Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The first week of school is OVER! I was a wreck. Everything was hard, tiring, long, stressful...
My schedule right now is
Wake up at 5, go to school at 6, teach until 12:30, stay in my classroom to work until 6pm, eat dinner, skype, then go to bed at 10. haha so people keep asking me if "Africa" is SO exciting? I laugh because right now, I am doing the dirty work. Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach dance, Friday is ABC missionary potluck, Sunday is pancake night, Wednesday is missionary Bible study, Thursday is girls bible study, and then shopping takes like 3 hours for me.
So thats my life right now. woohoo!
During my hard first week I have thought a lot about why I'm here. It was very hard for me to figure out why God would send me here if I'm not doing a good job, I don't feel like I'm helping anyone, and anyone could come here and do what I'm doing, but better.
I wonder if I am the one benefiting from being here more the the Malawians. Just last week I have been learning to trust God with everything. I am out of my comfort zone in every situation I encounter here so there is no way I can lean on my own understanding. This place has shown me my weeknesses instead of building up my pride. I feel broken. That is what God wants from me to be able to serve him. I need to know that I can't do anything without Christ's strength and guidance. My challenge now is to learn what it feels like to do my best and work overtime to serve and to glorify God, not to make myself look like a better teacher. That is the hardest thing for me to do because I want to serve God, but feel like I'm working so hard so that I don't show everyone my failures.
Anyway, I'm not ragging on myself, but I am saying that it is good for me to be here because I need the slap in the face. I need to know that I can't help to build Gods kingdom without God directing my every step. God has taught me this time and time again. Maybe one day I'll get it. Before I try to change the world I need to be changed.
I know this is random but, I said I would post pictures of my classroom so here they are.



  1. Whitney,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. Your description of teaching reminds me of my first year teaching when I was 22 and felt barely older than the 5th graders in my class. I understand your frustrations. I will pray that God continues to give you wisdom and confidence in your teaching. I look forward to meeting you in January!

    Beth Trumble

  2. whotness! thank you for being honest! sounds like the Lord is teaching you a lot...i can identify with some of what you're talking about...change can be a painful process...your room looks amazing by the way! i love you and am praying for you!

  3. It looks so good in there! I love the table in the center of the room. I know excactly what you are going through. Hang in there- it will get better, I promise. God brought you there for His glory and He will accomplish what he wanted in spite of you. Rest assured, you are making a difference in the lives of your students and their parents.

  4. Oh Whitney, I know just how you feel. That is just what I felt like when I was teaching you as a 5 year old in Pioneer Club!!! Scared to death, didn't know if anyone is understanding me blah blah blah...........I am just smiling as I read your post. You are learning so much at a young age. While you are the teacher, you will learn more than your students. Keep being teachable. You will never be perfect, don't need to be. You are probably having all kinds of second thoughts, that is so normal. Hang in there, I love you so much and I will be more fervent in praying for you.

  5. Whitney as Patrick and I read your blog we want you to know we are praying for you and you are amazing.....Patrick can relate to your first year teaching it is very stressful and we can't even imagine in AFRICA but God is good and he will give you all you need embrace him and your time there....I am saving my money to come next year to work in that clinic I need some of those humbling experiences myself.

  6. Your classroom looks great! I like it a lot. I need to post pictures of mine...I don't have internet at home so I don't get on much. You may think that someone could go and do a better job than you...but it's not true, because most people aren't willing to go. Once you get over the first few weeks of shock, you'll be great. I've been at school everyday until 6:30 too. Haha. I have no life outside of school. I think it is just the life a first year teacher. Plus, you are in another country,...so that makes it feel worse. You'll be great! Just do your best. That is what I'm trying to do. haha. Ask other teachers a lot of questions and ask to be evaluated...just be teachable and it will make the first few weeks better.

  7. Dear Twit Whit,

    I'll pray that God continues to draw you closer and closer to him! And be encouraged: You are affecting those little ones in so many GOOD ways.

    Keep the posts coming!

  8. Great blog Whitney! I love your transparency. God is at work in you and this experience will be forever with you. You will always remember what it feels like to be out of your comfort zone, to be dependent on God, to feel inadequate and you will be much more compassionate to others when they cross your path feeling like that! I love the advice you got from everyone... Bekah is right, not many would do what you are doing so while you might 'think' there are others than would do a better job it's more than likely not true! God chose YOU... no accidents only Godincidents! :0) I'm praying for you! --Nancy aka Mrs. Robbins

  9. Hang in there Whitney. Your feelings are very normal.

    And remember...God picked you to teach the kids in your class. You do not have to be perfect.

    It sounds like you are growing a lot. That can be painful.

    I'm proud of you!

    With love and prayers,
    Ann Thomas
    Casey Elementary

  10. So everytime I tell people my sister is a missionary in Africa... their eyes get big and look really impressed. And then I say something like, "Well, you have to know my sister... she was born to do something like go to Africa because she's crazy. The United States is a little too easy..." See, I think you were born to go to Africa. Not just anyone can do what you're doing.

    Next, you can take on the challenge of Eastern Kentucky. :-) Praying for you nerd store!