Walking by faith into foreign school
It looks like the three younger Oshman children will be attending the local village school starting next Monday! This is a big change for us and one that we believe God completely orchestrated. Though the details are many (I’d be happy to email you the whole entire long story if you’re interested--it’s ready to go, as someone already asked me for it), suffice it to say this decision has been discussed, re-discussed, prayed over, lamented over, laughed over and freaked-out over almost daily since last March when we first had a suspicion that it might be in our future.
During our process of investigating Czech schools and seeing if they are a fit for our family, we were warmly welcomed into three different schools (this after being told “no” by one and not hearing back from others). We’ve settled on the elementary school in our village, which is a half-mile from our house. Zoe and Abigail will go into 4th and 2nd grades there (we’re bumping them down a grade level for easier language acquisition) and Hannah will go to a separate, but equally close-by, kindergarten.
We made our choice very collectively and with a ton of input from the kids. They are excited--though terrified--to go. We’re all feeling both of those things at the same time a lot these days. We believe it will be a blessing for the kids to acquire language and friends and to feel really at-home here. And boy, are these schools friendly!
I requested a second visit to the elementary school that we were settling on and asked if we might sit in the classrooms to observe. The principal readily agreed and we went this morning. The children so warmly welcomed Zoe and Abby and showered them with cards, chocolates, and even songs. They did their best to speak English and tell them a few things about themselves. Neither Zoe nor Abby wanted to leave after our hour-long observation time was over. As a mom (who is more terrified than they are!) this was a huge day for me. I am feeling really good about our choice now. I do feel a peace that the Lord has led us here. Though I know there are tears and pain in our future, as this will not be easy, I think it is where God has taken us.
The schools here are only in session for a half-day. The girls go in at 8am and will be home around noon or 1pm each day (the schedules shift). Both Abigail and Hannah’s classes take the public bus to go swimming once per week. Zoe’s classroom has a grand piano in it. The principal of the elementary school speaks perfect English and has tirelessly met our needs. God has even given us kind acquaintances who have shared their wisdom with us, as they were on an identical path two years before.
Though we are walking by faith and not by sight, we’ve been given some glimpses of what lies ahead. Stay tuned for the real deal next week. I’ll be sure to have the girls blog their first impressions.