Voices from the Field Kristi TenClay Get to know Kristi

So. Exhausted.

Published on May 22, 2023

Click here to view this newsletter as a PDF.

There really isn’t any other way to say it. I am exhausted. As we move into this final month of school, my lists seem to be longer than ever. It is difficult to tell how much of that is reality and how much is simply perception as a result of several weeks of being “off” physically – not sick enough to keep me from doing my work but enough to suck the energy out of me. I am incredibly thankful for a recent round of antibiotics that now has me feeling so much better and the fact that multiple local holidays lined up this year to allow us this current four-day weekend! Please pray for physical health and endurance, as well as spiritual focus during this busy time.

This is the time of year when members of the missionary community shift our minds once more to transition. Transition and change are natural parts of everyone’s life, but somehow it consumes more time and energy in a world where 25 to 50% of your community is saying goodbye every year. We recognize the importance of finishing strong and encouraging one another in the process of leaving well.

Unfortunately, the trend over the past few years at RFIS is that we have had a lot more “goodbyes” than we have had “hellos,” and the additional pressure that puts on those of us left behind is noticeable. Do you know anyone who God may be calling to join our team to help keep the work of Rain Forest International School moving forward? We would love to hear from them!

This next year will be critical in the life of RFIS, especially in terms of recruitment. We hold tightly in confidence that “He who began a good work in [RFIS] will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6) while also recognizing that we only know a part of the picture, a poor reflection (1 Corinthians 13:12) and limited understanding of God’s plan and purpose. Is our role here on the verge of significant change? Only God knows the answer to that question. Please pray with us that we will all have our hearts and minds open to whatever it is God is doing. Likewise, pray that we find a God-honoring balance of waiting and acting.

In the midst of it all, God is good. My 9th grade history class is an absolute delight. My 10th graders are beginning to smile and show some energy again after successfully completing their external examinations for my and most of their other courses. The 11th grade class is buried in the many tasks necessary to prepare for this year’s Banquet (next weekend!) and is doing a great job folding and cutting and gluing, and everything else we can do to prepare decorations in advance. This week, my African Studies students will present the culmination of their semester’s research to groups of teachers and students on Modern African topics, ranging from AIDS to the influence of the African Diaspora and from the informal economy to media’s role in fighting corruption. (They are scared out of their minds but are going to do a great job!) Oh, and the kids in my speech class decided we could prepare a reader’s theatre to present at Banquet for the Seniors, with only a bit over a week’s rehearsal. What else? Oh, I am also in charge of graduation this year. PHEW! Now I know why I am exhausted!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I promise to take some of the many events we have in the coming weeks so you will get lots next time! 😊 For those of you in the Midwest, I will be back in the US for the month of July. (Flying in and out of Sioux Falls and hopefully making a trip down to Kansas at some point in between). Keep an eye on my Facebook page for details – I hope to see some of you then.

Kristi TenClay