Jun 18, 2009


Rhonda Prokopetz--another totally cool girl from Kelowna saves the day!

If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

I'm not sure who originally coined that little phrase, but I'm pretty sure I heard Rhonda use it more than a few times, and it certainly applied to her this year.

Imagine leaving your home for six weeks. . .and not coming back home for a year. Rhonda had it all planned out--six weeks in the Marshalls to get a taste of missionary life before moving on the next carefully planned and organized item on her life agenda. But instead of a mere taste, she got the full course meal (you can ready the account of how it happened here): ten months on Saipan, a dozen or so energetic third and fourth graders,official "Auntie" to one Little Fella, REAL Christian Theater, trips to Japan, Yap, and Australia, a sometimes fractious, sometimes affectionate coterie of roommates, cockroaches and rats, early morning runs and exhausted early evening bedtimes, tutoring, scuba diving and camping, relaxation and stress, peace and struggle, joy and heartache, life, love, and laughter. She did it all, and she made it look easy.

I know it wasn't easy for her all the time. I know there were times when her heart broke and her spirit threatened to break as well, but Rhonda always managed to find a brave smile and wry laughter, and carry on. She spoke matter-of-factly of how she was such an organized, careful planner and how God had upended all of that in one eventful year. You really had to play close attention to realize what a challenge such a growth experience must have been for her. But grow, she did, and her decision to follow God's plan rather than her own, has made a difference not only for her, but for all of us who had the privelege of knowing her here in Saipan.

Rhonda with one of her best buds from REAL Christian Theater, "Little Sister", at the farewell party for this year's departing teachers.

Rhonda and Angie at the airport the morning of Rhonda's departure.

Rhonda and Nicole

In the midst of an emotional farewell, Rhonda is poised and cool as always.

Me and Prokoptez. It was great to have you next door all year long, Rhonda!

I'll remember Rhonda as quick--she could put together a classroom, a great lesson plan, a drama show, a yearbook--well, just about anything, faster than anyone I know. She was punctual enough to set your clock by. She was a solid, serious teacher who was also lots of fun and who loved her students deeply. And they loved her back. She doesn't know this but several parents of her students reported that their kids were in tears for a few days after she left. One precious boy even cried himself to sleep the day she left. Rhonda Prokopetz left her mark.

I haven't talked to Rhonda since she and James flew away on June 8. But if I did, the first thing I'd ask her is: "So, Prokopetz, what's the plan now?"

And I'm pretty sure she'd reply with her trademark laugh, point up, and say, "Ask Him."

Rhonda and Jaimie take the Long Walk. You done good, ladies. You done good.


Mai said...

Way to represent, Rhonda!!! I'm glad you filled my spot in such an amazing way!

Live, Love, Laugh said...

Sean I'm gonna miss you! Thank you for everything :)