Finally, Students

So as of today, I have finished my three days of teaching for this round. I feel as though some reflection would be appropriate not. Even before I left the States, I was a bit apprehensive about this project. I studied, I prepared notes, I bought a cheap projector and made a few PowerPoint slides. I worked up homework assignments. And I prayed, I prayed a lot, for the students whom I never met and for myself. I was concerned they wouldn’t like me. That I would not do a good job. That . . . you name it and I probably worried about it. Then we left for Zimbabwe.

We got here on Thursday and my first class was on Tuesday, five days to add to my angst. I learned that there were 28 students, except actually only 26 were there. I knew two of them from previous trips, but none of the others. I got a list, names of many were names I never hear, and had trouble even pronouncing. Fortunately, we had things to do to keep us busy. We went to Pemberton Station which I talked about in the last post. We were invited to church in a small church where one of the teachers here preaches. We were treated to dinner once, and got to treat someone at a new restaurant here in Harare. Yet, in the back of my mind was always the question of class.

Tuesday came and at 8:15 class started. I began by going over the syllabus. What I hoped we would learn, the assignments, the schedule of topics, when tests were coming, and the like. That is when the first issue arose. It was not one that I had not expected, but it came none-the-less. My students all speak English, as a second language. And it is British English, with a British accent. I speak American English and I talk fast, especially when I am nervous. We got through the four hours, I slowed down, I had the PowerPoint. And it turned out to be OK. Not everyone loved me, but I wasn’t hated either, so it was an overall win.

Wednesday came and we got into the text more and less background stuff. I slowed down and the students are getting used to my accent. It was a good day and most everyone was engaged, and we had a great time together. Two hours of overview of the Pastoral Epistles and two hours of deep dive. It was, I think a good day, maybe borderline great one.

Today, Thursday, we only had two hours. It was the last session of three for the day and the fifth day in a row for the students. I think they were a little overloaded and a bit tired. Again, many of the students were tracking well with me, taking notes and keeping good eye contact. Others were counting the minutes until it was over. Time will tell how things when for them when assignments start coming in. All in all, it was still a good day and we all, the students and I are glad this round is finished. We gather again, in April, for three more days, this time on Titus and 2 Timothy.

A couple of observation. I have loved working with these three books. I have learned a lot and have found the time fulfilling and rewarding. Second, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I believe that God has a desire for us to be here. He has some things he wants us to do. I am glad that we are here.

Tonight, we were invited to had dinner with the other American couple that are here to teach. They are from West Virginia. Students have been comparing the accents of the two couples and noting that all Americans don’t share the same way of talking. It was a fun evening as we dined on her spaghetti and apple cobbler and shared stories of home. I preach in the college chapel tomorrow, and at the church we visited on Sunday. We then have a few days before we head down to Chiredzi. Then we have a weekend there, followed by a week back at the college for a preaching conference, back to Chiredzi until April. We have lots of work ahead. Keep praying for us and thanks for your support, pray support, words of encouragement, Facebook notes, Whatsapp messages, and financial help to keep us here. Without you we would not be here. God bless. We think of home often and pray for you regularly.

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