Grade 7 Exams This Week

We are into our final month of our 2017 school year. We are a bit behind on updates and have yet to let you know what we were up to in term two. But in the mean time, we’d like to ask for prayers for our grade seven students this coming week. From Monday to Friday they will be writing their national exams. Passing these exams is critical if they want to continue on to secondary education. These kids have worked incredibly hard this year, writing mock exams and putting many extra hours of studying in. Their teacher, Mrs. Muzyamba, who is teaching grade seven for the first time, has also done a fantastic job.

Grade 7-1

If you are the praying type, please ask God for wisdom, confidence and good health this week. At least one of them has been sick today. These kids are ready but I know they are pretty nervous. Joel teaches them math and has been going over some test taking skills to help ease their fears. This our biggest graduating class at MICS and no matter what the outcome is we are so proud of these kids and all of the staff who have invested in them over the years to get them to this point. This is a very significant week in their lives. Thanks for praying!

Advertisements

MICS is looking for interns in 2018

Do you know a young adult who might be interested in coming to work as an intern here in Zambia at MICS? We are currently accepting applications for 2018 internships.  No experience is needed…just a love of children and a willingness to be flexible. Interns live here on the school campus, have opportunities to support in classrooms during the day, and spend time building relationships with boarding students in the afternoons and evenings.

We have spots available for all three terms next year:

Term 1 (January – March)

Term 2 (May – July)

Term 3 (September – November)

Deadline for applications is September 15th. For details please contact sarahjantzi@gmail.com.

To my littlest on your second birthday…

To my littlest on your second birthday,

We seemed to have blinked and already you are two. The memory of your first few moments of life are still so vivid in my mind; laughing at the fact you were a boy…and a bit relieved too…and then instantly holding you in my arms and feeding you for the first of many thousands of times.

Nathaniel Birthday-8

You have grown and changed so much in the last year. You talk up a storm when you want to and run all over the place. Your sense of humour is coming alive. You have such a unique little life here. Yesterday I took you to the library and you sat on the carpet with the youngest class as they listened to the story. I smiled as you were the only one sucking your thumb and yet, in just a year you could be part of that class if we want you to be. Then we moved on to visit the computer lab where your brothers were. The teacher guided you to your own computer where you played around with the mouse and laughed at the images on the screen. Then you ran down the the veranda and were greeted by more friends. I felt thankful that we can leave our house and in only a minute, be interacting with people around us. The isolation I struggled with in the early years of raising your brothers, is virtually non-existent here.

Last night as Daddy and I were cleaning up after supper, you wandered out of our backyard to visit your boarding sisters. You sat on the steps and greeted each one of them as they came for bath time. You were laughing and chattering away. Sometimes you need a little space from us to open up to others and as you get a little older, we let you go a little further without us. This morning you visited Titus in the garden like you often do, and then Bertha gave you a ride around campus in the wheel barrow. Daddy and I spied from the office door with smiles on our faces, appreciating one of the perks of living where we work.

Nathaniel Birthday-13

You are surrounded by an incredible community of people who have become like family to you. Sometimes I catch you in a beautiful little interaction with someone and I’m thankful for this life that you have. I wonder if you will remember any of it. And one day when you return here, will it feel so familiar…the sights, the smells, the people, the language. Will it feel like coming home?

A few weeks ago I read the letter I wrote to you as I was eagerly awaiting your arrival. I couldn’t really believe you were coming and in some ways I still can’t really believe you’re here. Not a day has gone by over the last two years that I haven’t been amazed by you, the biggest surprise of my life. Like your name means, you truly are a gift from God. Your life is an unlikely story, but one that I am so privileged to be a part of. Being a mom to you and your big brothers is the greatest honour of my lifetime. Thank you for helping me on the journey of learning to be grateful for all of the wonderful gifts I’ve been given. Life is hard but is also filled with beautiful, grace-filled moments if we take the time to pay attention.

I love you my littlest one. Happy birthday! I’m excited to see what adventures this next year brings.

Love,

Mommy xo

Zambia will be our home a little longer…

Celebrating Canada Day in Macha

It is hard to believe that it was a little over three years ago that we began to share publicly about our plans to move to Zambia. At dessert nights, over coffee, or between Sunday services at church we began to share with people about a little school in rural Zambia and the adventure our family was about to undertake there.

Now, three years later, that little school has become home. Our kids have gotten bigger (and a lot better at soccer). We have added a new member to our family who is, unbelievably, almost two years old. We have taken on new roles at the school. And just as we were three years ago when all this got rolling, we are so thankful for the amazing support we have received from family and friends.

Many of you know that our original plan was to serve here in Zambia for three years. Now, after much thought and discussion and prayer, we have decided to stay a little longer. We will be extending our term by a little more than a year, staying throughout 2018 and moving back to Canada in early 2019.

Although it is hard to be away from family and friends in Canada,  we are excited to be able to carry on the work we are doing here and continue to serve with the fantastic team at MICS.

Of course, our extended timeline means we will need continued financial support from those who have given so generously to allow us to serve here. For those who currently support us financially, we will be in touch soon to share with you how you can continue giving or, if needed, make a change to your support. If you are not currently supporting us but would like to make a contribution, please contact us at joelpercy@gmail.com and we can give you all the information you need.

Thanks again to all of you for your continued prayers and support!

Term One Highlights

We know there’s been lots of silence on the blog lately. Here we are, halfway through 2017 and we’ve yet to give you a proper update. I’ve written a few posts here and there that I never hit “publish” on for various reasons. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to share. It’s been an interesting season of life and I admit that sharing about it has felt like it required more energy than I had to give.  But we’re ready to engage again. Before we get to anything too profound we thought we’d start by filling you in on some of what we’ve been up to since we returned to MICS in January. 

Term 1 Inservice

We started the year with two days of staff training. Some topics covered were disciplining with love, how to use pocket charts (thanks for your donations!) and reading aloud to students. The teachers did a great job practicing reading to their peers.

 

Curriculum Theme

Our theme for term one was “Join the crowd, read-aloud!” Teachers read at least one book aloud to their class each week and we did a month-long home reading program for students. A large part of the donations I received from baskets while in Canada, went towards purchasing good quality read-aloud books and we just received another big bag from a friend. The teachers have been doing a great job preparing their read-alouds and asking good questions and it’s now a regular part of their weekly lesson planing.

IMG_0517

Chapel

This year we are using the kids curriculum from The Meeting House and adapting it for chapel. Various people lead throughout the week including our teachers on Wednesdays and Joel finishes it up on Friday, often with a memorable object lesson and the occasional live animal.

 

 

Rain

We were blessed with a long and consistent rainy season this year. This means a good harvest for our friends, for which we are very thankful. It’s a beautiful sight to see the dry, dusty land transform into a green paradise.

 

New Jobs

Joel has debuted his teaching career, teaching math to the grade 7 class twice a week. It’s no surprise he’s a natural.

IMG_0243.JPG

Reading Room

Anastasia Mungo has taken over my previous job and has been doing a great job helping our struggling readers. Whenever I stop by I admit I feel a twinge of jealousy as I miss working with students more, but I’m also happy to pass it into her very capable hands. Nathaniel stops by occasionally to brush up on his English 😉

 

Easter Program

I was more involved in our Easter program this year, helping to revamp the music. I taught each class a new song and they did a fantastic job at our two performances. I also led and participated in our teacher choir. 

 

Lake Kariba

Over our term break in April, we joined three other families for three nights away at Lake Kariba. We enjoyed our days by the pool, playing tennis and eating good food. We also got out on the water to explore the biggest man-made lake in the world and see the famous Kariba Dam.

 

Dates

Since having kids, Joel and I have always tried to be intentional about getting out for dates. This has definitely been a challenge living in the bush. But we managed to get away for two nights to Livingstone in early May and enjoy some much needed time without our kids. As an early birthday present, I enjoyed a 15 minute flight over Victoria Falls in a microlight plane. It was an incredible way to view the falls and I also got to see some elephant, giraffe, buffalo and a hippo from above.

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 9.26.13 PM

Nathaniel

Nathaniel finally started to walk just days before turning 18 months in late January. As we suspected, once he took his first few steps he took off without hesitation. It’s made life more adventurous as having a toddler who walks in the dirt instead of crawling opens up new options. When we are working, Nathaniel is often taken care of by Bertha who helps in our house. They are good buddies. We’ve also been blessed with Amy, a fellow-Canadian who is here for the year. Nathaniel and Amy spend three mornings a week together and have a blast. (Special thanks to Amy who made our kid-free getaway possible!)

IMG_0342

Caleb & Micah

The twins started grade two in January and have a very enthusiastic teacher who we hired this year. They turned seven a few weeks ago and it’s hard to believe that this is their third birthday they’ve celebrated on Zambian soil. Life for them continues to exist mostly outdoors, playing soccer, basketball and exploring with friends.

IMG_1277

We are now well into term two, but we’ll stop here for now. Thanks for being patient with us through this quieter season on the blog and for your continued love and support! 

MICS is on Facebook!

We know it’s been a long time since we’ve shared anything on our blog. We apologize for the silence. We are alive and well, ready to welcome students back for term 2 tomorrow. While we have plans to update you on the last few months in the near future, we wanted to share that MICS has a Facebook page. It’s been up for awhile but I don’t think we’ve shared it here. You can follow the page to stay up-to-date on what’s happening around the school. Click here to check it out, including a look at what we were up to at our staff training day today. More soon!

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 8.30.29 PM

How You Can Help…

Our time in Canada is already halfway over. As I write this, a snow storm is blustering outside and we’re happily cozy inside in our sweaters. It’s a long way from Macha. We’ve been enjoying quality time with family, sleepovers with cousins, swimming, catching up with friends over delicious food and anticipating Christmas in just over a week.

As we’ve shared with many about our work at MICS,  a question we often get is “How can we help?” We are blessed to be in a situation where we don’t need to raise any additional personal support for our family at this time. Thank you to to the dozens of you who are faithfully supporting us in this way.

But, if you’d like to support MICS right now in a very practical way, here are a few ways you can help…

  1. We have an Amazon wish list.  You can purchase items off the list and they will be sent to us to take back with us in January. There are many items on the list but in particular I would love to bring back a pocket chart for each classroom to have… 9 in total. It’s a simple tool that provides endless learning opportunities. Would you consider purchasing one? Check out the list here. It would be helpful to have these items in the next few weeks so we can pack! (**Edit: 15 hours after publishing this we have all 9 pocket charts on the way. Thanks for your generosity! There are other items still on the list for those interested!)
    pocket-chart-photo
  2. We are looking to bring back unlocked smart phones and tablets (new or used) to be used for learning apps.
  3. Gift cards for Amazon, Best Buy, Google Play or iTunes are useful to buy educational resources and learning apps. 

    In this season of giving, we know there are many valuable organizations to support. If you’re interested in being part of MICS in this way, or have any questions, please get in touch at juliannepercy@gmail.com.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

Grade One is Done

Today was Caleb and Micah’s last day of grade one. There are a few more weeks to go in the school year, but we decided to leave a little early to have a longer visit in Canada. The boys were blessed with four amazing teachers this year. Ms. Monde was their main teacher and they also had three assistants along the way. They kept getting promoted to a full teacher position which was great for them, but a loss each time for their class.

photo-1-19

It’s been amazing to watch the boys grow this year, not only physically, but in all they have learned. In some ways the context for learning here is so different… lots of seat work, copying off the board and virtually no worksheets. But they thrived with great teachers who have been kind and guided them along the way. One of my favourite things is to watch them read and immerse themselves in the world of books. It’s such a fun stage of learning.

But now we’re all ready for a break and to have time to just be together and with those we have missed. Tomorrow is our last full day in Macha, then we drive to Livingstone on Sunday, fly on Monday and arrive in Canada on Tuesday. The boys love to travel and are excited for unlimited movies  on the plane and the kids play area in Heathrow. I’m looking forward to a chocolate croissant and a smoothie. We will arrive exhausted but with anticipation for a wonderful few months ahead. Today was full of goodbyes, but soon there will be many hellos and we can’t wait. Your prayers are appreciated as we travel and transition back into Canadian life for awhile. And we hope Canada has saved a little bit of Fall for us!

 

 

Dessert Nights

cake

We are excited to be back on Canadian soil soon and to have the chance to see so many of you who have been supporting us and cheering us on while we are here in Zambia.

In order to connect with as many of you as possible, we will be holding a series of dessert nights in November. These events will give you a chance to learn more about our work at the school and to hear some stories about life in Zambia. Of course, we would also love to answer any questions you may have.

Below are details on the three events. We hope you can join us for one of these evenings. If you are interested in attending, please email juliannepercy@gmail.com for more details. We hope to see you there!

MISSISSAUGA — Thursday Nov 24th
Where: Port Credit
When: 7:30pm

BURLINGTON — Tuesday Nov 29th
Where: Near Appleby & New Street
When: 7:30pm

OAKVILLE — Wednesday Nov 30th
Where: Near 8th Line & Upper Middle
When: 7:30pm

Would you help us find our next School Director?

It has now been two weeks since I took on the role of School Director here at MICS. It has been a wonderful two weeks of meeting with staff, hearing their ideas for taking the school to the next level, and trying to get my head around all that needs to happen in the three short weeks before we return to Canada. I continue to be so impressed with the team here at MICS. They are smart, passionate and dedicated…it is going to be a joy to work with them.

Now, on to one of my first and most important tasks in my new role: recruiting my successor. Our commitment to the school is to be here till the end of 2017. After that, we will need someone to step in and take over.

MICS is looking for someone to fill the role of School Director at the end of 2017. We are looking for someone who cares deeply about children, is passionate about offering a quality education, and is committed to teaching them about God’s love. Do you know someone who might be a fit for this role? The ideal candidate will have some experience in primary education, either as a teacher or an administrator, and be flexible and humble enough to adapt to working in a new culture. A full role description is available here: Role Description – MICS School Director.

The role would formally begin in January 2018. Ideally the candidate could arrive in Zambia in September 2017 to allow some time for training and a smooth transition.

If you know someone who might be a fit, please share this with them. If you are interested in learning more about the role yourself, please email joelpercy@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!