Today was another exciting day on the campus of The Esther School. Both the Kindergarten and Preschool classes opened their doors for the last hour of school to the parents of all of their students. Following time in the individual classrooms, both classes joined in the library for a chapel service together. During this time we sang worship songs together while Lindsey played the guitar, Kevin shared a few words of encouragement to the students and parents, and then the parents were shown a slideshow of photos set to music of all the students from the first weeks of school. Drew closed us all in prayer. The gratitude of the students and parents was evidenced by the many smiles and applause. It was so amazing to be a part of this day, finally coming together to celebrate all of the learning that has taken place, to appreciate the blending of two cultures, and to worship our great God. The Preschool has just completed a unit entitled, "All About Me". During the previous weeks, they have been learning all about how God has made their bodies and that they are very special. They have painted pictures of themselves, made life sized outlines of their bodies and colored them, painted their footprints, and learned songs all about their bodies. What fun they have had! Today, they welcomed their parents with singing and even presented them with sugar cookies in the shape of little people, decorated with smiling faces! The parents loved touring the classroom and seeing all of their children's artwork. They also enjoyed watching the students recite all of their Zoophonics letters (sounds and motions included). Enjoy a few of the special moments of Jean and her class today...

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The Kindergarten class has just completed a unit called, "Family and Friends". They have been reading books about friends and family and how they live and play together. The girls have enjoyed playing with dolls in their classroom cardboard hut as they role play how their own mothers care for their families and their homes (complete with hanging their doll clothes laundry on the in-class clothesline). The boys are learning how to play together as friends while working together to construct buildings and roads with blocks. They also enjoy playing football (soccer) together outside during recess time. Rachel's class is also actively learning their letters using the Zoophonics program. It is amazing to see how quickly the students are learning their letter sounds as they associate them with a related animal. Tina also had the opportunity to join Rachel in the classroom this week to bake banana bread with the students as they worked together to prepare a special meal for their family day. Today they proudly served their baked bread to their parents when they visited their classroom. How fun to see the parents sitting in the very seats where the students usually sit! They are a spirited class who are no doubt great leaders, quick learners, and an excellent first class that will some day be the first to graduate from The Esther School. Enjoy some precious moments of Rachel's class this week....

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After participating in the activities of this day there are truly no words to describe all that the Lord is doing here. After so many years of preparation for this school, after the months we have been here working, after the trials and challenges, it was all the sweeter. Jean and Getrude, Rachel and Beauty have worked so very hard, not only together as they have forged their teaching teams, but also with each student. Their efforts were all evidenced so clearly today as we saw the students recite their letters, sing their songs, and proudly show their parents all of their work. It is hard to even imagine the growth we will see in them throughout the remainder of this year! It is also so incredible to be a part of watching them learn a new language and grow in their faith. Seeing them sing "My God is so Big" in English with such enthusiasm and certainty (with the motions to go with it) is priceless! Thank you from each of us and on behalf of each of them for being a part of changing their lives in such amazing ways. The day was summed up by two parents who upon leaving said, "It's amazing. It's as if America has come right here to Zambia!". All glory goes to God!