Chapman has always been a thinker. He is notorious for asking questions I don’t know the answer to and Google doesn’t either! He has really been enjoing going to school 2 days a week but last night he came to Paul and I crying. He said he is so lonely at school. When he first started going to school all the kids wanted to play with him since he was the new kid and was “cool” because he was from America but as the weeks wore on, the new wore off and he was roaming the playground by himself. He has an hour to play between when he gets out of school and when Annelise is finished so that made his loneliness felt even more. My heart broke for him as he cried over missing his friends in the US and being able to understand what kids were saying all the time instead of trying to decipher another language. We talked for awhile about how we have all experienced loneliness and how even Jesus was lonely and despised by men, deserted by His friends. We prayed for Chapman that the Lord would provide him some friends on the playground at school. Paul also encouraged him to look for kids that were by themselves and ask to play with them since they are probably lonely too. He thought that advice was great!
I had such a heavy heart when I went to bed last night. One thing that is hard about moving to Namibia is the unintended consequences our decision has on our kids. We knew it would be hard to leave friends and family but seeing Chapman’s heartache makes me want to fly back to Arkansas immediately! Today when I arrived at school I was a little anxious about how Chapman’s day went. As soon as he saw me he ran to the fence and informed me that he had made 2 new friends! And not only that, but they asked to play with him! Oh, how I praised the Lord! He looked so content and happy as he swung on the tire swing waiting for Annelise. Thank you Lord for that encouragement for Chapman (and his parents). He also said that his teacher talked to his class today about choosing your friends wisely and Chapman really thought that was very applicable to his situation and that the Lord must have made his teacher talk about that today. I guess this is one more step in out adjustment to Namibia and I thank the Lord for answering our prayer for Chapman so quickly.
Most of our news has been about our adjustment to life in Namibia so I am sure some of you are wondering when we were ever going to get around to doing what we came here to do which was work with kids–teaching them the Bible! Well, the first Friday of August is the official launch of Kingdom Kids. It will be an after school club that will meet at our church. It will be a combination of AWANA and Firm Foundations, which is a Bible study for children who have no idea about the Bible. It was developed by New Tribes and has been successfully used in Namibia in the past. I am excited to finally be doing something with children! Susan comes the middle of August and we can’t wait for her to get here! We met 2 more Aggies–yes, the number of Aggies in Namibia is up to 5–and they are missionaries with AIM. He is a pediatrican and they work along the local church to give “legs” to the Gospel. They were thrilled to hear about Susan coming so it seems that her skills and gifts are much needed here in Namibia! Please pray not only for kids to come but that we have enough teachers! I’ll keep you posted on our progress. May the Gospel bear much fruit in Namibia!
Rugby is to Africa what American football is to the US. It is a winter sport but even so the kids play barefoot! Chapman has been practicing with his school team twice a week and yesterday was his first test, or match. He is on the B team which obviously means he is on the “less skilled” half of the team. They were set to play the B team of another school but the coach got confused and had his B team play our A team and his A team play Chapman’s B team!
Headed back to the line after a score (by the other team)
Needless to say they lost but we were impressed that the score was ONLY 15-0. Chapman enjoyed tackling anyone within reach. Paul asked what position Chapman played and I told him there aren’t positions–the kids just are one mass of tackling, running 2 feet, tackling again, etc.
Ready to Run
A friend’s father watched the match with me and told me he had trained his sons to be great rugby players and if I want Chapman to be good he needs to throw a rugby ball against a wall for 2 hours a day! The rugby ball bounces funny so this helps them develop good ball sense. I told Chapman what this gentleman said so last night he was busy throwing the ball on the side of the hallway! I told him I think the man meant an OUTSIDE wall. Chapman thinks his mom is very particular, after all to him, a wall is a wall.
Street names. Most towns honor heroes like Martin Luther King or former presidents or astronauts, etc. but not in Namibia. Here in Namibia we drive down “Robert Mugabe”–dictator of Zimbabwe and “Fidel Castro” street everyday. When I was first learning my way around I would get confused and tell Paul–“It was off one of the dictators’ streets.” Paul, ever the map person, didn’t find that very helpful!
The other strange thing is that not only do they honor dictators and people who are mass murderers but there are also streets recognizing missionaries like “Hugo Hahn”–who was an influential Lutheran missionary who really did preach the Gospel in Namibia. What a contradiction that Hugo Hahn, a man who brought Life and Truth to Namibia, is honored by a street that crosses over “Robert Mugabe.”
They are also busy renaming some streets with impossible names. They are so difficult to pronouce that the street sign will have the new name and then underneath the former name! As they say, this is Africa so people just laugh and shake their heads.