A Fond Farewell to the Fabulous Forbes

ArushaTimes News

Sometimes our school seems like a library, and the hundreds of people who fill its halls like a large catalogue of books. We have old books and new books, large books and small books; books clean and crisp, and books bent and worn; books loved and books ignored; repaired books and not yet repaired books; books of mystery and suspense, action and adventure, and books of lists and knowledge, facts and figures.

Some books have visited more homes than a mailman, while others are in the reference section and have to stay in the library. We can look at them and read them, but we can’t take them home. And yet, they give our library character. Without them, the library wouldn’t be the same. They’re sacred books – holy books – set apart as special.

This month, two of our most special books are leaving our school. They are two volumes of the same set, called Anna and Gordie Forbes. They have been part of our collection of stories for nearly 25 years, and I wish we could put a hold on them and keep them from leaving. But the Chief Librarian has orchestrated a transfer.

You may know them as our amazing custodial team. Mopping, sweeping, wiping, scrubbing, buffing, scraping, vacuuming, and sanitizing our desks, chairs, lockers, counters, floors, carpets, bathrooms, hallways, sinks, door handles, and everything in-between during the day, at night, on weekends, and breaks – it’s a never ending job, and they do it with professionalism and genuine care.

But the story doesn’t stop there. As former JKCS parents themselves, they have been part of this community at a variety of levels, volunteering and assisting in the classroom, library, and playground long before serving as janitors. My first conversation with Anna involved a lesson on how to use the school laminator, and I have yet to have a conversation with her that doesn’t somehow focus on the wellbeing of our students.

Even now, as they hear a call to move, it’s the leaving of community that is the hardest thing. And the same is true for us who are staying. How does one come to terms with change? How will I visit the library knowing one of my favourite books is no longer on the shelves? As always, the answer is found in Jesus. We will rejoice in the good gift of having known Anna and Gordie. And we will rejoice knowing that the Chief Librarian determines the times and places we live (Acts 17:26), and that a transfer from our library to another branch is going to be a rich blessing for so many others.
Anna and Gordie, we thank-you. We thank-you for your dedication, commitment, grace, expertise, professionalism, and friendship. We’re so glad we could be part of each other’s stories, and pray God leads you forward into new adventures, new communities, and new stories.
With Love, Jacob Rodgers and the whole JKCS Community