Friday, February 17, 2012

Teaching at the Seminary

It still sounds strange to me to say that I'm a teacher at Uganda Baptist Seminary. As I wrote in my last post, this is never what I thought I would be doing here when we came. I think most times when I step into the classroom I'm feeling excitement and nervousness at the same time. Soon after I start teaching that soon disappears and I just feel at peace. Never in a hundred years would I have envisioned myself standing in front of a classroom teaching pastors and teachers in East Africa. But God has put me there and surprisingly, I have found that I love it!!!

Last week I began teaching a five day English class to a new Diploma class. So for five days we sang grammar songs, diagrammed sentences, and learned how to construct a well written paragraph. I would have never guessed that you could have so much fun learning grammar, but I was bound and determined not to make it boring for them. So with drum in hand, I entered the classroom and many of the students thought I had gone and lost my mind:) However, we had a great time of learning and by the end of five days, most had great improvement with their English skills. Most importantly I could see how many of them were starting to see how improving their English communication skills were going to benefit them and their church community when they returned. Many of the students were excited to understand how organizing their thoughts better would lead to better sermons and better communication about God's word. I'm still in awe how God is using me in a way that I would have never ever expected.

This week I have been teaching Community Health/Leadership to a Certificate class. The class has been interesting, fun, and an education for me. It's one thing to be prepared to teach them the knowledge that I've gained over the years, but it's another for them to teach me. But many times that is exactly what happens. The students have taught me something new every day. What I've determined is that I can stand and teach the facts, but if I don't understand what they are thinking and where they are coming from, I will not be effective. So yesterday I allowed them to share what information has been passed on to them about malaria. Here are some interesting comments from the class: malaria is contracted from eating too many mangoes or paw-paws, eating cold food, walking in the rain, drinking contaminated water, letting your child cry and scream, or having an evil spirit. There were many more:) But, what was neat is that students were starting to make connections today as to why some of these myths have come about. To be part of teaching them, to think critically and to use knowledge from the Bible to mold their thinking, has been wonderful. Needless to say, there have been times this week that students would ask me a theological question, and I thank God that He anointed me with His wisdom and knowledge. Sometimes I would think where in the world did that just come from. But I know God is in the business of getting His message across to those who really want to know Truth.

So I thank God that He has given this opportunity to show me things that I would have never experienced or known. I am learning more about the culture every day by learning from the students that come from all over East Africa. My prayer is that they will be able to take the information that I have taught them back to their communitites and villages. Hopefully they will educate others about God's word and what it says about creation. That may be in the form of better English and communication skills, or it may be in the form of Biblical health education.

The family is doing well. Marie just got over a stomach bug which left her very weak and tired. We praise God that the virus was short lived and she is on the mend. However, Joey has it now and is working hard to get the vomit in the bucket:) We pray by tomorrow he will be feeling much better. Nick and Dylan are growing like weeds and doing great. Aaron and I are looking forward to celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday. It's really hard to believe that we have been married that long. I still feel like I'm 25:) It has been a wonderful 18 years with Aaron and I praise the Lord for such a Godly man in my life. Please continue to pray for our health and safety. Also for Aaron and I as we continue to teach and interact with the students at the seminary. We so appreciate all of you who walk alongside of us through prayers and encouragement. We are so blessed!!!!!!