Day 11: Acts of kindness
The short morning safari was our last in Masai Mara. We drove along the Mara river and saw many hippos. Once again, I asked to see lions. The odds were not in our favor given it was an early morning. As we were on our way back to the tents/really nice hotel, someone was stuck in a river crossing with their car. Immediately, Dennis immediately towed the truck out of the water. This random act of kindness was a perfect end to the weekend.
Day 12: Voices
At Beacon Of Hope, we met two women from Chapel Hill church in North Carolina. They came to set up medical clinics for people at BOH as well as those living in the slums. A group of about 30 people are coming this Sunday to stay in the vicinity!
This time, both John and I went to the schools. I worked with the 4-7 year olds, and John went to primary school with the middle schoolers. The moment he walked into a classroom, the teachers gave him over to the students. With the entire 5th grade in one classroom, he taught multiplying three numbers, profit and loss, and percentages. When called upon, they stand up and politely say or work out their solution. John was so impressed that whenever he shared a story, he followed up by saying, “these kids are so smart.” Honestly, it is an honor to help out and teach. It is evident that staff and even students have found their voice, which is powerful. Teachers speak to students and they listen. Imagine that! I asked one of the teachers how the students know her voice so well and seem to hold such a deep respect for her. She replied, “Once you gain a child’s trust, they will listen to you.”
“How do you gain their trust?”
“You listen to them. Children know when you are listening and when you are ignoring them.”
I asked more questions, specifically about her voice. Not just hers, but all the teachers. Their voice booms so loudly that it is easy to hear from the other side of the school, but it is different than shouting. Angie said:
“They know the difference between shouting at them and speaking loudly. Their instincts are very good. By the way, they hate when you shout at them”
Angie’s comments made me think about parenting and teaching styles. What she was referring to is an authoritative teaching style. Authoritative teaching or parenting gives children a voice. It allows them to state their wants and desires knowing that they would be heard. On the other hand, the authoritarian style is the “my way or the highway” way of handling situations. The child may have a want, a desire, or a need, but it may or may not be heard after hearing the adult voice their wishes, expectations, or demands. Imagine a dictator, and you have a good image of an authoritarian.
Often times, God is seen as an authoritarian – a dictator waiting for you to mess up so he can throw you into hell. Yet, this is inaccurate. In fact, it is a big fat lie. God listens to our prayers, and sometimes, answers them.