After months of prayer and seeking the counsel of wise people on both sides of the ocean, we have decided to extend our stay in Addis Ababa for one more year. Although it is difficult to be away from friends, family and the familiar elements of our home, we still have work to complete. Our three girls are thriving, we are better acquainted with the rhythm of Ethiopian culture and our teaching jobs are in full-stride. We believe by extending for an additional 12 months, Emily and I will be able to increase our reach. Here’s what we mean–
For Jason: Evangelical Theological College (ETC) just launched a Youth Ministry major, making it one of two schools in Africa with this offering. I am involved in a 4-fold project: teachingyouth ministry courses, creating program awareness among churches, recruiting new teachers and providing grassroots youth ministry training in local congregations. The study of and professionalization of youth ministry is a growing concept in Ethiopia. I have several students right now with fire in their eyes, but please pray for more. I am honored to play a role in this development.
For Emily: This job consistently puts a smile on her face. From the outset Emily envisioned that her work would be primarily with small groups of elementary children. Her reading specialist position, however, has exploded into something even greater. In addition to working with young people, Emily is leading professional development seminars (how to teach effective reading and writing strategies) for the classroom teachers as well as the Ethiopian assistant teachers. In this next year Emily plans to invest even more in the assistant teachers. International schools like Bingham Academy tend to have a transient staff, but the Ethiopian teachers maintain a steadfast presence.
We return to the States on June 2 for the summer. Speaking for our family- we cannot wait to get a decent plate of nachos— but more than that— we cannot wait to be reunited with the warm faces of our friends and family. I just purchased our plane tickets today. The implications of round-trip airfares are both thrilling and overwhelming. This is a big day in the Craig house. Please pray for us.