Monday, 18 October 2010

Teaching and learning

I’m back at the head quarters of Wycliffe Bible Translators UK. Last time I was here for any length of time I was a student, learning all about ‘Scripture Use’ to prepare me to go and serve in Tanzania. Now, four years later, I am here as the teacher! I didn’t feel that just two and a half years of working in Mbeya qualified me for this role, but I was assured that my recent experiences were valuable and so I agreed to teach as an assistant to a more experienced lady.
So, here I am, and I feel that I am learning as much as I am teaching! As I plan and prepare lessons, I remember the things I once learned and find myself trying to apply them to my situation in Tanzania and wondering how they should look in practice. That’s not to say that when I went to Tanzania I completely disregarded all I had learnt! However, when I did my training I didn’t have concrete situations in my mind to apply my learning to and once I was in Tanzania it was hard to think of how all those things I’d learn in the abstract now applied in reality. Now, revisiting those studies, with Mbeya in mind and with some distance between myself and the work (which allows for a little more objectivity!) I am wondering where I need to relearn and be re-envisioned for the work of Scripture Use in Mbeya. I still have so much to learn and am more and more aware of how all our endeavours will come to nothing unless God is at work.
We are teaching a really interesting mix of students (two Finns, one Russian and one Hungarian) who will all be going to very different places, so it’s a challenge to make the teaching relevant to them all. I love to teach and I’m enjoying being able to do that in my mother tongue rather than Swahili, but as none of the students speak English as their first language, I still have to be careful that what I say is understandable!
Between teaching and pondering on what I am learning, I seem to be constantly on the move. I have been here for four weeks and every weekend has seen me attending a different church and often being in a different place. I’ve been back to All Nations (where I was at Bible College) and Oxford (where I was at university) and have had the privilege of exploring a new part of the country by taking a weekend trip to Sheffield with friends. It’s a fun, busy and tiring schedule to keep up, so please pray that I can sleep properly at nights in order to make the most of what each day has to bring.

Chatsworth House, nr Sheffield & loving an English autumn!