Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Teaching God's Word

At the end of our African trip, we are visiting our friends, the Gregersens at Namwianga Mission. I am looking forward to having opportunities to teach African women.

I keep debating exactly what I'm going to teach. And I'm human . . . I have not met these women, I have not experienced their culture. I want to do a good job. While I have experience teaching women at home, I also have a good idea what their "issues" are and I have an idea how to present topics that will be beneficial. With the African women, I'll have to make guesses. If I get to go back a second time, I will have a better idea what to teach. And, after teaching at the first village, I'll know what adjustments I need to make to my lessons.

But . . . I do have ideas - I have many Bible stories or object lessons I could teach. I've been planning to teach from the Life Lessons Book I've written - changing it from "the desert of grief" to "suffering from loss - dealing with grief", "suffering caused by sin," etc. And while some people have told me they think the African women have already mastered those lessons, I got confirmation again from one of the women at my church who has been over there six times. These women deal with a lot of grief in their lives. They are just as human as we and they hurt as badly as we do when their loved ones die. And most of them have lost someone in their family recently due to all the health problems there. And perhaps - the lessons need to focus on the story of Job interwoven on other passages that are encouraging to me when I'm dealing with grief.

I will also be doing a workshop teaching younger women on being good wives and mothers. My topic immediately came to mind - I'm going to use Timothy's mother and grandmother and talk about teaching your children. I'm going to keep that topic as my back pocket idea to use elsewhere.

I've always used music in teaching children and women. For one thing, it is an element of worship. It is also a bonding experience. I've already learned one song in Tonga. I got music and words tonight. Hopefully, I will be able to get the women started singing (I've heard they will greet us singing as they walk). My desire is to let them know I've come to worship God with them. I want the songs to be an ice breaker to unite us as sisters in Christ. I'm sure I will want the words in front of me so my "middle aged" memory won't fail me at a critical time. I'm sure as well that I will mangle the pronunciation of some of the words.

Every time I've prayed asking God's guidance so I can do meaningful lessons, I seem to hear the words from the gospels - I don't need to worry too much (other than good preparation) - God will give me the things to say that will touch these women and help us grow closer to him.

As I prepare to travel, please join me in prayer that this trip will glorify God - both in the photography, in the blessed time spent with the Gregersens, and in the teaching ministries.

No comments: