When she arrived on Monday morning, her arm was in a sling. I unloaded Margie’s luggage from the car and we walked to the airplane. She explained the painful torn ligaments in her shoulder and that she would need an operation to get them reconnected. At 76 years old, Margie is my oldest regular passenger and one of the most dearly loved by those whom she serves.
Almost every month for the past two years Margie has spent a week in Northern Limpopo working alongside Kathy from Love Trust to provide training, teaching materials, and evaluations for teachers at 9 preschools in the Limpopo area. Formerly, these preschools were simply a place for the young children to eat and sleep during the day, but since Kathy and Margie’s involvement, they have transformed into schools with fun and effective lessons for all the of children.
Over the months that I have had the privilege of working alongside Margie, I have been encouraged and blessed by her perseverance and generosity in spite of the challenges. The preschool teachers have grown to love her, and over these years she has brought an abundance of activities and fun for the children as well.
During the course of the week it became clear that this was probably Margie’s last mission trip. Due to her age, Margie’s physical condition has made the trips more and more challenging. At the end of the week the teachers gathered to sing a touching farewell song which they had composed just for her to say “Thank you”. Forever grateful for the impact she’s had on their lives, they recounted the many ways Margie has been a blessing to them.
When asked about the highlight of her work with the preschool teachers in Limpopo, Margie replied: “It was when Irene taught her lesson and I could tell she had “got it”. She was finally incorporating the things we had been trying to teach!” Even though Margie won’t be returning to this area, her legacy of commitment, passion, and excellence in teaching will carry on in the teachers and students whose lives she has directly impacted.