For the Love of Teaching
Hanna Kingsbury, teacher, Rift Valley Academy, Kenya
I am sitting here at Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya, wrapped up in a blanket, listening to the sound of the birds outside the window and the rumble of thunder in the distance – there is rain in the valley. In some ways, it seems strange to be here. There are mornings when I wake up, stare at the wooden beams on the ceiling, and think for a moment that I’m dreaming. There are days when I step into the warm sunshine on the way to my classroom, stop in the middle of the rutted road, and fight the urge to pinch myself, certain that I am imagining the scene. There are evenings when I stand over our gas stove cooking dinner, humming to myself, and suddenly freeze in amazement, remembering where I am!
Even though we have been here for almost two years, there are moments where I still find myself trying to figure out if this is really happening. I could still stand for hours and stare at the majestic Mount Longonot and the sprawling Rift Valley, drinking in the wonder of being here. I could get up with the sunrise every morning and breathe in the fresh, sweet, crisp air and still have my heart overflow with more thankfulness than words could ever express. I could listen to the laughter of students in my living room each afternoon, accept dozens of hugs every morning, celebrate a score of birthdays, cheer at countless soccer games and band concerts, make hundreds of memories every day – and still wonder if it is all just a beautiful, wistful dream.
I know that it’s not a dream, but sometimes the joy of it just overwhelms me, and I doubt for a moment that it can possibly be real. When we were students, RVA touched our own lives in innumerable ways. Now, God has drawn us back so that we can reach out to touch the lives of the next generation of missionary kids, and enable their parents to take the Name of Jesus to every tribe and tongue. We are here, with five hundred incredible kids, teaching, mentoring, and loving them so that they may know the love of Jesus. We are here so that their parents can serve all over Africa and beyond, knowing their children are safe, learning, and loved, while they share the love of Christ with those who have never even heard His Name. We are not called to their ministries, but we are called to their children – we are called to love, teach, protect, and serve their precious, beautiful children.
My heart knows without a single shred of doubt that this is the place and purpose to which God has called us. And we will follow hard after His call, pouring all that we are into these students, so that His Name may be proclaimed to the nations, and so that there may be Christ-centered churches among all African peoples!