Friday, February 10, 2012

Traveling down a rocky road

One Saturday while we were in Nigeria last August, Ray wanted to go to Miango to visit Kent Academy, where he had taught for I think thirteen years. George and I went with him. We packed lunches and climbed in the van that our driver Joshua used. Let me tell you, riding from one town to another in Nigeria is a recipe for motion sickness. The roads are unsorted stretches of pavement, mud and potholes, often with more of the latter two than the former. There were lots of points where, I would have thought nothing without 4-wheel drive could have possibly made it. We drove right through a creek once. Another time, the road literally ran into a rise of solid rock, and resumed about 8 feet higher in elevation. If I were driving, I would have turned back there. But Joshua knew what the van could handle. We did come on one point where he did turn back and find another route:

A collapsed bridge

My cautious little American mind would have stopped unnecessarily at a lot of rough spots where I thought no way can this vehicle make it. But Joshua knew the terrain; he had the experience to push the vehicle and get us there and back safely.

That's how I feel about what we're trying to do in curriculum now. George, Ray and I are praying about when to return to Africa. It's a surprisingly difficult thing to pray through, since it's so open-ended. As far as when, we can pick pretty much any dates we want; it would just be up to us and the writers. Anthony and Joe are going to train teachers in Nigeria April 26-May 8, and some of what they do our writers need as well, so it seems a good idea to have at least one of us go then.

The last two times I went to Africa, it was the whole TEN3 team (all the missionaries at least) together. It's wonderful to get to fellowship face-to-face with my colleagues who live so far away, and there are a lot of benefits for the team when we do this. But for our writers, it may be more effective to split up our travel, and have George there for a while, me there later, and then Ray there later or something like that. The men wouldn't want to go more than 3-4 weeks without their wives, but I'm still hoping to stay about six months whenever I go. (This has gotten me to really love being single!)

But we're not really sure what's needed to get the Biblical Health and Life Management curriculum written. We're seeking input from our writers, who are dealing with realities we're not used to, concerning what would be most helpful to them.

I would also love to train writers in other countries besides Nigeria, but we'd need enough interested writers recruited in one place to make a trip worthwhile. So I'm praying for that as well.

Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we push forward. We believe we are called to help the African church develop her own educational system (curriculum, teachers, standards, etc.), but the path is still very rocky and uncharted.