Wednesday, April 30, 2008

updates all around town

Greetings! Sorry again for a long delay here. I still have nearly-finished posts that were started in Africa and that I've not been able to complete yet. Some day, perhaps. Some day.

In the meantime, please continue praying for Zimbabwe and for Kenya. Here are a couple sources of info that I've recently discovered:

The Zimbabwean (I think it's published from the UK)

Rising from the Ashes: A Kenyan pastor who lost his home in post-election violence models forgiveness (from AIM, one of the organizations I overlapped with in Kenya)

Life is full these days as I work to be fully present here while preparing for the next stops on the road. I have two big hurdles of tasks to get through before I can dig deeper into plans for Haiti. Please pray with me that those things will be completed within the next week. It's time for Haiti planning to begin. I hope I'll be able to be mentally and prayfully prepared for that trip and not let it get lost in the larger and probably much more long-term impending move to England. With food prices rising around the world, the poor in Haiti have been among those suffering from rising grain and rice prices. Please pray for God's provision for them. Things feel unsettled enough here in the US with our ghastly gas price increases, but imagine the bit of fear you feel as you watch the price increases you can't control applied to your staple, and previously cheap, food for your family.
And speaking of being present here, I'm about halfway through an eight-week commitment to help with an ESL (English as a Second Language) class for a group of Somali Bantu refugees living in Nashville. I tried to help out with a class last summer but just couldn't squeeze out the time to do it. I was excited to find that the dates for this round of classes fit just right with my Nashville months. It's fun to have an Africa connection here. The woman teaching the class is from my church, and it's great fun to have the chance to get to know her better. And it's great fun to welcome and help some new Nashvillians.
Many Bantu people from Somalia speak a language that's never been written down, so in addition to learning English, which would be hard enough on its own, many of them are learning to read and write any language for the very first time. This makes language acquisition, at least in a culture that places a premium on literacy, infinitely harder. Please pray for them as they try to learn the language that will make their transition here easier.
Thanks, folks! More later!

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