We often ask you to pray for Pastor Aringo, Joyce and Moses as they represent the work in Kenya and Uganda. However, there are many volunteers who help in the ministry throughout both countries and they need your prayers also.
The volunteers have different roles. There are those in a few areas who mark the lessons and record the results for each individual child. This involves a lot of work. It can be exhausting marking lesson after lesson. Sunday Schools in the UK may often have 50 children or less; when we speak of a single Sunday School in Kenya or Uganda we could easily and often talk of 300 children. It is our desire to have more markers across the countries. We need Pastor Aringo and Joyce to travel to various areas and train people there how to mark and record results. This would ease the pressure on existing markers and would also reduce the expenses associated with returning lessons across the country. Please pray that Pastor Aringo and Joyce will have both the opportunities and resources to enable them to do this.
We also have volunteers who help distribute the lessons to different centres and schools, pray for the them. We have volunteers in centres who help to teach the lessons to the children and explain to them what they need to do.
Those who go into schools with Moses are volunteers as are those who assist at children's rallys.
In our office, volunteers are sometimes needed to assist with the high volume of marking there. At the moment we need help in the office as there are many lessons currently needing marked. In Nairobi especially, it can be difficult to have volunteers. People often require payment for their work and often we do not have funds available for this and so we find ourselves going around in circles a little whereby we need the help but need it to be voluntarily.
Please pray for all who help and assist in various forms in Kenya and Uganda. We need more people who have a vision and passion for the work we do but who are prepared to sacrificially dedicate themselves to the work without the need for payment. Please pray for this great need and for wisdom as we deal with these issues.
This week we would ask you to pray for those who are studying on our email correspondence course. Currently we only have one course running which is on Child Protection.
For those of you are not familiar with the concept; the course consists of 10 assignments which focus on various topics such as the various types of Child Abuse; Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse; What to do if a child discloses to you that they are being abused; What a children's worker can protect themselves against allegations of abuse; How to support the child who has been abused and their family and various other subjects.
The current course started in January with students from Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria. In the past we have had students also from Myanmar and Tanzania. Interest has been shown from other countries also.
At the beginning of each month, I, (Pamela) email the current assignment to the students. The assignments consists of background information and guidance and then a set of questions. Each assignment is marked out of 50.
The students then have around 3 weeks to complete the assignment and email back their answers. They then have a week off while their assignments are marked. This brings them to the beginning of another month when the next assignment sent and the process begins again. At the end of the course, the students will receive a certificate with their overall average mark. This is also emailed to them and they can print themselves.
The students can face many challenges. Finding time amongst their family, work and Church commitments can be a challenge. Finding the funds to visit the internet cafes can be another challenge....most do not have their own computers. Sometimes electricity can be a problem and so sometimes it is not possible to use the computers. At the cyber (internet café) the longer they stay, the more they pay. They also have to pay for printing out the assignments. So they have to decide can they stay long enough to complete the assignment on screen, or should they print it off to work on at home.
Please pray for the students as they face these very real challenges. Pray that they will have the resources and time available. Pray that they will have the discipline to complete and return on time. Pray that what they learn will be of benefit to them in their ministry to boys and girls.
The advantage to FML is that this is a very inexpensive form of ministry as it simply involves emailing. However, marking takes up a lot of time....but the answers given always impress and we learn ourselves....especially in regard to cultural issues.
We would like to introduce more such courses in the future and ask that you pray to this end that we would know God's leading and guiding. Before he passed away, Cecil had been developing new courses for use in this way. As yet I have not looked at them in depth to see what work is needed to complete them and introduce them as courses, but I hope this will be something which can be done in the near future.
Meantime, pray on for the students and pray that others too will be keen to learn in this way.
It is holiday time here in Northern Ireland, so a few days off resulted in a break in the blog last week....but we hope you still continued to pray for us.
Schools are on holiday here but in Kenya and Uganda the learning still continues as holidays don't come until August. Please continue to remember the many children who study our lessons through their schools. It is through schools that many muslim children are learning of the Bible through our lessons. Also children of other backgrounds and religions are coming in contact with the teachings of the Bibles as a result of the Schools they attend in Uganda and Kenya.
Please remember Moses in Nakuru as he continues to minister in many schools in the area on an ongoing basis. A large part of the ministry is in Government schools and this is a great opportunity to reach the children with the Gospel.
Please continue to pray for us in all of the plans and preparations for our next trip. So much to do and very little time to do it.
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regular updates and thoughts from Northern Ireland and Africa...