The family that prays together…

hymn books

…stays together.

I (Greg) have always liked that saying, and it’s no less true when the “family” is the family of those preparing for vocational ministry through the School of Religon and Christian Ministry (SRCM) at ANU.

On Wednesday for early morning prayers, we had representatives from Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and the U.S. We truly are Africa Nazarene University!

The Religion Student Association (RSA) is the student organization run by our religion majors. Besides sponsoring Wednesday prayers, they organize for a mission trip once per trimester.

Please pray for our female and male students as they respond to God’s call to life-long ordained ministry.

 

RSA
RSA leaders, L to R: Josophat Kalimwayi, Fadweck Tepani, Forward Muchetu (not pictured: Mercy Sopera)

 

Other prayer requests

This is Holiness Week at ANU. Remember our speaker, Assistant Chaplain Shaun Bati, as he brings the message each day. Ask that the hearts of students will tender to God’s voice, and that they will respond.

Amy just finished her second (and last) statistics class for her Ed.D. program through Trevecca Nazarene University.  She has just 3 classes remaining, and is moving ahead simultaneously on her thesis.  Pray that the Lord will help her finish well as she balances her own studies with the English classes that she’s teaching at ANU.

 

 

 

 

Study in Yellow (and Orange)

The other day I was walking around the campus and I began to see yellows and oranges, so I decided to do a ‘study in yellow (and orange)’.

A few weeks ago, there was no yellow. All I could have done was a study in brown. Thanks for your prayers for rain. we’ve had several good rainfalls. The campus is vibrant again!

Just one more…

Speaking of vibrant, next week is Holiness Week. Please pray for a vibrant response to the messages of Pastor Shaun Bati.

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Two weeks in the DRC

 

DRC – Democratic Republic of the Congo, not be be confused with the Republic of the Congo

For the past two weeks, I (Greg) taught in Kisangani, DRC, which is in the northeast part of the country. My flight took me from Nairobi to Addis Ababa, then on to Kisangani.

 

trio_DRC
Heading out to Sunday church with Rev Okende and his son, Martin.

 

The 30 pastors I taught were grateful for the two diploma-level courses, “Holiness 1” and “Holiness 2.” Since the DRC is a French-speaking country, I got to brush-off my French, too.

 

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Arnold plays the jembe.

We met Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a 90 minute break in the middle of the day. The pastors seemed very grateful for the instruction, and were tremendous singers. They joyfully belted out and danced to “Ensemble, louons le Seigneur” (Together, let’s praise the Lord), one of my favorites from Benin that I taught them.

 

While there, I stayed with the District Superintendent, Rev Jean-Louis Okende. He was a very gracious host, and we enjoyed good conversation and meals together.

Pray for the Church of the Nazarene in Congo!

 

 

 

 

Compare and contrast

Teaching in a different educational system can be confusing, but it definitely is mind-broadening.

In general, the contrasts in terminology show up with the end of the term (trimester). In America, we proctor an exam and then grade it with an answer key. Here, we invigilate an exam and mark it with a marking scheme.

Here, we write our final exam in the first couple of weeks of the term and then the entire department decides if it is okay or if it needs to be changed. This is called premoderation. After the final exams are all marked and final marks turned in, the department gets together again to consult on the final results. Failing marks need to be explained and the marking of exams is checked for accuracy. This is called postmoderation. It is a very communal approach to university education.

As an English teacher, I also end up teaching my students the American terms even as I struggle to remember the British terms. Here are a few examples. I end sentences with a period which are also known as “full stop”. I put the year of an APA citation in parentheses, but my students put them in brackets.

Yet, one thing is the same everywhere. Coworkers make or break the work experience. The picture at the top is the wonderful bunch that I work alongside in ANU’s Languages and Literature department. Mrs. Muchai, the chair of the department, is seated at the lower left. She has literally written the textbooks that we use for the English classes.

Prayer requests –

Thank you for praying for rain in Kenya. Please, don’t stop. Notice how the grass is beginning to green and the ibis can get some food again as the ground is not as hard.

This is a week off classes and the campus is quiet. Please, pray for the faculty, staff, and students as we prepare our materials and minds for the next trimester that begins at the beginning of May.

 

Goosebumps

One of the great things about being at Africa Nazarene University is the extra events that we get to pop in on because they are happening on the campus. This last Sunday, we caught the end of the Women Extravaganza Launch for East Africa.

There was music.

There was speaking, preaching, and prayer.

There was communion for children and adults.

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The part that gave me goosebumps was the march of flags. I always get goosebumps during the march of flags, but this was different and included an element that I wish could be incorporated at the General Assembly.

After marching in under their own flags, the ladies were instructed to exchange flags with another. This exchange was to acknowledge that the other nation is a part of the kingdom of God and to pledge to pray for that country. It was a moment of humility – recognizing that your own country needs the prayers and support of others. It was a moment of empowerment – we are responsible for others through our prayers. Amazing!DSCN0562

Please keep Greg and me in your prayers as we face a few super busy weeks even between the trimesters. I have a few weeks between classes for my doctorate and hope to make significant progress on my dissertation.

Thanks!

Meet Thomas and Neka

 

Thomas and Neka
Greg (aka Dr Crofford), Pastor Nekatibeb and Pastor Thomas

 

This week has been the face-to-face portion of “Current Moral Issues,” one of the courses in the Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) program. I (Greg) have enjoyed getting to know Thomas and Neka, two of our Nazarene leaders from Ethiopia as we’ve discussed moral issues and what should be the church’s response to them.

The Church of the Nazarene is facing many challenges in their home country. Please pray that the Lord will be with our pastors as they preach the Gospel and the message of holiness, the call to love God and others.

Prayer requests

This is exam tme. We (Amy and Greg) are marking many exam papers. Ask the Lord to give us stamina as we bring the trimester to a close.

I (Greg) am scheduled to travel soon to another African country to teach pastors. Pray that my visa will be granted and that the time away from ANU will be fruitful and impactful.

For the Birds

I (Amy) have not been getting out much lately, so I’ve been doing walkabouts on the campus. I’m happy to say that the birds are back. As I am in a statistics class right now, I won’t say the warmer temperatures are the cause. It seems likely though.

Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken in the past week.

And a few more…

Please pray for us and our students as final exams are nearly upon us all. Pray that we finish well.