Written by: The Bridge on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
Hi Everybody! We are trying to answer some of your questions from the comments that you leave. We have some blog entries written and ready to go, but getting pictures together for them takes a bit more time. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions so that we can write posts accordingly. I find them very helpful and we can go about getting pictures and information together. I’ve asked a few people specifically what they want to know, it helps me out a lot. If you don’t get your answer, please email me to remind us. Right now, I’m working on a post for the school, but there are so many questions that I can’t answer myself. I still have a lot to learn. Palmgrove school has around a thousand students, thirty of which come from Palmgrove itself. More on this in a later post.
Eddy Vetter (Cascade), thank you for your comments, they help people understand more what it is like here. That goes to anybody else who is commenting and has experienced this, ‘sosongo’. (Thank you.)
One of the questions was, “Why teach typing?” Well, why teach algebra? Will they ever use it? What you learn in school will better prepare you for what’s coming, broaden your horizons, so to speak. Teaching typing to these children also teaches them how to use a computer. They do have access to computers, there are internet cafes set up in towns and you run into the computer world quite often, yes, even in Africa. Most of the people at the internet cafes are merrily typing away with their two index fingers. I figure if I can teach typing to these kids, then the rest is going to be a lot easier and they would be a lot farther ahead. A lot of the students I’ve taught so far have gone through computer classes in high school, no hands on experience at all. So you start with, hit enter, use the mouse to move the curser, use the left button on the mouse. Very, very basic stuff. Some are enthusiastic about it and catching on quickly, that’s encouraging. Once they catch on they can help each other, which is nice. That way I don’t have to teach each individual the basics.
Ian (Crystal Spring), I got an email with a picture attached of you and your class birdwatching. It brought a smile in our hearts to see all those familiar faces again. You should bring your class over here to do some birdwatching! There are all kinds here, so many different varieties, even some familiar ones, similar to what we have back home, like hawks, eagles, falcons, crows, doves, woodpeckers, sparrows, swallows, thrushes, warblers, and kingfishers. Then there are the ones I never thought I’d ever get to see in real life, like egrets, weaver birds, sunbirds, bee-eaters and hoopoe. So many varieties, it’s hard to figure out what’s what. I found a book on Birds of West Africa in the Palmgrove library, that helps out a lot. However, I’m not as experienced in bird identification as some of you back home. I’ll try to get a post done on them one of these days. I also got a picture of our young people celebrating Wayne’s 15th birthday. Wow! Time doesn’t stand still does it? I wish I could have been there; you should have at least saved me a piece of that cake! Oh well, you’ll make me one when I get home! Thank you to everybody, who email me pictures from time to time, just remember that a picture increases in value if there is a familiar face or two on there. You like pictures on the blog, I like pictures emailed to me too. Now if that isn’t a hint!
Every Sunday, before the main sermon, there is Sunday school for half an hour. Usually one of the young people, or an older person, holds the teaching. This Sunday we had one on Genesis 39, when Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to lie with her. After reading the scripture and a short lecture, people can ask questions. That leads to some very interesting discussions. “Why did God allow such things to happen to Joseph”, was one of the questions. God was planning to raise him to great heights, but first he had to go through the time of testing. He had to be purified and tested with the fire of temptation. Why did Joseph not tell her husband when it kept happening time after time? That’s something I’ve never even thought of before, have you? Potiphar had trusted everything he had, except his wife, into Joseph’s hands. Joseph knew that if he would have told Potiphar about it, then it would have torn his house apart. So he patiently resisted the temptation until he was falsely accused and sent off to prison for a crime he never committed. Then Eddy Vetter got up and brought the message home to Palmgrove. What would the young people do if they found themselves in such a situation? Would they stand strong like Joseph or would they fall after their fleshly lusts? It’s not enough just to read and understand it if we don’t also practice it. Eddy Vetter does a good job of bringing the message home in practical, easier to understand terms.
After the Sunday sermon we had another meeting, this time with the Palmgrove people, all the adults and also the young people were present. One of the problems that was discussed was the lack of interest in the young people choir, why aren’t there more young people in the choir and what has caused the decline in interest? In Malachi 3:8, God asks, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, In what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.” When we don’t want to sing, we are robbing God of his offering. We should be praising him joyfully, but instead we refuse to give God his honor and glory; then we rob God of what rightly belongs to him. For three hours we discussed various topics, it can get really tiring, but it’s something that Palmgrove really needs to do, just sit down and talk things over as a community and see which direction we want to take.
We’ve gotten three packages already. One from Starland containing a whole box of bowls for the kitchen, and a wonderful collection of energy bars. Silverwinds sent one with parts and letters, and Crystal sent one with badly needed parts for the Cat equipment. The one from Crystal had some charcoal inside and just a small hole was enough to cover the whole box with black charcoal. Mensch! That was a mess! With a bit of cleaning we got everything cleaned up. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if the bag had actually ripped open completely. But anyways, it?s always a blessing to receive them, and to dig things out in anticipation, it makes us feel just like children at Christmas time. Thank you to everybody who contributed!