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

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jenny Beth, I am Dianne Gray. I had lunch with you a couple of times with Audry Temple and other ladies from your church. Your dad gave me your blog site. I'm so glad to be able to see what is happening with you, and that you are doing well.