Sunday, November 14, 2010

HOSTEL PARENTING--rewarding, fun, challenging, tiring, and busy...never-ending laundry, ever-hungry teenagers, lots of piling in the van to go here and there, lots of laughter, some struggles, room inspections, kids on 4 different sports teams plus Worship Team and Running Club, 9 different ideas about what movie to watch on Friday night, more laughter, more struggles, academic joys, academic woes, the Grade 9 Bridge Project, the Grade 10 IGCSE preparation, the Grade 12 SAT & TOEFL taker, giving haircuts, finding new recipes and trying to make the food budget s-t-r-e-t-c-h as far as possible, the joke of the day, internet down--again, electricity off--again, water tank empty--again, it's raining so need to grab all the half-dry clothes off the line, muddy cleats in the house, devotions and prayer times, fun times and hard times--LIFE!!! And life in the center of God's will is always good. Because He is good. All the time!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Calling All You Construction Types!!

Ever want to get down and play in the dirt? Well, we've got lots of dirt and mud too at the construction sites for the new MK Hostel and the new campus of Rain Forest International School. We need masons, bricklayers, laborers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, tile guys, landscapers--you name it and we can probably use YOU! Let us know if you'd like more information...

Arnie checking out the new RFIS Library!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tricky Tones and Pool Noodle Jousts

November 2008
For about 2 ½ hours one afternoon last week, we met with two Esimbi men and a Wycliffe language consultant to discuss the thorny orthography questions—how to spell Esimbi. (That’s what you get to [have to?] decide when the language has never been written before!) The basic issue is how to mark the tones that carry significant meaning in the Esimbi language. The goal is to make it easy—for both those literate and illiterate in English—to learn to read and write Esimbi.

The discussion went back and forth and back again—which of the five tones are most frequent in the language; how would a choice affect the noun classes; what about the difference between the progressive and past tenses... The consultant (who is unmistakably brilliant at this sort of thing) came up with a plan, diagrammed it on the wall of chalkboard in his small office. Then he sat back, looked it over and said, “That gives lots more problems!” and he sat shaking his head. Literally, it was back to the drawing board for an alternate plan.

Finally an idea was sketched out, much different from the one we’d started with several hours before. But it had several advantages and only one major drawback. Now the plan is to take this proposal back to the community to test it and see if it will fly. Please pray for wisdom on this. It will go out as a tentative solution, but even now there are some people who don’t want to change the old way we’ve been doing it. Ever notice how we people-types don’t always like change??

Zac slept in this Saturday morning…his 11th grade class put on a Medieval Feast last night for about 140 people at Rain Forest International School and he worked hard! There were roaming minstrels and jugglers (including Arnie); jousts were done with pool noodles and steeds (just bigger people than the jousters); fairy tales were acted out by the audience; there was a “royal family” at the head table, and the king would sometimes order people to be put in the stocks, like for “fashion violations.” Then others could go up and throw socks (rolled into balls) at them. Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham put in their appearance, but did not get on well with each other as you might expect. We were served brown bread and delicious grilled chicken for dinner—but no utensils to eat them with! At the serf auction…we “bought” one student (to come and give Zac and Noah a guitar lesson). It was great fun.

Thanks for your prayers for us. We count on the fact that we are being prayed for by our faithful friends—like you!

Karen <>< for the Colemans

Monday, October 6, 2008

Snakes in the Grass -- September 2008

Another ho-hum afternoon of office work, sitting at my computer here at Rain Forest International School...I was probably preparing for our upcoming special emphasis week on Drug Abuse Prevention, or maybe finishing up the paper work after registering a student to take the SAT or ACT test later this year.

But across the hall in the Admin Team meeting in our Director’s office there was quite a hullabaloo! I heard the word, “SNAKE!” and so, of course, HAD TO jump up to check it out!

Sure enough, there was a bright green snake slithering up the wall right outside the office window. Someone ran to get Joseph and he came dashing with a cutlass (machete) and sprang into action. He missed it entirely the first whack—it was moving VERY fast! He got a piece of it the second time, but it barely slowed at all. The third blow he got the head. The nerves in the body still twitched for a while, but it was definitely dead. Emotions (Joseph’s and those of the spectators) started calming down slowly, like a BB dropping in oil.

It was a poisonous Green Mamba, and Joseph buried the head (with the venom) and took the rest home for dinner! It has a lot of bones, and not much meat—it was only about an inch in diameter, maybe five feet long. But, hey, meat is meat!

An even more sinister snake…

Why does Rain Forest (RFIS) exist? Well, there are Bible translators laboring in tiny African villages, and veterinarians reaching out to Fulani cattle herders, and church planters training national leaders, and doctors treating malaria, and pilots who facilitate all these things. These folks can continue their ministries here in Cameroon and neighboring African countries, while their middle and high school students get a very good education. (Although perhaps a little TOO stimulating at times—with Green Mambas around!)

This means that if powers of darkness can wreak havoc in the lives of these students, their families may have to return to their home country for counseling help. And their ministries are put on hold, and may even be stopped cold.

As Student Care Coordinator at RFIS, I meet with students who have need of a touch from God; a reminder that He loves and cares for them; a listening ear or a word of advice about a relationship or a sadness in their life or decision they are facing.

Please pray with us that God would protect Zac and Noah and the other 114 students at RFIS from the poison that Satan seeks to inject in their lives, to cause them to doubt God, His ways, His will.

And please pray for Arnie as he embarks on a new ministry challenge—teaching Bible at a local Cameroonian high school. He also still teaches choir, trumpet, and computer at RFIS.

We value your prayers for us more than we could ever express.

Karen <>< for the Colemans