July 2020

We are moving to Jos. The Children’s Centre project is coming along well. Alanna is making good progress on completing her theology MA. Rick has been enjoying home-schooling the kids (the kids, diplomatically, claim to have been enjoying this also). Rick is now preparing for the new semester with classes fully online from the beginning.

Coronavirus

Nigeria is, relatively speaking, still in the fairly early stages of its exposure to COVID-19. The authorities here, having seen what was happening in the rest of the world, put the country into a fairly strict lockdown quite early on. This seems to have slowed the spread of the virus but not stopped it. The disease has not yet had a big impact in our part of Nigeria. However, there are recent signs that prices are rising, including for basic foodstuffs, and that many people are struggling financially.

Children’s Centre

Despite all the pandemic disruption, work has continued on the Children’s Centre (see photo). A couple of young boys were standing near it last week, just staring at it. The slightly older one was overheard saying to the slightly younger one, ‘You know, they are building this for us - for us!’ So even before it has come into use it is being an encouragement to the children here.

Alanna’s studies

For the past five weeks Alanna has been taking part in the ETSK summer intensive programme online to help her get further along with the theology MA that she has been doing for the past couple of years. She has been enjoying this, but finding it, well, intense! This was made even more intense by the inevitable teething troubles - this is the first time the seminary has ventured into online education and we are frankly impressed that there weren’t more hiccups along the way. But it did mean that the first week of the programme was largely used up with waiting for the website to get fixed/uploaded/debugged/updated/etc.

Home school

While Alanna has been doing her studies Rick has (temporarily) taken over the home-schooling and cooking duties. This has meant there has been lots of maths and history and lots of curries and pizzas. Asha, Conor and Jack have politely, wisely and diplomatically professed to enjoy extra maths and equally to enjoy extra curry. This regime will probably continue until early August and then (once Alanna’s courses are finished) there will be some sort of readjustment.

Jos

We have been going ahead with our plans to move to Jos by the beginning of August - in fact, we sent our freezer, Rick’s books and some other bits and pieces up ahead of us earlier this week - so those things are now waiting for us in our temporary, furnished accommodation. We were due to go up to Jos this weekend for a training session. However we are now planning on going up earlier, partly to be there in good time and partly because there is uncertainty about what travel restrictions might be in place (as well as the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns there are sometimes other security restrictions and/or checkpoints, etc.) In fact, as I write this we will probably be going up tomorrow (Thursday), so by the time you read this, that will have become ‘a couple of days ago.’ In effect that will ease us into our transition to Jos as we will take another car-load of stuff as we go. The main reason we had chosen to wait until the beginning of August before moving was so that Alanna could finish her summer classes. Since those are all online, and since the internet is better in Jos, it may well make sense for us to be mostly based there from now on and just pop back to Kagoro from time to time to complete the packing and moving.

Rick’s classes

Rick has a busy few weeks ahead, preparing online courses for the new semester, which will begin on 10 August. He has some new courses to teach at JETS (Jos ECWA Theological Seminary), as well as helping with the transition at ETSK (ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro) by taking a couple of online courses for them as well. It should be fine once things are up and running but there is some extra prep needed to get it started.

Give thanks:

  • For all the ongoing learning and discipleship at both seminaries.
  • That home-schooling continues to go well.
  • That the Children’s Centre is coming along.
  • That the move to Jos is happening.

Pray:

  • That the Children’s Centre will soon be finished.
  • For peace, stability and security for people in northern Nigeria.
  • For Alanna to have energy to finish her summer intensive programme.
  • For Rick to do a good job in preparing the online courses.
  • For settling into Jos to go well!

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