Whitney Wilder finished her sophomore year at Lipscomb University this Spring. She is interning with Luo in May and June at Ithemba School.
My time here in Africa has been nothing short of wonderful. Getting to spend my time at Ithemba School all day has been so much fun. The kids have so much energy! The first day when I went into the school, so many kids ran up to me and just grabbed onto me and wouldn’t let go. They had no idea who I was, but they saw me and wanted to come love on me. I didn’t have a problem with that at all. I love when they come running up to me and wanting me to hold them. All of their energy and love comes from Jesus and Him alone.
It’s truly amazing to see how much these children care for each other. If a child gets hurt on the playground, there will be about ten of them that helps take the child up to the teacher. They are all so concerned if the child is okay or not. Of course they are kids, so sometimes they push each other down but as soon as they realize that they’ve hurt someone, they apologize right after. That’s what these teachers at Ithemba are teaching them do to, they teach them to love one another just like Jesus loves all of us.
I’ve gotten the privilege to be able to sit in the pre-school classrooms each day and see how the teachers are teaching these children. You can tell how much they care for the children and how much they want what is best for them. What I thought was really interesting is how they are training them for the future. For example, they give them Play-doh and scissors and the children start cutting. I thought that was the strangest thing until one of the teachers explained to me that when they use the scissors they are training them to use the muscles in their hands so they will be able to write better in Grade R. One of the kids didn’t know how to cut with the scissors, so the teacher put her hand in the child’s hand and showed them step by step how to hold and use the scissors correctly.
Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” This is exactly what everyone at Ithemba is doing. They are continually living through Christ. Throughout my time here, I can truly see the power of Jesus. The community of people here is so powerful. They may have few possessions, but these teachers and children have so much passion and love for Jesus it is hard not to see that and believe in Him.