Today was our final full day together before Robert, Phiona and Job fly home to Uganda! It has been such an amazing five weeks and the lives that they have touched cannot be counted. Their story inspires and touches every person they meet, it may not all be in the same way and those people may choose to never share that with anyone, but you can see it. You can see it in the faces as they share and the tears that people are brought to from the humble spirit these two have. Robert and Phiona are amazing models for us all on the awesomeness of God and remembering that all good things come from Him and we are to take those good things and use them to glorify His name, not ours. That is something that Robert and Phiona cannot hide, they are true servants of Christ.
Today was started with yet another beautiful day loaded with relaxation. We were all able to get caught up on emails, rest, packing, and enjoy the final time with the DeWeese family and each other. Then it was off to Community Academy Public Charter School in downtown DC. This school has had a chess program that was started by a math teacher 2 years prior, fun thing is it is similar in some ways, the teacher did it without knowing really everything about chess either, similar to Robert. They had a phenomenal group of kids involved, many of which girls. One girl in particular had been a leader and was the only girl in the chess club for a long time before other girls joined. She acted as a leader, teacher and role model for girls and boys, she shared a little bit about what chess means to her and a special thank you to Phiona for coming and sharing. This school was full of smiling gracious people, the kids were great and many parents even came out to watch and support. The school hosted an assembly that allowed Rodney, Robert and Phiona to all speak before heading down for a chess exhibition. During the exhibition Robert and Phiona were both able to play chess with some of the children before heading to a small reception they were hosting. Mr. Amos, the founder of the school, which is seventeen years old was so excited and so gracious to even offer a donation from the school for the Chess Academy.
Following the school we took a short walk to a small cafe to catch our breath and grab a quick snack and drink before heading to a reception hosted by Marc Rotenberg with the US Chess Center. He and his wife Anna were incredibly gracious hosts along with their daughter. They had several others who were involved with chess, the school Anna teaches at and some coworkers of Marc. It was a great time of fellowship with a lot of new friends that allowed Robert and Phiona to share their story with a few more people. Many had not really understood the magnitude of this story so it was amazing to watch how everyone responded. Marc and Anna were incredible hosts and we hope that Robert and Phiona will be able to keep in touch with many people they met that night along with the US Chess Center.
We want to thank Mr. Amos and all the hard work that his staff did to arrange for Robert and Phiona to come and share, it was truly incredible. Also, Robert McLellan who arranged all today along with several other meetings and schools the past 5 weeks, we could not have done many of this with out you Robert. Thank you to everyone.
Tomorrow will be a slow day, going around getting any last minute items before they fly out at 6:00pm.