FAQ

What is TEN3?
What do you mean by "Transformational Education"?
How is TEN3 working?
How did you get started with TEN3?
Why not just implement a program from the US by distance?
What is SIM?
What is the relationship between TEN3 and SIM?
What is the CTO?
What is BHLM?
What is ECWA?
When you talk about what you do, you mention Ubuntu, OpenOffice and GIMP a lot. Why do you use so much opensourceware?
Is TEN3 based in Texas?
Do you want to move to Africa?
Why isn't your husband an SIM missionary, too?

What is TEN3?
TEN3 is short for Transformational Education Network, discipling to the third generation. We are an organization staffed by missionaries (most of whom served many years in Africa) and volunteers called to serve the African church in developing their own education system. We are growing into a network of African churches, ministries, and schools helping each other implement transformational education. You can find more information at www.ten3.org. 

What do you mean by "Transformational Education?"


Glad you asked, because yes, people can mean a lot of different things by that! We believe that true transformation can only happen in Christ, so by transformational we mean education that brings people to know Christ; both lost people to trust Him for the first time and Christians to know Him better and become more like Him. We also mean teaching people to see that He created all things, and "in Him all things hold together" (Col. 1:15-17). This must shape our thinking about everything. That transformation of the heart and thinking by Christ must manifest itself in all we do, so transformational education means that all that we teach people to do, be it research or use a computer or run a business, means teaching them to do it in a godly way, looking to His Kingdom purposes and not just our own interests.

One more concept we include in transformational education is that it is not merely indoctrination, passing along information for them to give the expected output. Rather, it should be truly learning such that they understand and apply creatively and productively what they've learned. True education is a foundation upon which the students can continue building their knowledge on their own, and pass it on to others.

How is TEN3 working?

We help African educators develop and implement education that develops a Christian worldview, brings students to know Christ and grow in Him, and to live out His truth in all areas of life. We develop curriculum that does this, train teachers to offer it as disciple-makers, and train school administrators to offer it sustainably. Once I get to Africa, it will be my job to work with educators to develop their own curriculum that implements these same principles of transformational education.

How did you get started with TEN3?

I knew my senior year of college I wanted to do medium-term or long-term missions. I had no idea where to go, though--I wanted to go everywhere and do everything! I had planned to go on IMB's Journeyman program, but that fell through because of the recession. A missions professor recommended I search for a way to write for missions. That's how I found a personnel request form for TEN3 that involved writing and editing. I contacted them and realized this ministry encompassed everything God had given me a passion for--evangelism, discipleship, learning, and meeting human needs--and had needs that called for just my gift set. I fell in love with TEN3's vision, with Africa, and with the way the Spirit is so manifest in my team.

Why not just implement a program from the US by distance?

That certainly would be a lot quicker--in fact, it has been tried many times, with a very poor success rate. Research has shown that cutting and pasting a program from one culture to another does not work. For any system to be really viable in a culture, it has to belong to that culture. The Western mode of education has much to offer, but does not have all the answers. We aim to help African Christians use what is useful from the Western system while avoiding its shortcomings. 

What is SIM?

SIM is a solidly biblical inter-denominational evangelical mission organization. Founded as Soudan Interior Mission in 1893, SIM merged with other missions to become Serving in Mission, with projects in Africa, Asia and South America, and offices in all inhabited continents. For more info, see www.sim.org.

SIM is a member of the EFCA and also posts audited financial statements on their website.

What is the relationship between TEN3 and SIM?

TEN3 started as a project of SIM called SIM-TEC to evangelize, disciple, and educate Nigerians through computer schools. When TEN3's founder, Anthony Petrillo, was asked by the African church leaders to make it work on the scale of a full-fledged degree, he prayed and heard the Lord say, "My people made this school a success, and they will do so much more. You serve them." It became evident that this mission was beyond the scope of an SIM project. Thus, SIM-TEC became its own separate organization called TEN3. As mentioned above, TEN3 comprises volunteers and missionaries. Missionaries are supported through mission organizations. Most full-time TEN3 staff are SIM missionaries, though part of the reason for becoming a separate organization is so that, in the future, people can join TEN3 through other support structures. For instance, Africans could join TEN3 through ECWA Mission Society or any other mission organization compatible with us.

What is the CTO?

Short for Computer Training Outreach, this is our base program. Its purpose is to give a solid foundation in education by developing comprehension and a Christian worldview. Godly use of technology does not mean tacking on a few Bible verses and tips about ethics as we teach computer skills. It means bring the students to comprehend the principles behind computer use, a biblical worldview, and how to apply both beneficially to their own situation.

This principle approach builds a foundation for continued learning that is more useful than a great deal more time spent on memorizing facts and figures. With comprehension, students will be able to race ahead in their studies because they learn how to learn. We've made it so that a brand-new school could open with it, or an existing school can incorporate it into its program. It includes an introductory computer course that gives a foundation in office programs, teaching them how not just to work on a computer, but make the computer work for them. It follows up with a course that teaches spreadsheets by applying them to common African situations. At the same time, the students take a chronological study through the Bible as a story to lay the foundation for a Christian worldview.

What is BHLM?

Short for Biblical Health and Life Management, this block of curriculum has been in the works for years, but God has not yet connected us with the people to complete it. It will be the core of a two-year degree. Rather than general classes that are disconnected from one another and often seem irrelevant to students, this will cover the basic knowledge that young people need to live their lives according to God's direction. It will cover communication, applied math, health & wellness, all in an everyday family context.

What is ECWA?

ECWA is Evangelical Churches Winning All, formerly known as the Evangelical Churches of West Africa. It is a large and rapidly-growing evangelical denomination in West Africa, and the denomination with which SIM works the most in Nigeria. It was ECWA leadership that first requested the computer training and then the university-level education, and in response to that request TEN3 came into being.

When you talk about what you do, you mention Linux, OpenOffice and GIMP a lot. Why do you use so much opensourceware?
A) It's free! 
B) Opensourceware is great introductory software for our students because it teaches the basic principles that can be extended to other programs. In fact, we use it pedagogically to make better Microsoft users than those who start with Microsoft programs! It also introduces the idea of the constant development of technology, and how anyone can be involved in it. 
C) We want to build our education with resourcefulness and integrity. We do not have to pay a ton of money for a particular brand, nor do we have to pirate software, to make quality use of computers.

Is TEN3 based in Texas?

Definitely not! In fact, I recall being introduced to TEN3 members via Skype, and when I told them I'm from Texas, they said "uh-oh"! ;) The official office is in Houghton NY, where two of our staff members live. But we also have members in North Carolina, Minnesota, West Virginia, and California, not to mention volunteers as far as Canada, Belgium, and of course Africa. 

Do you want to move to Africa?

Yes! I've always been open to the idea, and it was decided around 2013 that to make the progress we want to see in curriculum, I really need to be there to work face-to-face with educators. The training and plans with the SIM-Zambia office are set up for me to live in Lusaka. My goal was to move there in August 2014. I did not quite get the support sufficient to go, and SIM advised me and my boyfriend to work on our relationship here rather than trying to continue it bi-continentally. Once we get that worked out, and I get sufficeint financial partners to join the work of TEN3 by sending us to Africa, yes, we still hope to go. (See my financial needs page to see my progress.)

Why isn't your husband an SIM missionary too?

While Kenneth has wanted to be in professional ministry ever since he was a teenager (and would be amazing at it if the Lord ever opens the opportunity), SIM would not be the correct fit. He is a dedicated member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and SIM is an Evangelical organization. While the two recognize each other as legitimately Christian and therefore permit intermarriage (carefully considered), they are not compatible enough for an individual to be a member of both.