Valentine’s Day.

February 21, 2014 by Nicole Owens

  The road twisting down from campus to the valley floor cracks me up every time. We braved that bumpy guy again last Friday, a small crew of us riding out with Mark to visit a couple schools, and as our teeth rattled in place Mark joked, “You know, lots of people pay money for seats that shake.” We arrived at the first school as the kids were washing up for lunch, scrubbing small hands under a ribbon of water poured from...

Continue Reading

Unsinkable.

January 16, 2014 by Nicole Owens

  The whole school has turned out to see us, kicking up dust as they dance and wave us in. We climb from the car into a river of children with smiles bleached white in the three o’clock sun. It’s Wednesday, and Todd and I have tagged along with our friend Mark to open a solar-powered computer center at a school smack dab in what Kenyans call The Interior–undeveloped land, mile upon mile of scrub brush and dirt and sheep. I’ve never known...

Continue Reading

It Will Be Better For Them: The End of the Chapter

July 7, 2013 by Steve Peifer

A student comes into my office and asks, “What is the secret of getting into college?” My response is that there are no secrets, but an important part of the process is showing your passion for the school you are applying for. She says she doesn’t understand, so I use an analogy. Let’s say two guys ask you out. One says, “Yo. Saturday?” The second shows up with flowers and candy, and gives you a poem because you mentioned you like poetry in English class. Who would you most likely go with?

Continue Reading

Meet the Daubenmiers: The Torch Gets Passed

June 25, 2013 by Steve Peifer

Mark and Sheri are new at RVA this year, but they made an impression immediately. Mark teaches math, and so impressed his students that they decided one day to all dress like him. Mark is the only member of the staff who wears a tie every day, so it wasn’t hard to figure out who the homage was for. Both are math teachers, and it was obvious that both were bright. We have a college day every year, and I get...

Continue Reading

Don’t Ask for Cuts in the Starbucks Line at 5am in the Indianapolis Airport: Accrued from a Three Week Book Tour

May 7, 2013 by Steve Peifer

The last few years, oh gosh, the last fifteen years have been different, and in many ways, a book tour is the most different thing that has ever happened to me. The book happened in the same way that so much has happened; out of nowhere. I was speaking in Rome, Georgia many years ago and Gregg Lewis came up to me and said, “I was the co-author of Tom Landry and Ben Carson’s autobiography, and we should do a...

Continue Reading

I’m More Excited than Afraid; Newest Computer Center and Publication Day

March 18, 2013 by Steve Peifer

We had pizza the other night, and I got to slice one of them. I was rather rudely mocked by my children because my slices weren’t equal in size. On another day, we were invited to a friend’s home for pizza. Jim was a commander of a nuclear sub; now he is helping to expand the mission hospital. As I looked at his unequal pieces, it occurred to me that I could have been a commander of a nuclear sub. This...

Continue Reading

There Are People in America Who Love Your Daughter

February 16, 2013 by Steve Peifer

Occasionally, people will ask me about working at Rift Valley Academy. How does someone who has never taken an education class manage to contribute anything? Is it hard to work in a small community where everyone knows your business? I respond by saying that teaching eighth grade English left a measurable benchmark that has yet to be equaled. During the diarrhea epidemic a few years ago, it WAS embarrassing to have people remark,”So it got you also; sorry.” My job entails...

Continue Reading

Cat Barfed ON Christmas Tree: Our Holiday Prayer Letter

January 1, 2013 by Steve Peifer

Nancy is out with a friend, and our cat throws up ON the Christmas tree. I immediately grab my phone and text her, because I know it will make her laugh. Later, I ponder something:  the enemy meant that to depress us, but what it exposed was that after 27 years, my favorite thing in the world is making my wife laugh. It was meant for evil, but He used it for good. Hard to write a holiday letter this year....

Continue Reading