The Wonder of Hope

April 4, 2010 by Steve Peifer

Matthew has been in a sentimental mood lately. My guess is because he has been at RVA since second grade, and graduation is in July. So much to my surprise, he put on the newest Neil Diamond CD, Hot August Night/NYC. As we listened to the first song, I started to ponder how impossible it would be to pick his greatest song, or even the best recording of his biggest hits. But while the opening version of Holly Holy might suggest...

Continue Reading

The Joy of Major Problems

March 14, 2010 by Steve Peifer

Being in Kenya has taught me a new way to pray. I walk across our campus and am surrounded by wonderful young people. Some are encouraged to pray for their safety. Some pray for their futures. I pray that Jesus will give me a water balloon that I can throw at their heads. And I pray it loudly. I’ve found that nothing brings people together as when an old guy prays, “Lord Jesus, please give me a full water balloon that I can throw...

Continue Reading

When They Call ME to Teach Home Ec, You Know It’s Code RED

January 29, 2010 by Steve Peifer

There started to be an unusual amount of illnesses, so the principal asked who could fill in for a sick home ec teacher. Nancy volunteered me, which for some mysterious reason received enormous laughter throughout the meeting. The principal sent out an email that night entitled “Save the Children,” which made the sad case of the horrors that the children would be exposed to if I taught the home ec class. It turned out that what they had been exposed to...

Continue Reading

Christmas 2009

December 23, 2009 by Steve Peifer

We know your secret identity. You go around disguised as doctors and teachers and salespersons and stay at home moms, but we know who you really are. You are the people who feed almost 20,000 students a lunch every school day. You are the people who have built 17 solar computer centers with another 3 scheduled for completion in 2010. You are the people who have heard the cry of the children of Africa, and you have not made peace with it. We are so...

Continue Reading

He Is Too Fat to Put On the Belt: Becoming an Honorary Masai

December 10, 2009 by Steve Peifer

Your neighbors may have unusual days, but I bet I can beat you on this one. Our friends the Mitchells had a baboon jump on their roof, and he fell through the ceiling. No matter how your neighbor’s day was, it was better than having a 150 lb. baboon in the middle of their home. They weren’t home so no one was hurt, but the baboon made a real mess of things, and trust me:  cleaning up after an angry...

Continue Reading

Great Joy; Crazy Sorrow

November 15, 2009 by Steve Peifer

They say that humor is universal, but I struggle. It was a windy day, and I told a bunch of students that if they weren’t careful, they would take flight just like the Flying Nun. As they gave me puzzled blank looks, I made an urgent note to myself to UPDATE CULTURAL REFERENCES. As they stared at me, one of them said, “Nuns can fly?” We had over thirty colleges visit in the past ten days, which is both thrilling and...

Continue Reading

The 21 Cent a Month Unfunded Mandate

October 26, 2009 by Steve Peifer

This just in from the Chuck Baker School of Management. Kids who get out of line can earn a detention on Saturday mornings. The biggest punishment is having to get up at 8am on a Saturday, although I famously led one that involved picking up trash on campus and singing Neil Diamond songs. For some mysterious reason, I have never been asked to lead detention again. When Pinewood Derby occurs, Chuck counts on those students in detention to do chores and...

Continue Reading

The Smallest Box of Tea

October 9, 2009 by Steve Peifer

After my family, the short list of my favorite people to spend time with would have to include Chuck Baker, the shop teacher at RVA. Long time readers might remember that I’ve written about him several times before (see the post titled “21 Years and Four Months“). Chuck came to RVA after the death of his wife when he was in his 60’s and became our head shop teacher. He is a man full of the love of the Lord...

Continue Reading