Teaching across all ages is looking a little different these days. One Challenge mission workers are adjusting to new in-person requirements and new technologies, as well as figuring out innovative ways to teach and train others.
Reopening (with Modifications) in Germany
Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Germany began school in a hybrid model. Some students started in the classroom, complete with masks and social distancing; while the dorm students began school online, quarantined in their dorms for a least 14 days.
An answer to pray at the beginning of the school year was that all the students were able to make it into Germany for the start of the semester. BFA educates students representing over 30 countries. Just two short weeks before the start of school, the staff wasn’t sure all the students would be allowed to enter Germany. But praise the Lord, the government gave BFA special permission, so all the students were able to enter the country.
Kara serves as a school nurse at BFA. Dressed in a gown, mask, gloves, face shield, and plastic glasses, one of Kara’s new responsibilities is testing students and staff for COVID-19. “My life and ministry revolve mostly around COVID now, how to help people navigate it, answering questions about it, and encouraging them to stay engaged with God in the midst of it,” Kara says. What an important ministry during this time!
Pray for Kara as she answers questions and is called upon to put nervous students (and staff) at ease.
Teaching Via Zoom
Dave is used to traveling all over Asia teaching seminary students. At the beginning of the pandemic, he found himself stuck away from home as travel into his country of residence was shutdown for all foreigners. Praise the Lord, he was able return home (after a couple months!) and has resumed teaching Bible study methods online.
With teamwork, Dave and Barb are putting together the online courses. Barb has organized the course. Dave teaches as Barb films. Then Dave edits the videos and prepares the lectures for the course. In additional to the prepared video, there will be interactive Zoom sessions. “It will be a three-hour-a-day course for three weeks,” Dave says. “It is just one foot in front of the other. It takes time, we have been learning the process ‘from scratch.’”
Through the process of video and lecture, Dave says he and Barb have again been impressed with the foundational importance of this course, Inductive Bible Study Methods. “It has been the foundation for the commentaries we have produced,” Dave says. “Please pray the students will likewise be inspired and equipped.”
Adapting to Reach More Students
Due to the inability to travel, Jon’s leadership training in Africa has shifted to online. Six years ago, Jon adapted training material, created by a ministry called The Steward’s Journey (TSJ), to create a course specifically designed for Africans, entitled Becoming a Steward Leader. He now is working on adapting this typically in-person training into an online course in three languages – English, Portuguese, and French.
In the six years Jon has used the seminar, the impact has been great. “I’ve been amazed how people have found the perspective of faithful stewardship to be extremely relevant, not just in managing finances, but in stewarding all of life – including marriage, family, ministry leadership, and even creation care,” Jon says.
With the new online, downloadable format, the course will be available to anyone across the continent of Africa at any time.
“If all goes as planned, these courses will all be available by the end of the year for downloading and streaming from a special website TSJ is supplying,” Jon says. “In addition, I plan to offer online training to African leaders who wish to become facilitators for this material. I also plan to host several webinars on practical stewardship applications for Africans in the English, French, and Portuguese-speaking communities.”
What an unexpected way to expand the impact of this vital ministry!
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for the staff and students at BFA to be healthy, and that BFA would be able to continue quality education for mission worker’s kids.
- Pray for Dave as he teaches seminary students online. Pray they would create connections and obtain valuable knowledge through the courses.
- Pray for Jon as he wraps up this major project of digitizing the Becoming a Steward Leader seminar. Pray it will help Africa leaders grow in their understanding of godly stewardship.
Education One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. One Challenge seeks to educate on all levels in order to equip the next generation of leaders … English as a second language, global workers’ children in international schools, university and seminary students.