Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ready, set, go!

Wow, things have kicked into high gear for me! TEN3 had a great Skype meeting Wednesday morning about all we need to get done before our next trip to Nigeria in August. We have a lot of Computer Training Outreach material to get revised, written, and/or edited in time to send them to Christie to get them printed in June. This material includes  Computer Essentials, the Bible as a story, Spreadsheet Essentials, database material, teacher training materials and administrator training materials.

This is for the conference of ECWA* principals and teachers, where we will train many of them in our model of discipleship through computer education. Educators from other Nigerian denominations, and possibly others who want to start computer schools, will be invited as well. Dr. Byo, the director of the ECWA schools, stated our vision beautifully when he said he wanted students to learn how to use their students to use the computer as a tool to know God and not be enslaved by any aspect of the computer. This, we pray, will teach students that God is present in every area of our lives, so that even something so "secular" as a computer is a tool by which we can know Him and serve society. Dr. Byo shares our vision of expanding the Christian worldview from computers to every area of education.

That, combined with the full-time work I will be doing for the next two weeks at SPC bookstore, and then Christmas, and then starting my Relationship Development Ministry in full, means I will be going pretty nonstop for a while. But I'm excited about that; I just hope to take hold of everything God has in store for me; He continues to amaze me with His plans! Please pray that in all this I keep my focus on Him, the only way I can ever accomplish all this, and the only reason I should want to.

What is ECWA? See FAQ page.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Meeting the team

It was pretty strange, the concept of me, a 23-year-old woman, going to Africa for the first time with six men all older than my parents. Not only that, but three of them I had never met in person! (We had Skyped a lot, though.)

However, on reflection I think it was the best possible way to go. These men inspire me with their faith, which is shown in decades of service and sacrifice. I learned so much about cross-cultural interaction, African cultures in particular, and serving the Lord, from this team:

Joe gave me a lot of lessons about the African background and mindset. He worked for a long time with the Tamajaq, a very traditional people group in Niger. I also eagerly drank in his wealth of knowledge about history and philosophy. I've got to appreciate somebody who can use the Magna Carta to teach about integrity principles for this day and age!

Ray has such a kind and open heart, ever in appreciation for what God does. He can identify tree species and good qualities in people with equal readiness. His long service with Kent Academy meant he had connections everywhere we went!

Jim, who never meets a stranger anywhere, introduced me to how to get around in Jos (be prepared for a wild taxi ride!) and taught me my first Hausa words. He also blessed us by leading devotions each morning on the joy of fearing God.

Ken could teach me about nearly anything I saw, both what it is and why the people do things that seem strange at first, like planting crops in an unfinished building or letting chickens run all over a field. He taught me a lot of Hausa, and appreciation for Nigerians' hard work.

George bears many burdens, but all joyfully. The way the fruit of the Spirit is manifested through his heartfelt connection with his family, the people he ministers to, and to his Lord is an inspiration to me.

And Anthony, the leader of enormous vision, cares also for the small things, like whether his editor has her mosquito repellent on. He has a never-stopping mind, and a teacher's heart that ever wants to see others draw closer to the Lord.
I am so blessed to work with this team!   
Top from left: Jim, John, Ray, Augustin, Ken
Bottom from left: Joe, Anthony, George, I

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Call

I had rather imagined the call
a holy draft notice, to which
the servant must be ready to
resign herself: "Set your affairs
in order, for I am about
to take you from your father's house
and to a place you do not know."
Yes, with peace and sustenance,
but surely greater fortitude
than any normal person has.

I never realized--
Until it had already happened--

The brave resignation, if you
can call it that, is given not
to a mission, for a nation;
the death to self does not begin
in some famed mud hut on the field;
but on a weekday in your bedroom
where the only reason you had
to open to extremity
was that God is there; your only
impulse was His heart.

As to my call to missions, well--

There was no tearful altar call,
Just the afternoon I noticed
everything else was diminished
bleak as impossibility,
I could not be content at home
while I could leap into the wide
embrace, however desolate.
The wonder is to realize
my call resembles nothing so much
as falling in love,

complete with that private eternity
where I whisper again and again,
"God is so good. God is so good."