Thursday, April 12, 2018

Eunice's 40th Birthday Testimony

Eunice is one of the first friends I made when I moved to Nigeria in 2001.  Her and her family have been like family to me.  We have shared many joys and sorrows together.  She is kind, loving, and encouraging!

Here are some old pictures I pulled up from my archives...

Now here is the thing about Eunice.

She has sickle cell anemia.  This is a blood disorder connected to her red blood cells that cause problems such as attacks of pain (crisis).  Most people's life expectancy is much lower.  I personally know a number of people who have died from this disorder in the years I have been here.

Well, last month we celebrated Eunice's 40th birthday!  See her testimony as posted on Facebook below:

God is sooooo great!!!!
As a child, I heard quite a few negative statements from Doctors, teachers, relatives, books, et. al, that I may not make it to my 20s, but God’s protection, the love of my family and friends countered this horrible thought.
Today, I am forty. So, sickle cell anemia, EAT YOUR HEART OUT. I have won this battle. Cheers to the next flawless 40 years filled with love, joy, grace, favour, open doors, blessings and protection.

And so we had a PARTY!  In true Eunice fashion, we celebrated in style.  The 40 guests were all asked to dress in white.  We had a beautiful dinner and a time of reminiscing on Eunice's life and what she means to us.  And of course laughing and dancing!

photo credit @olatoxic

photo credit @olatoxic

photo credit @olatoxic

photo credit @olatoxic

photo credit @olatoxic

photo credit @olatoxic

Join us in praising God for Eunice's life!

Thursday, July 27, 2017


We have had the privilege of working with a Nigerian missionary in the Republic of Benin.  Her name is Teju.  She has a vision to impact the lives of girls and women through her ministry "Fondation Deborah".  Equipping teachers with a Biblical worldview and a renewed mind when it comes to education is one way she believes the lives of girls can be transformed.

This month marked my third visit to Cotonou, the nation's capital where we have been working on going through the Educational Care modules.  This month - we worked on Module 2 - How Do Students Learn? and Module 3 - Developing Student Gifts.

The training is all in French - and while I can speak it, I am out of practice and quite tired at the end of each day.  It was exciting to hear how their action plans were implemented and see the group grow together into a more cohesive community.  Praise God for this group of leaders!

One report on Module 1 Action Plan was from Guy:  My goal was that the students in one of my classes would understand the necessity of living in community.  It was difficult!  They didn’t have a good foundation, but they did have a thirst to understand.  My first activity was helping them to see they are created in the image of God and as a result treat one another accordingly.  In addition to specific teaching, I was also conscious of my example to them.  They accepted this idea and many of them did change their actions towards one another.  But they often would forget and need to be reminded.  In this light, I also wanted them to understand that God created each of them regardless of culture, religion or language.  I also wanted them to treat each other with more respect by greeting one another.  I incorporated this and when I forgot to do this at the beginning of class, they were reminding me!  Other changes I found occurred overall as a result were changes in me.  My teaching and relating with students changed.  My relationships with students improved, I got to know them better and was more approachable.  I also saw more connections with our Biblical worldview module and the courses I teach and worked to bring these ideas out.

Here are a few pictures of our class in action:

Some children learn by SEEING.

Teachers trying to communicate their learning in pictures.

Small Group Learning

A drama showing what happens when a community works together

More drama

Tea Time

Floriane presents her action plans for the next few months.


Jonathan and I had the privilege of conducting the Educational Care training with a group of teachers from the Vine School System of Christ in Monrovia, Liberia.  We had been invited by One Body, One Hope

It was a busy and eventful week.  We had a large group - exposed to the inductive teaching approach and the concept of action planning.  We went through Module 1 - the Biblical Worldview.  Teachers explored how their faith is integral to their teaching.  Some of their testimonies can be found below in the midst of the pictures.  Join us in giving glory to God for a great week!

Small Group Discovery and Discussion

"This teaching has transformed and renewed my mind with the full understanding that everything including my students and even education belongs to God. " Josephine 

Darric (one of the school leaders) is enjoying Jonathan's contribution to the group discussion.

"I have learnt that this exercise is not about getting things done, but engaging in activities that will bring about Kingdom change. Because all creation is groaning including my students I should help alleviate their pain instead of adding to it. Also, the world can be made right when I exercise peace, justice and generosity.  I have learnt to love and care for God’s creation. Thank you for the opportunity. " Darric 

Some small group chatting with the nursery school teachers.

"From the teaching I learnt that God if the creator of heaven and Earth, that all things belong to Him. I also learnt that mocking my students cannot bring about humility and most of the problems we have as humans it’s because of lack of faith and trust in God which often lead us to sin. This training will enable me to teach my students how to love and care for one another." Omelia 

Large group circle time.

Terry sharing his action plan with Jonathan.

Praying over action plans.

"I understand in this class from Sheila that the goal for kingdom change as an educator, I should first of all be transformed as God intended me to be and to also transform the students as well." Korpo 

Clothing presentation and photo opportunity with Pastor Emmanuel Bimba, the pastor and head of ministry.

We did it!  Module 1 complete and action plans written!

This training has given me a sense of direction in other to treat my students in a Godly way and to set a good example in my community and country. Prince

Educational Care has really made me to understand my role as a teacher to the community that I am not only to be teaching curriculum but also be teaching the students. Stephen

 I am grateful to God for being part of this training. The training has deepened my understanding in a lot of ways as a teacher, most especially in seeing and appreciating God through his creation. And also seeing my students as God’s creations that have been entrusted into my care. The teaching really changed my views and understanding about the teaching profession. Emmanuel

 We also had the privilege of enjoying missionary guest house accommodation on the beach!  This was our view from the guest house each evening - when it wasn't raining!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Kenneth and Esther's Wedding

Kenneth is one of our security men here at the Daniel Center.  He has also been trained (and is training others) in Trauma Healing (see article here).

This weekend we had the privilege of celebrating his wedding day!  We traveled to Jos and danced and celebrated with him and his wife Esther.

Daniel Centre Staff minus Kenneth. 
Exchanging of Vows
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth

The Order of Service was printed in this notebook - so it doubles as a souvenier!

One of the "uniforms" of the day



Dancing in to the reception
The cutting of the cake

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Walking with Hosea.

Note:  This was a post I had drafted a few years ago as part of a "Walking With" blog series.  But interestingly Hosea was one of our facilitators at last month's "Teachers Transforming Nigeria" training. He does training in the area of literacy and phonics and worked on a joint project here in Nigeria called "The Phonics Reading Adventure".  It is a joy to still be walking with you, Hosea!

What is your name?  I am Gupar Danjuma Hosea.

What is your position/work? What do you do? I am a literacy facilitator, crusading against illiteracy.

What is your relationship to Sheila? I work with her in training teachers to have Biblical World View in the teaching profession.

Why are you passionate about Christian Education?  God is seeking for teachers that will transmit the true Biblical values, I am especially  passionate because Christian Education is the heart of all other educations.

What is the biggest challenge you see in the education system in Nigeria? Why?
Poor literacy is the biggest challenge in the education system because if a person cannot read and write, any other subject becomes difficult.

What is your dream for education in Nigeria?  My greatest dream for Nigerian education is that if possible all primary teachers be given a thorough phonics training which will help them teach nursery and primary pupils to learn how to read.

What will it take to bring about transformation?  Sponsorship and funding for seminars and training for public and private primary school teachers to be trained.

What do you see as YOUR role in bringing about that transformation?  I have taken upon myself to contribute my quota in training as many teachers as possible. I also hope to motivate other teachers of like minds to join me in this great crusade against illiteracy!

What have you learned while interacting and “walking with” Sheila? I have learned focus, goal oriented, and above all faith to do things that always seem impossible.

How can I pray specifically for you in your work/ministry?
·         Pray for grace of God
·         Pray for passionate and God fearing teachers
·         Pray for good health
·         Pray for sponsors of materials/funds for training of teachers