Monday, July 23, 2007

Arrival of the New Teaching Team in Renk, Sudan

I’m just off the phone with all three of our team, Ellen, Peter, and Andrew. All is very well. Their flight was fine, and once in Sudan they received a very warm welcome. Everyone has been just wonderful to them, and they are now in the process of adjusting their sleep patterns and adapting to the local conditions.

Rain!

It has been raining all day today (Monday), quite heavily at times, and steam is now rising and filling the air in Renk. The heavy rain has delayed some of the students’ arrival, so Fr. Joseph asked if the “real” teaching could be delayed until tomorrow (Tuesday). Meanwhile, about a dozen students are already in place, and they seem very eager to begin classes. Ellen says that she will probably have about 15 students all together in her course.

Ellen Davis

Ellen worked with two of the local priests today who have been doing Hebrew, and she found that beyond review, they were able to move ahead to learn how participles are formed and work in Hebrew. They read the beginning of Ruth together, did very well, encountered participles (with which they were unfamiliar), and so they got that part of the grammar covered. Clean water for bathing, etc., is not easy to come by, so Peter used the opportunity of the heavy rains today to work up a system for catching rain water off of the zinc roofs of some of the buildings. Fr. Joseph got right on the plan, and they already now have two barrels of usable water. This may well prove to be a system of long-range advantage to everyone there. Nevertheless, Ellen says that she has given up on the idea of actually looking really clean during her time there! J Peter reports that mosquitoes are not currently launching any onslaught, but the team has nets and Deet ready, should they decide to swarm!

They team’s plans for teaching are as follows: Andrew will be reviewing and teaching biblical Greek. Ellen will be teaching a course on the Torah’s Vision of Worship (studying Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, with a focus on worship). She will also continue working on improving the Hebrew skills of some of the advanced students, perhaps meeting with them for three one-hour sessions per week. Peter Morris will start the clinic work and will also give some lectures on Public Health. The church is a big part of the local infrastructure in Renk, so these lectures are very important and potentially life-changing for the local society.

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