Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaching English to Pastors

IMGP4028 IMGP4023 Recently, I responded to an email plea to help “assist” in the teaching of a new group of seminary students at New Creation Ministries.  Two of my friends, whose husbands run the Bible college, are on sabbatical in the USA, and they were seeking someone to “help out”.  So I volunteered.  Before Thanksgiving, I helped another friend teach English to some Rwandan teachers, and I’m working on getting my TESL certification, so I thought this would be good experience.  Although I didn’t quite “sign on” for leading the class, that is what happened.  This group of untrained pastors from rural areas of Rwanda were a joy to be with.  Most of them had never studied English before.  A few, had studied French.  Numbering about 60 in all, I was told that after the first week, about 24 made confessions of faith for the first time!  Although they have been working as pastors, some did not fully understand the gospel and what being “born again” entailed.  That alone is a true testament to the work that this, and other theological colleges, here in Rwanda do!  My small part was to teach an introductory English class for two and half weeks.  The men were enthusiastic and eager to learn.  Fortunately for me, and them, their careers and education do not depend on a knowledge of English.  They are learning just because they want to be able to communicate with visitors and potential supporters from abroad.  So with that pressure off, we were able to just have fun.  In the meanwhile, they all learned something.  Lilly assisted me one day when she was not in school due to a school holiday.  Today was our last day of class and they chose to “serenade” me with a beautiful praise and worship song in Kinyarwanda.  Drums and dancing accompanied the hymn, and it was truly a blessing.  60 men singing their hearts out, a cappella and filled with the Holy Spirit.  It is (3rd person present form of “to be”) a day (a= article before a noun beginning with a consonant) I will remember (future tense) forever!  I hope to see them again in April when they return for their second of four intensive sessions this first year.