they taught our children. I had the opportunity to sit in the classroom and assess what strengths they brought to the classroom. It also gave me the chance to see what we as a school needed to work on. We have an amazing teaching staff at Sanctuary of Grace and I am so excited to see what 2015 brings for all of us!
I also continued to work on curriculum and at the end of 2014 I finished writing a phonics curriculum in the pupils’ mother tongue, Luo. This will enable our K2 and K3 (Pre-k and Kindergarten) to learn how to read in their native tongue before we begin teaching them to read in English…a skill that will enable them to grow in their society.
We also began a tutoring program for those pupils who had repeated a class or were struggling in literacy. We will continue tutoring this coming year as it enabled pupils who would have otherwise stayed behind, to pass into the next class.
PW: Can you share with us what a typical day or week is like for you?
E: There isn’t a day or week that is the same! My role requires me to be in a number of different places throughout a day. Sometimes I am in the classroom teaching, other times I am sitting in on a class observing a teacher. I meet with different departments and headmasters to make sure things are running smoothly and to ensure we are on the same page as far as how the school is operating. This year I am hoping to spend most of my time in the classrooms working with the teachers.
PW: Your Words of Wisdom last time were “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” What do you feel needs to be shared about the current situation in Africa?
E: I think many people question why certain parts of Africa are still in such distress when so much money has been poured into it. The answer is simple; money is not the only solution needed to help solve problems in developing countries.
The society I live in is drowning in corruption and conformity. There are untruths here that need to be dispelled. But one cannot just hop over here for a few days, tell the people what they believe is a lie, and then leave with the expectation that changes will happen. Change takes time and it takes relationships.
Wars are being fought because of untruths that those fighting believe are truth.
There is a lot of war, and a lot of death in these developing countries. Things the US never hears about. Civil wars are happening right now and the only way to stop it is to dispel untruth.
It’s easier to just not think about it because it seems so big, but there is something each and every one of us can do…pray!
PW: Can you elaborate on what you mean by “untruths”?
E: There are many untruths that I believe are leading to the problems, here are a few.
It is believed that…
Women are solely meant for having babies.
If a woman produces too many girls it is her fault.
If a woman cannot produce a healthy child she is seen as worthless and usually the man will find a second wife.
If you are a girl and you have brother, your brothers will go to school first and you will be married off because girls aren’t as important.
No one has a voice. If you think you do and try to use it you could be killed for it. The result is nothing ever changes and there is so much corruption and conformity.
God loves white people more.
God will give you what you want, i.e. School fees, a car, a wife if you do good things.
As far as the wars being fought…Both sides think they are dying/killing for a good reason, for their government, for their god…so resolution is near impossible to find.
PW: You personally have had some exciting things happen for you since being in Africa, tell us about it!
E: Yes! I am in the process of adopting a smart, funny beautiful three year old named Micah! I will begin guardianship soon and then after three years of living in Uganda I can begin the process of adoption. I feel so privileged to get to be his mommy.
PW: Many people are interested in traveling to Africa and helping, but aren’t sure what the first steps to take would be. Can you offer some advice?
E: I would suggest looking into different organizations to see what kind of work is available. There are many organizations that are eager for help, especially if you are raising your own support. If you have never visited Africa, I would suggest doing so first. This is a different way of life and should not be about having an adventure. Coming to Africa to live is a serious life changing decision, and should not be taken lightly.
PW: How about for those that are already set to go to Africa. Any packing advice or things that you wish you knew before you arrived?
E: Sunglasses and sunscreen, it is hot in our part of the continent all of the time. Shampoo, conditioner and lotion because they are worth more than gold here! Bring things from home you love because you are going to miss them, i.e. your favorite book or movie.
Drink lots of water!
You will probably miss home and that is ok.
You are going to go through a roller coaster of emotions and that is ok.
People who live in developing countries aren’t superhuman, so don’t try to be.
What can we do here to help your work in Africa?
Pray! For wisdom, for strength, for love.
I am out here because of individual supporters so if anyone feels led to support they can visit:
Shepherd’s Staff website at www.ssmfi.org click on Missionaries and enter 6059 in the search engine.
Sponsor one of our pupils or teachers by going to ourcallmissions.org
We are looking for people to sponsor our kids who just finished middle school and are going to high school. If you would like more info they can contact me at email@example.com
PW: Any last Prairie Wife words of Wisdom?
E: Proverbs 31:8-9 says, open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
I don’t think being a voice for the voiceless is enough, we have to give a voice to the voiceless.
People can visit my blog at einafrica.wordpress.com
They can visit our organization’s website at ourcallmissions.org
Categories: Prairie Wife of the Week