January, 2014, we started the year with excitement and expectation of what God intended to do in the school and our lives. Thobeka Maqubela agreed to take on the role of acting principal, preparing the school to appoint a principal to take over from me. Three of our five classrooms were completed and the toilet block in place, although not connected. It was thrilling to be able to stand upstairs on the balcony and see all that God has accomplished the school.
We started completing our self-evaluation for Umalusi, the independent body appointed by the government to evaluate schools. Thank you to Kimberley Hursh for your great help in getting the process underway. We also welcomed 62 new Grade R learners - I never cease to be delighted by their fresh, innocent excitement at being in school!
March 2014 was a milestone for me as I turned 60! I also spent 4 weeks in the UK meeting up with many of the children's sponsors. It was so wonderful being able to share all the good news with all our faithful supporters and also have opportunities to tell others what God is doing. I particularly enjoyed my visit to Crofton Hammond Infants and Junior schools and was thrilled to receive postcards for all our Grade 2 learners from the year 2 classes there. Later, the Grade 2's sent postcards back in reply.
May was a month of taking stock and understanding that Eagle's Nest was not quite ready for me to leave. I thank God for Thobeka for holding that position for the months I was away.I stepped back in to help support as new Heads of Department were appointed - Mr Jamakanga as HOD for Intermediate and Senior phase and Jenipher Mutoko as HOD of Foundation phase. This has made a big difference to the smooth operating of the school.
This was also the month Nathan Cheong, our grandson, was diagnosed with leukemia. This was a great shock, but we have learned to trust God more and more each day through this experience. Although I had planned to start another school in 2014, I realized that I needed to wait on His time, and that I would be busy at Eagle's Nest and with my family for some time to come.
By July, it was obvious that all the staff had really stepped up in their performance, and also their dedication to God and the children. He has put an amazing team together!
In September, we had another great Open Day and AGM, where all the school community worked together and the Heritage Day celebrations were great fun. While there, 96 people took part in the Ukusela iKapa and later in the year went to collect mugs from the Cape Town Castle. All our Grade 6's took part in the Annual National Assessments (ANAS) and did well. Thank you Mr Sibanda for your efforts to prepare the children for the tests. We also held our intake day for the new applicants for Grade R in 2015 and 60 children were selected
At the end of October, we held our 2nd graduation ceremony for all the Grade 7 learners. It is amazing and encouraging seeing how God is moulding children through the years they spend at Eagle's Nest. Thank you for the support we get from so many who sponsor individual children and also make donations to the school. Our Grade 3 and 6 classes also completed the WCED Systemic Tests in this month.
From June, we were expecting the 4th and 5th classrooms to be completed, but due to many problems, this did not happen. The two grade 3 and two grade 4 classes continued to share classrooms and we were very grateful for the co-operation of the teachers in a less than satisfactory situation.
In November, we interviewed candidates for Grade 4 and Grade 3 teaching posts. We were pleased to welcome Mrs Patricia Muzunze and Mr Tyson Mupoterwa to the positions.
We were once again treated by the Care & Share team from Old Mutual, who blessed everyone and made our Christmas celebrations very special. Radio Pulpit visited the school, interviewing several learners. They also donated popcorn and videos for the intermediate phase and sponsored the bouncy castle for the younger learners.
In December, Christo Sampson heard about the position of principal and approached us. After interviews and a time of praying, we offered him the job and he accepted. This was a wonderful way to end the year, knowing that we were still moving forward in the calling He has given us.
Even as we closed for the Christmas holidays, there was no sign of the buildings going to be completed. Nevertheless, we all take great hope from our story at Eagle's Nest, in knowing that He will complete what He has started and in His time, He will make all things right!
Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time." To God be the Glory, great things He has done!