Robinson Ministry update – 23rd March 2020
Well, this is a surreal time isn’t it! Headlines that sound more like they belong in a computer game or sci fi novel. Huge changes on a daily basis in large parts of the world. Meanwhile, here in Nigeria, our life is continuing more or less as normal. So far the main impact that COVID-19 has had on us has been the cancelling of some meetings that Tim was planning to attend in Nairobi last week. There are only 22 live reported cases here in Nigeria at the time of writing (but probably not at the time of reading!) but it does feel a bit like the calm before the storm given the way things have progressed in the rest of the world. Our organisation here is having a lot of discussions regarding contingencies and planning.
I (Ali) travelled to Abuja last last week (as they say here) for some Language Policy Dialogue meetings organised by British Council. The purpose of the meetings is to bring together the main stakeholders in Language Development and Education in Nigeria to talk about better ways to use language in education. Most education in Nigeria, even at the primary level, is conducted in English. This can cause real issues in understanding for young children who may not speak any English when they first start school. Our point of view as SIL, (one of Wycliffe’s partners that we are working with in Nigeria) is that we think it is highly beneficial for children to be taught in their local language wherever possible, at least for the first few years of primary school. It was great to have the opportunity to represent that viewpoint in that context.
The director appointment process is still ongoing but we have been informed that Tim is now one of three possible candidates on the shortlist. People in our local organisation are being asked to give input on the candidates that will then be passed to the Area leadership who will make the final decision.
Dan has been on break this last week and enjoying some quieter days. Over the weekend the government in Nigeria declared all school should close. So Dan’s school is planning adn preparing to reopen later this week as a virtual school so that learning can continue. As a result of the closure, Dan’s play practice for Beauty and the Beast haven been cancelled and in all likelihood will not be performed.
Other plans that we are holding loosely at the moment include our furlough plans. We currently have flights to the UK booked for the end of May but let’s face it, who knows what the situation will be like by then adn it seems most likely that we will not travel at that time!
We are praying for all of you in places where COVID-19 is having a bigger impact. Praying for good health and that the massive disruption in routine will provide an opportunity for people to get to know their Creator more deeply. Do please let us know if you have other specific prayer requests. Maybe it will also be easier for you to find some time to pray for us this week.
Praise Nigeria as so far not been affected badly by COVID-19 Dan has had a restful spring break
Prayer That the virus does not spread further in Nigeria That we can have peace and wisdom as plans change