Alex and Susannah are in Nairobi, studying at Africa International University (AIU). After studying in Kenya, Alex and Susannah hope to return to Tanzania, where they served in 2013. They plan to teach at Munguishi Bible College, training pastors to teach God’s word.
Alex and Susannah both spent much of their childhood in central and eastern Africa and so are familiar with many of the culturally challenging aspects of life there. Over the year they spent at Munguishi, God grew in them a passion to see the Church in East Africa equipped with leaders who can teach God’s word well. In addition, during their time at Munguishi Alex and Susannah learnt a lot of Swahili as they attended chapel, got to know the students and prepared lessons. From 2014 - 2017 Alex and Susannah studyied Theology for Crossing Cultures at Oak Hill Theological College. To equip them further, they are studying for a Master's in Mission Studies at AIU.
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Since we last wrote a formal update we have been to Tanzania and back, been back to Europe for Alex’s sister’s wedding in August and the kids have turned two and four in the last month.
Church bible study group
I, Alex, have been really challenged in one of my classes to view people from God’s perspective as made in his image. So rather than judging them from my ethnocentric position as a Brit, allowing them room to be image bearers of God in their own cultural expression and allow God and his word to be the judge of their lives. Ethnocentrism is a view of the world exclusively from our own cultural perspective, and it leads to naïve judgementalism of beliefs or practices that ‘don’t fit’ our cultural view of things. For example ‘accents’, in England if you are vanilla English you don’t have an accent right?! (Scotts, Irish, Australians and especially Americans do have accents though right!) Well here at AIU I find that when I speak with some of my friends they find my accent (!) hard to understand. So even with something as basic as an accent we can have cultural blind spots. Pray for us to be rightly more conscious of our cultural perspective when teaching God’s word, and willing to flex our accents to aid those we speak with, as Jesus did in learning Aramaic.
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