Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Uphill all the way ... but singing

Just because you've finished your task doesn't mean the work is done. That's what I've been learning this week as we've been trying to help schools that want our Computer Training Outreach. You see, we developed what was requested, an all-inclusive computer training program that teaches godly use of technology and the gospel with culturally relevant, proven successful pedagogical principles. It has minimal hardware and teacher requirements so schools can start it with limited resources. It's all finished and ready to use. And yet we're not done with the struggles to reach African students with transformational education. Because, when something's not working, you have to change things; that's what we did in using the educational principles. But changing things means it takes more work to implement it. There are school programs already running, with accreditation and government requirements that are different in different countries. We developed the program as one lump, but in Africa, you buy things in little pieces, not a big lump. Also, the scheduling and crediting of courses is different in different places. So what Anthony and I are having to work on is how to help schools in Nigeria, Zambia, and soon other countries to offer the CTO and have it fit their scheduling, pricing, and accreditation situations. I find this work rather tiring compared to my normal work, because there are so many "ifs" to deal with. Prayers for wisdom would definitely be appreciated. 

Also working on summaries of the courses that compose the CTO so our consulting and communications people can explain clearly what's in them. Then will need to get back to the filing seminar material, the Mothers & Media Bible Study, the GUI chapter of our programming course ... not to mention needing to raise the remaining $850ish/month I need to head out to Zambia! I am thankful to have so much work that is such a joy, to know that it can bring many to Christ; there's no greater joy than knowing and making Him known, and I consider myself utterly blessed to have this way to do it. But oh, how we need God's grace to see it implemented!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rolling right along with work, and somehow life still happens too :)

Whenever I have a lot I'm doing that I could write about, I'm so busy doing it that, well, I forget to take the time to write about it! But here's a quick snapshot of life and ministry lately:

There are a lot of materials I'm working on for our partners, especially Christie:

  • A manual that guides teachers through a seminar on the principles of transformational education. As Christie calls it, it's training on "how to teach like Jesus," how to make disciples as a teacher of any subject. 
  • A seminar on file storage and using the Cloud - both the advantages and the dangers of having your data in someone else's hands. That, incidentally, got me speeding up a look into moving some of our own cloud use to more secure options. 
  • A Bible study to accompany the Mothers and Media seminar. This helps African families consider the effect of media on them and consider how to best protect themselves and their children from the financial, emotional, and spiritual threats of media and implement instead godly use of technology.
  • A programming course
  • I'm also supervising (but not doing a lot of direct work) the development of a networking course, and possibly a computer systems course soon, too.

In addition to that, of course, I'm trying to get that support up to 100% so I can move to Zambia in September. For a refresher, and some new information, I'll do it in Q&A format:
Q: I thought your departure goal was August?
A: Yes, it was. But the TEN3 team realized we could really use an in-person conference of all our staff, and the earliest date we could practically schedule it was September. So I'll be attending that in Charlotte before I go, and am so looking forward to being with my colleagues again. There's just nothing like fellowship with people who share a kindred spirit and vision in the Lord.

Q: Is it September for sure?
A: No, still need another $810/month or so pledged (I'm waiting on a few people to confirm their amounts, so that's why I say, "or so.") I can't buy the plane tickets until I'm at at least 80% (about another $300/month), and can't leave unless I'm fully funded. So still hoping and praying!

Q: What will you be doing in Zambia?
A: At first, it may look a lot just like what I'm already doing, working on the blocks of curriculum with the team in the US, but from Zambia. However, I'll be making contact with educators who share our vision to work together on curriculum that meets what they want to accomplish, uses the transformational educational principles, so that they can not only make their curriculum more effective, but what they develop can be shared with similar schools around Africa and the Caribbean. We've also been looking into the possibility of my teaching a CTO, either to help a school get it started, or to help ministries improve their staff's computer skills.

Q: What about your boyfriend?
A: Yes, in case you, dear reader, didn't know, amidst my crazy life I decided to make it even more complicated by getting into a courtship, when I met Kenneth, a man who is as passionate about knowing and serving God as I am. (Okay, it wasn't right when I met him; it was after about six months of "yes, you're one of the best things ever to happen to me, but we can't date--this is not going to work!" ;) He is planning to move to Zambia too, but we're still working out the "when" and "how." Yes, this is going to be crazy hard if we have to sustain a long-distance relationship, but we're praying and investigating options and trusting God will work it all out.