Monday, July 19, 2010

Mark Class


Sorry, but I am cheating and back dating this post. I taught the first half of Mark last week (July 16-20). The class went well. This is the first time I taught this group of students. There are about 14 students in the class. They did pretty well at discussing the various points in the first 8 chapters. We got to talking so much, that we got behind schedule and I was worried that we wouldn't finish the full 8 chapters by Thursday afternoon. We had to stay in class a little longer at tea break and lunch time on Thursday but we managed to finish the lesson by 4:15 so they could have some time to review for the test.

I really enjoy teaching this class. This is one of the first classes where the students are expected to take the answers from the text that they just read. So, it was a struggle at first to get them to look for the answers in Mark. Many of them came up with answers from other gospels or from other parts of the New Testament. I had to keep saying, "well, that might be true in Matthew (or wherever) but that is not what Mark says. What does Mark say?" After the first day, they were beginning to think - I bet the answer is in what we just read and then gave the appropriate answers. So, it takes time, but they eventually get it. It is my hope that they will take this and use it when they are teaching in their home churches.

The class did really well in discussions, but are still learning how to study. So, when test time came, I thought I gave them an easy test. Alas, half of them did not pass. So, I tried to encourage them and told them that they can do better. We will see in September when they come back for the second half of the book of Mark. I am looking forward to seeing how they do and to hearing what they think.

I hope you have had a good week!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The road to Lodwar


I bounced and jounced and rumbled and bumbled my way home today. I traveled from Eldoret to Lodwar. The road has deteriorated with the rains that we got in May. So, it took 9 hours instead of the normal (lately) 8 hours. When I first came in 1996, the road was wonderful. We could travel from Eldoret to Lodwar in about 4 or 5 hours - including a longish stop for lunch along the road. Now, we barely stop to eat a sandwich and are back on the road & it still takes 9 hours. It is only about 280 miles. Ugh!

This is a picture of the road - no I did not turn the camera. This is the angle we drive to have the least amount of bumps. That little strip in the center is the last of the pavement. Many places there is no pavement left at all. Imagine 9 hours on something like this - and no gas stations for potty breaks :). Just thought I'd let you see a little of what I am complaining about :). Actually, I am glad there is a way to get between the two points, I just wish it was a smoother way! Have a great day!!

P.S. FYI - to post those 2 pictures yesterday it took me almost 2 1/2 hours. This one only took about 15 minutes. The internet is slow here and worse in Eldoret (they say because there are too many trees - how can that be???)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beauty of Eldoret

Here are couple plants in the yard in Eldoret.

A Poinsettia tree. Who would ever think that that little plant in the pot at Christmas would grow into a tree? Eldoret is very different from the desert! There are flowers, trees and lots of green grass all over here. It is good for my soul to see green, growing things and the flowers are just amazing! What an imagination our God has!!!!

Last couple weeks


The last couple weeks have been a bit busy. I had to travel to Nairobi for a team meeting. We had to make some decisions about how to get our office things in Nairobi done for the future. Our business administrator and his family are not returning to Kenya because of fund raising problems. It is always hard for administrators to raise money because people have a hard time seeing how that is mission work. However, I really appreciate those who have filled this role for me. It allows me to spend much more time in Turkana. I don't have to be in Nairobi to file for my work permit, or turn in forms explaining what I am doing here in Kenya and a myriad of other things that take so much time away from my being in Turkana.

So, we had to meet in order to figure out how to get these administrative things done without each of us having to take turns working in Nairobi. I think we have a good solution for now and hope that it will work for the long term. After that meeting, I had to go to a government building to get fingerprinted. I have to do this every two years to get my work permit renewed. This is for my "alien registration" card. You have to reapply for this every time your work permit expires. So, every two years I have to come to Nairobi and do this. Then I spent a couple days doing some grocery shopping and restocking for July and August in Turkana.

This week I have been in Eldoret. It is in the highlands of Kenya and about half-way between Lodwar and Nairobi. Our team splits the rent on a house here so we have a place to stay when we travel between the two places. I spent the week running errands, paying bills, getting dogs vaccinated at the vet and preparing fresh vegetables to be frozen so I can have some veggies in Turkana besides onions, cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes. My list of things to do was very long, but I have finished almost everything. I am looking forward to a little rest tomorrow before I have to head home to Lodwar on Monday. Pray for my trip as the road is long and horrid!