Robinson ministry update January 2019
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Yes, it is nearly the end of February already, but we’ve been busy!
We have had a busy start to the New Year! We started with a pig roast, cooking a whole pig (minus head, trotters and innards thankfully) in the ground overnight. Then we moved on to a retreat with one of the other mission organisations based in Jos. They asked Tim at more or less the last minute if he would be able to help them with the equipment and expertise needed to provide sound for their meetings. Happily we all got to go along and enjoyed a restful time.
Since then Tim has been off on a two week jaunt around the country to visit numerous language projects, more on that from him below. I have been on a slightly shorter jaunt to Kenya for meetings. My meetings were for those of us who work for the Anglo-Lusophone Africa Area. We provide advice, training and other support for 5 SIL organisations across Africa. I work part time for this group and the rest of my time is directly for SIL Nigeria. The meetings were a great opportunity to meet others with similar roles, hear more about what is happening across Africa and plan how best to achieve our goals.
Going into this new year, my role with SIL Nigeria is shifting towards becoming full-time Language Programs Director. I’m super excited about this opportunity but I’ll miss working with the teams thatI’ve been managing for the past 4 years or so. One of the things I absolutely love about this new role is the opportunity to travel and interact with the language communities we are working with. January included quite a project visiting adventure. I drove over 1,000 miles and interacted with 15 communities!
Gbari,Tsishingini, Cishingini, Tskimba, Tsuvadi, ut-Hun, us-Saare,ut-Ma’in, Kamuku, Pangu, Cipipu, Gudana, Waci, Ashe, Duya
I’mthankful for the vehicle we have which enables me to get around, evenif it needs some repairs along the way 🙂
Firs twas a brilliant meeting with the Gbari language committee talking about up-coming plans and needs and opportunities. The project is nearing the completion of the New Testament and we are trying to plan some ways to increase the scripture engagement opportunities within the community.
Next was the first couple of days of a Paratext training workshop. Paratext is the main software that is used to enable translation work.
Then a rather rough journey to Cicipu to visit some folks there and start to consider if there is an opportunity to partner with them.
Then onto the central location of 4 projects, to catch up with the management team there, to touch base and throw a few ideas around.
This was followed by a long trip down a different rough road to visit a recently renovated office space for one of our projects and a fun looking lunch spot.
Then a short trip along the best road in the entire country that I have driven on to attend an ordination service for one of our staff.
Then onto a different cluster of projects on the way back to Jos, to host a Language Committee training workshop. We really believe that communities are the owners of their language and therefore should also be the owners of any given language project. I’m finding that in order to strike that balance of ownership vs expertise there needs to be a lot of conversations and development of mutual understanding.
Then home! But a day later an invitation to attend a meeting with a language community that we have been on the fringe of working with for some time. It is an amazing opportunity in a very significant unreached people group. We were invited to consider if we are willing to help facilitate a language program with them. There are still lots of conversations going on with their Christian Association, and with potential funders and possible staff that could be assigned to work on the project.
All in all, a very busy month and a very busy trip, but so good to see so much of what God is doing around the country.
–Good rest and recovery, –Tim is headed to the UK for a couple weeks to attended a Language Program Planning and Implementation course based in Gloucester.