Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two long but blessed days

We had marathon Skype meetings yesterday and today. Praise the Lord that Christie was able to join us for many hours!

We covered our plans for 2012. A few key conclusions:
  • We're not going in November. We think we can get the pilot teacher/principal training kicked off via distance, and then Anthony and Joe can come up in April to wrap it up and start the next round in Nigeria, then go to Cameroon to do the same thing there.

  • It would be good for us in curriculum to join them to work with the writers, but it would probably be more effective if I could spend six months in Nigeria meeting personally with the writers every week. My dream would be to spend a few months in Nigeria and then the next curriculum "events" in other African countries.

  • Christie even told me this morning, "JennyBeth, I need you here. I will fast and pray for that." Please join her in praying for my support so that I can be available to go anywhere I need to.

  • Now, to unwind from all that sitting at the computer with some set dancing! :)

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Planning with passion

    Anthony wrote this in a planning document we reviewed today:

    I’ve had chances to do things that made big bucks and I’ve passed them by. This is the first time where I’ve seen a chance to give millions of kids an education better than the one I got, one that points them to the King. I DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS CHANCE! I DO NOT WANT TO GET 5 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AND SEE SATAN STOLE THE CHANCE. WE MUST MOVE NOW. WE MUST TAKE THIS STRONG HOLD! OR WE MUST DIE TRYING!

    This is the urgency in all our hearts. The growth of the churches in Africa, the priority they have placed on rebuilding their education infrastructure, the incoming tsunami of technology--all these things indicate to TEN3 that now is possibly the best opportunity there has ever been to make Christ known to a whole generation in dozens of countries. What never ceases to amaze me is that this is a vision as fantastic as a young person could imagine, and yet I get to work toward it with colleagues who have the maturity to pursue it realistically, and faith in the God who alone can make it happen.

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Puppies and Gnomes and eternal Truth for Africa

    Mom looked over my shoulder at my screen the other day and read aloud,

    ~~~When Ubuntu leaves Gnome these may change. However, Puppy may use these. We need to double check that when we have Internet access.

    Her tone was something like, "Are these real words?" And yeah, it's pretty unconventional terminology.

    That note is about what I'm working on now, which is switching the software our Computer Training Outreach (CTO) is based on. Windows is expensive, and of course we're not going to teach our schools to pirate it, so we based the CTO on Ubuntu, which is a quality free operating system that comes from South Africa. Since joining TEN3, I've come to use Ubuntu for about 70% of my computer work, even personal work.

    However, in consulting our partner schools in Nigeria in August, we discovered to get enough computers, they are having to buy them old--so even though Ubuntu is "lighter" than Windows, they still can't run it well. So we've seen a need to switch to Puppy Linux, which is specifically designed to run on older machines.
    Cute, isn't he? Our model is for the schools to have many older computers with Puppy Linux, from which they will teach things like typing, file browsing, and introductions to word processing, spreadsheets and drawing.
    The schools will also have a few newer computers with Ubuntu and Windows on them. The students will first learn to apply what they learned in Puppy to these systems.
    This is extremely strong pedagogy, because it doesn't just teach students what buttons to press to get an effect--that kind of thing changes all the time in computers. Instead, students learn how to learn, how to be comfortable with any new system or program they have to use.

    This is a lot of work for Anthony and me, but if you could decipher anything from that red paragraph, it indicates that we would have had to overhaul things for Ubuntu anyway. Computers are always changing! That's a strong theme in our material, that computers, and many things in the world, are always changing, but the truth is always the same. God's Word is the only definitive source of knowledge, the only thing you can securely build your life upon.