Newsletter August 2016
With views of lions, spectacular thunderstorms, and the long awaited arrival of a new faculty member and his family, it is hard to know exactly where to begin. Perhaps Maria von Trapp’s wisdom is best. “Let’s start at the very beginning…”
We arrived back in Addis from a quick medical trip to Cape Town, South Africa, but did not stop there…we followed the signs for those in transit (first time ever – how exciting not having a clue of where to go or what was waiting for us at the end) and were shuttled to the domestic airport where we competed with a flight from somewhere in the Middle East to have our passports stamped and our residents cards checked. Then we simply walked up a short flight of stairs into the waiting lounge. Ah, bliss…no struggling through the first security checkpoint.
And there we met up with Tekle Belachew, a dear and very learned friend who was flying down to teach African Church History (I) and (II) – Early and Modern. The beginning of our second year – yup, we have one year behind us already! – was a very good beginning. We had all our students present – 1st years, 2nd years, and part-timers…all rearing to go. Many of our students expressed surprise when told that Africa played a huge role in shaping Christendom, as we know it.
After Tekle left, I started teaching four courses to both 1st and 2nd year students. Theological English (I) and (III), African Traditional Religion/Philosophy, and the Intertestamental Period. While I was teaching one year, Louise read one of our more difficult prescribed books with the other year…this is working so well that we will continue doing this even after that particular course is ended. Most folks here don’t read so Louise demonstrates how to read and study, using dictionaries and other reference books when there are difficult words or concepts. The students love it and so does Louise!
Chris, Suzy, Abigail, and Matthew Wilson arrived on August 22, together with another Chris, also from the UK – a seminary student who is doing practical work here – and the Rev Roger Kay from Addis. Roger taught our students how to do cultural research as a project, while Chris (not the faculty Chris) led morning devotions. At one point we asked him to give his testimony as he had grown up in a church only to discover years later that he wasn’t really a believer at all. The students loved that! The culture here is so community oriented that many people end up joining the church, not because they believe, but because that’s where they find community! Not a bad place to start, but they can’t stop there…so his testimony hit a solid home run!
Jeremiah, our Nuer faculty member, is now our College Chaplain, the Coordinator of our Field Education Programme, and the Director of our College Research Programme. He certainly has his work cut out for him, so he would appreciate your prayers.
The renovation of the old classroom is now complete and the 2nd year students moved in this past Friday. Chris Wilson will start teaching his subjects on Monday…one week before the arrival of two lecturers from the US, Clark and Carol Smith, who will be teaching on the book of Ezekiel.
We are both doing exceptionally well in every way…I have a rather heavy teaching load, but I am as content as a warthog in a mud hole. Our students are amazing and eager to learn…what more could a teacher ask for?
Our little grandson, Jeremiah, turned five years old today…we are missing so many of our wee ones milestones, but hopefully we will get to Face Time with them this evening.
Oh yes, the lions…+Grant saw two lions on two separate trips not too far from Gambela. So there is life out there after all! Speaking about +Grant, he is down with malaria now too…seems we like to take turns getting sick here…but please pray for him.