African Routine, Acid Burn, and Building Community

Chatting About Child Safety With Students

You do child safety, right? What exactly does that mean?”

I was sitting in a grade 11/12 dorm doing dorm cover, when one of the girls, Gracie*, sat down next to me and asked this question. I had such a great conversation about child safety with a 17-year-old!

Me: "My job is to make sure students like you, feel safe and staff feel safe on campus. I do training and policy writing." 

Gracie: "That's awesome! There are lots of policies at RVA that need to be updated."

Me: "That's funny you say that I'm working right now with Mrs. Dubber to update all of the school policies."

Gracie: "That's so important. I'm a rule follower and last year when I wanted to have my first boyfriend, I went to look at what the dating policy and it was super out of date. The last time it had been looked at was 2012 and it wasn't super helpful."

Well, I'm happy to say that in the last month and a half, the child safety team has updated the dating policy and many others... like a policy from 1995... before Gracie was even born. We're on our way and it seems like staff AND even students notice the difference.

*Name changed for safety reasons.

Overhear Conversation 

I was walking to my classroom one day when I overheard the most awesome conversation between 3 fifth grade boys playing Gaga Ball. It made my child safety heart just burst... I knew I had to share it with you!

Boy 1: “How do we want to play this game? What are the rules going to be?”
Boy 2: “ I can tell you the rules.”
Boy 3: “We can make up our own rules.”
Boy 1: “I don’t care what the rules are as long as we play safe."
Boy 3: “Ya, let’s play safe."

On My Desk

  • Health Curriculum Lesson Planning: I'm on a team updating the health curriculum for the school. We're currently working on lesson planning - writing lessons for Sex Ed, Mental Health, Technology Safety and Safety With Adults. 
  • RVA Policy Updates: I've been really busy lately working on updating/organizing RVA's school policies. It's over 400 pages so far and every single policy needs to be updated.
  • Internal Assessment: The child safety team at RVA is planning an internal audit this year.  I'm working on developing an online assessment tool we can send out to staff, students and parents. All of the questions are written and now I just need to digitize it.

Snapshots Around Campus

I had so much fun at Titchie Water Day leading the cup relay. 
I'm sponsoring the grade 9 class and we've had fun getting to know each other better, playing games and having snacks once a month.
It's been raining so much - and this is supposed to be the dry season.
The grade 9 class I'm sponsoring is raising money for their class trip by doing movie sales. I've been working with the advertising committee. Check out their awesome artwork.
I've been working away on my Bible requirements - I'm currently reading "A Concise History of Christian Missions."
I snagged this photo before the term started, at our Inservice staff meeting with all of the RVA staff. 

Answers to Prayer

1/12/20 - My grade 7 Sunday School has started and we are having so much fun gathering together in my living room to study Ruth together.  We spent our first day together crafting personalized folders to keep our notes in - the girls had a blast. Please pray for us as we try to build deep friendships and dig into the word.  


My grade 6 science classes are going so well. I love being in the classroom and getting to know the students better. We just finished an Ocean’s unit and are taking a few weeks to explore scientists who made a significant impact on the world. Next up: Human Growth and Development... please pray for us as we break into boys and girls to have these tough and sometimes uncomfortable conversations.

Prayer Requests

Work Visa: I'm still waiting or my work visa to be approved. Please pray that the approval will come soon. Last week I had to take a day off to drive down to Nairobi in order to get an extension on my visitor permit.

Nairobi Eye Acid Burn: 
Two nights ago, right before bed my neck was stinging and I didn’t know why. By the morning there was a huge red spot on my neck and it was burning like nothing I had ever experienced before. I’ve found out it’s from a bug called a Nairobi Eye. They leave acid-like burns on the skin that just get worse before they are better. It has already started bubbling up and according to student health, they could turn into boil like scabs. I also can’t do anything about it except wait and make sure I don’t scratch because it will spread and leave scars. Please pray... it is very uncomfortable.

If you'd like to support my ministry, you can give online at the links below - just enter "Tori Bissell" under specific missionary. 

Online Giving - Canada 
Online Giving - USA

xoxo, Tori


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