The distribution of food and supplies by Rev. Kargbo to victims of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

A Call To Action To Aid Sierra Leone Ebola Victims

The distribution of food and supplies by Rev. Kargbo to victims of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

The distribution of food and supplies by Rev. Kargbo to victims of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

The Transformational Education Network (TEN3) is asking for you to partner with us in a call to action to help the people of Sierra Leone who have been devastated by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

We in TEN3 are supporting Global Partners, the missions arm of The Wesleyan Church, to fund a multi-pronged project to provide aid and assistance to children, parents and families in a Sierra Leone community whose lives have been ravaged by Ebola.

The threat of the Ebola is still haunting Sierra Leone, where transmission remains widespread with 74 new cases in the past week, according to the World Health Organization. The continued Ebola outbreak is most intense in the capital of Freetown, with 45 reported cases in the week ending Feb. 15.

Since the Ebola outbreak last year, the WHO has tracked 23,253 cases in nine countries, with 9,380 confirmed fatalities. The worst-hit have been Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in west Africa. Sierra Leone has had 11,103 cases of Ebola — the most of any country — resulting in 3,408 deaths.

The name of the Global Partners project is the “Waterloo/Banga Farm Area Ebola Epidemic.” This project will improve sanitation and psycho-social services in quarantined homes in the Waterloo/Banga Farm area and its immediate environs.

This will be accomplished in a number of ways. For starters, 20 volunteer counselors will be trained to provide psycho-social counseling care to 2,600 beneficiaries in quarantined homes and holding centers. Another 10 volunteers will be trained as health educators to provide environmental health protection messages to 2,000 Ebola beneficiaries.

A third aspect will be training 20 volunteer pastors to visit, console and offer prayers and messages of hope to victims. The project will also provide supplies of used clothing and shoes, rubber buckets, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Dettol — a hygiene product — and other disinfectants for homes.

The last piece of the project will be to provide toys for children and radio sets and batteries for the homes. An untold number of children have been orphaned by the plague of Ebola.

We have been monitoring the situation in Sierra Leone closely through the heroic service of Rev. Samuel Kargbo. Last summer, we were working with Rev. Kargbo to launch a Christ-centered Computer Training Outreach school in Freetown, Sierra Leone. But the Ebola virus outbreak derailed those plans amidst a devastating outbreak of the disease that at one point was requiring 15 funerals a day in Rev. Kargbo’s community.

Rev. Kargbo and his wife, Mary, have been faithfully and compassionately tending to the orphans, widows and other victims of their neighborhood. We are thankful to the Lord for keeping them free of the disease as they tend to the myriad needs of the people of their community.

Rev. Kargbo providing food for victims of  Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Rev. Kargbo providing food for victims of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Now is the opportunity for you to come alongside them. The budget for this project is a mere $15,137 in U.S. dollars. Will you help?

Donations to the project can be made in the following manner:

–Checks made out to Global Partners; write WM06-1489 on the memo line and send to: Global Partners, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis IN 46250-0434;

–Online: You can go to http://www.globalpartnersonline.org/partner/give/projects and in the first dropdown menu, select Sierra Leone, then click GO. Scroll down until you see the Waterloo/Banga Farm Area Ebola Epidemic project and click “Give Now.”

We ask that you continue to pray for containment of the virus and to strengthen the people of Sierra Leone, including Rev. Samuel Kargbo and his family. Thank you and God bless you.

Distribution of supplies by Rev. Kargbo to Ebola victims.

Distribution of supplies by Rev. Kargbo to Ebola victims.

Nigerians must ensure a peaceful election with an eye on the future

Chall Emmanuel is our TEN3 correspondent in Jos, Nigeria. He submitted this piece recently on the upcoming national elections in Nigeria. The presidential and National Assembly elections are Feb. 14 The Governorship and state’s House of Assembly elections are Feb. 28.

The Encarta Dictionary defines politicizing as to make somebody politically aware, or active, or to introduce a political element to something. The topic of politicizing the pulpits is a picture of how political issues are wrongly articulated on the pulpit. If the pulpit is a raised platform in the church — the household of God that is supposed to be treated with all sense of decorum and responsibility and purity in our act and speech — so do our hearts deserve the same treatment.

Albert Einstein once said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.” Hence, the need for rationality in making speeches and articulating our opinions. In other words, the concept of pulpit does not only picture the physical pulpit, but our hearts are symbolically what God delights in as a raised platform where He can always stand and speak to our consciences. Our minds should be kept holy.

One predominant aspect anywhere democracy is peddled as a system of government is that individuals freely enjoy rights to speech and other fundamental human rights. Another trend is that clerics politicize the pulpit, relying on sentiments to give flavor to their reasoning, stifling the Holy Spirit and relying on their intellect in making their congregation aware of issues. It’s like twisting facts to suit theories and imposing their opinions, which affects the decision-making of the general masses within their jurisdiction. Like Karl Max would say, “Religion is the opium of the masses.”

Consequently, in some Churches, Pastors instead of shepherding the flock of God under their care are rather scattering and destroying them through diabolic soft tunes, instead of being committed to their charge.

Religious leaders ought to consider their people as the flock of God’s heritage and treat them accordingly, advising them on a positive path of righteousness. They are not theirs, to be lorded over at pleasure, but they are God’s people and should be treated with love and tenderness for the sake of Him to whom they belong.

In contrast, members of the church must learn to submit to religious leaders, to give due respect to their persons, and yield to their admonitions and reproof.

A street scene in Jos, Nigeria. Terrorists detonated bombs not far from this street in December, killing 30 people and injuring dozens.

A street scene in Jos, Nigeria. Terrorists detonated bombs not far from this street in December, killing 30 people and injuring dozens.

I was listening to the radio some weeks back and a chaplain commented that, “One thing Nigerians must know is Nigeria does not need a religious leader, but a God-fearing leader.” In other words, Nigerians must work hard in ensuring they consolidate more on this hard-earned democracy we are currently enjoying, ensuring a peaceful election and predicting better days to come. This includes ensuring stability even after the elections and charting a new course for our dear nation.

More so, as Nigerians prepare for the February general elections in a couple of weeks, Nigerians must be discerning on how to consolidate on the gains of democracy, while the incumbents are faced with a fierce oppositions at every level of aspiration.

In summary, our hearts — the pulpit — must be kept Holy. Our hearts should be guided by the spirit of God to enable us see beyond the next general election and for generations to come. The Church must also survive as we decide through the ballot boxes, ensuring massive participation by members through leaders who head the churches. Let peaceful and good brotherliness be our watchword during and after the February polls.

Finally, Thomas Campbell said, “Wisdom resides more in the heart and soul than the intellect.” So teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”

My visit with students at ECWA International College of Technology in Jos, Nigeria.

A Spiritual Revolution Through Computers

My visit with students at ECWA International College of Technology in Jos, Nigeria.

My visit with students at ECWA International College of Technology in Jos, Nigeria.

I poked my head into a computer classroom at ECWA International College of Technology (EICT) and started snapping photos. Things got a little crazy from there. Pretty soon everyone wanted to take their picture with me. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’m a celebrity? Or not …

One of the young men I took a photo with is on the left in this image. His name is Simfa Peter and he is one of seven boys from a family who lives in Jos. His father works in Lagos, a distance of about 600 miles. Simfa told me he is undergoing a diploma program in information technology and is in his third module at EICT.

He hopes to attend Bingham University in Jos, but has yet to gain admission and at the moment his family can’t afford the fees. “But I’m hoping God will do something this year,” he said.

When I asked Simfa about his experience at EICT, he had an amazing response. “Sincerely EICT has made me know Christ and made my relationship with Christ so strong through the discipleship class we do have and life principles class,” he said. “And it taught me how to use my computer and gadgets perfectly.”

And there’s more from Simfa on EICT. “And seriously, EICT has really impacted knowledge in me physically and spiritually.”

I got more than I bargained for when I ducked into the classroom for some photos and videos of students in action. I got a testimony of the Lord’s work through a school founded by TEN3 President Anthony Petrillo more than 20 years ago. These young men and women in Nigeria are being equipped spiritually through Christ-centered teaching and practically through computer skills training and we’re seeing the fruits of the labors in transformed lives.

–Matt Sabo, TEN3 Communications Manager

Kwangs Dauda (right) speaks with Intensive Christian Training School founder Eric Black.

`To Reach Out In Diverse Ways’

Kwangs Dauda (right) speaks with Intensive Christian Training School founder Eric Black.

Kwangs Dauda (right) speaks with Intensive Christian Training School founder Eric Black.

Kwangs Dauda seems to have an easy peace about him. Young and strong with a military background, Dauda is 25 years old and a self-described changed man. After attending Intensive Christian Training School in Biliri, Nigeria, Dauda said he learned a lot.

“I learned how to live in peace with the community and how to love more and how to be humble,” he said with a smile in the school’s courtyard. He also learned how to tell somebody about Christ, he said. Evangelization is something he enjoys the most now.

In particular, Dauda enjoyed the Transformational Education Network (TEN3) program at the school. The Intensive Christian Training School was founded and operated by missionary Eric Black. The school trains students in using computers and in addition to Windows, teaches the Linux operating system and the open source platform Ubuntu.

Dauda said he would love for all of his friends and all the youth around to have the same experience. He would love to have more support, primarily technical support and materials for the program, Dauda said.

“It will go a long ways to help the Tangali people and the Christians in the community to reach out in diverse ways,” Dauda said. “When you learn how to use the computer you can preach through the computer, you can enlighten someone with the computer and get them to know Christ.”

For more information on the school and to see an interview with Dauda, go here: https://vimeo.com/114681648

–By Matt Sabo, TEN3 Communications Manager

Maximizing Learning In A U-Shaped Classroom

visiting a U-shaped classroom

I get a kick out of it when the Lord leads us into something, sometimes when we are asking for something else, which seems less and turns out to be more. One of those cases is our use in the Transformational Education Network of the U-shaped classroom.

The West is facing some difficulties as it moves to all-computerized classrooms, which we’ve been doing in Africa since the 1980s. Two of these difficulties are keeping the students on task and getting the students’ attention. Once the students have a computer in front of them, the teacher doesn’t know if they are doing their work or answering email. When the teacher wants to say something or explain something, they have a hard time keeping the students’ attention because their eyes and minds keep going back to the screen.

The West’s solution is more technology: programs that will help you manage or control the students. With this technology, the teacher can watch every student’s screen to make sure they are on task. They can also blank out all the screens to get the students’ attention. There are several problems with this:

  • The software takes up part of the budget that could be used for something else that adds learning value;
  • It requires a particular infrastructure that reduces the flexibility of the system;
  • It fosters the wrong type of character development.

The fostering of the wrong type of character development is the worst of the problems. We are not teaching our students self-control, but that we will control them. The result is that when the teacher is not watching, like when I’m home, I’m going to do whatever I want, even if it is bad for me. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that the U.S. culture was schizophrenic. That is, people would do opposing things that made no sense and hurt themselves. In the U.S., we call for character development, spending a lot looking for ways to teach it, and yet every day in the classroom we use tools that impede self-control.

The U-shaped class addresses the problems of keeping on task and getting students’ attention. At the same time, it encourages self-control. We designed the U-shaped class so the teacher could easily see all the students’ screens. We also allow for a W shape for a larger class, with a teacher’s assistant watching one group. We did not do this so the teacher could police what the students were doing. We did that so the teacher could easily help the student when they needed it. Besides, in a TEN3 course, the material is designed so that the student doesn’t even think of wasting their time on other things, because they want to learn what is being taught.

When the teacher wants to present something, the students turn in their seats to see the teacher and the board. Hence, the screen is not a deterrent or in the way at all. This is also much more conducive to student discussion than desks placed in rows.

In this case, no longer is the teacher seen as a policeman keeping the students from doing what they want, but as someone who is helping them to develop. There is also a physical move made that enhances the fact that they are giving their students respect. As educators, we know that the more learning categories we can involve in the learning process, the more students we will reach. That is, some students learn better by hearing, others by seeing, others by movement and so forth. There is a real significant difference in a military where physical signs of respect are used, for example a salute, or standing when a superior officer comes in and so forth. That physical sign of respect in still giving the students control of the computers and helps character development far more than if the teacher always controlled them.

There is an adage to “give credit where credit is due.” We are not pretending we thought of this when we decided on the U shape. As we started out, we are thanking the Lord for the ways he has used what we thought were limitations to give us better concepts.

Principle: More technology does not mean better.

Not only is more technology not necessarily better, but if we study technological history, we see that technology often has a detrimental impact on learning. People that purposefully and prayerfully select their technology are the ones that end up the best in the long run.

–Anthony Petrillo, TEN3 President

Boys at an African school.

On The Outside Looking In

Boys at an African school.

The two little boys were outside the classroom peering in. Surely intrigued by the white guys in the classroom, the boys were trying to get a look at what was going on. To me, though, the photo is symbolic of the things we’re trying to accomplish in the Transformational Education Network.

The photo is dark, the boys essentially silhouettes. You can’t see their eyes, or even get a glimpse of the expressions on their faces. The details in the classroom are featureless and you can’t see any students.

Here’s another photo of that classroom.

Kubacha classroom

What a difference some illumination makes, eh? Our work in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa and the Caribbean brings the light of the gospel to dark places. In Nigeria, in particular, where we are working the darkness of Islam pervades the country. I met many dedicated, faithful Christians intent on sharing the love and hope of Jesus and we pray for these people fervently.

In addition to teaching a world view centered on Jesus Christ, we are equipping students with computer knowledge. This knowledge is a means to not only obtain employment skills for jobs, but also to use that technological ability to further the gospel message. These young students pictured here in the Nigerian city of Kubacha, we pray, as they advance in school will someday become the students in post-secondary classrooms receiving the Christ-centered knowledge from our Transformational Education Network curriculum.

I was blown away when I visited this class of 44 young students at Christian school operated by the Evangelical Church Winning All denomination. The kids were unfailingly polite, knowledgeable, inquisitive and eager. There’s a tremendous amount of potential for the kingdom among these students and our prayer in TEN3 is that we will be able to be a part of equipping them for further Kingdom work personally and corporately.

If you’d like to see some videos of the work we are doing around the world, go here: https://vimeo.com/home/myvideos

For more on TEN3, visit our website at http://www.ten3.org.

God bless you.

–Matt Sabo, TEN3 Communications Manager

Abubakar Yusuf (right) at Intensive Christian Training School in Nigeria

The Cost Of A Former Muslim’s Faith

Abubakar Yusuf (right) at Intensive Christian Training School in Nigeria

I met Abubakar Yusuf after a long journey by car across hot, dusty central Nigeria. Along with American missionary Eric Black, the two of us had traveled from Jos to Biliri — a journey of about 5 hours over rutted, narrow highways — with a pause for a brief lunch at an open-air “eatery” at a highway crossroads, where hungry little boys pounced on our leftovers of fish and rice we left at our tables. Our destination was a school started by Eric in Biliri called Intensive Christian Training School.

Eric is using Christ-centered Transformational Education Network (TEN3) curriculum as part of his school’s teaching regimen. Eric has done an amazing job with little resources in training up young men and women, giving them an in-depth, Christ-centered education as they learn practical computer skills.

Abubakar is a young man who had come from a Muslim family. He has essentially left everything behind to follow Jesus. The vast majority of good government jobs in the area are controlled by Muslims. Abubakar’s family had offered him one of those good jobs if he left the school and his Christian faith, but he refused.

Abubakar is a soft-spoken young man of 20 years with a quick, broad smile and an easy demeanor. Yet behind that smile and the quick laugh and beaming face is a young man who understands that faith, at least in his case, doesn’t come cheaply. There’s a cost to Abubakar’s faith — a good job, his family, basically everything he’s known. But the reward of eternity with Jesus is well worth it.

I am humbled by Abubakar’s faith. I’m honored to have met him. I’m thrilled for the young men and women like him at Eric’s school and other schools in Africa that use TEN3 curriculum and have seen young Muslim men and women come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Consider partnering with us financially. Our schools are open to anyone. In Nigeria, where the population in the northern states where we primarily are operating is a Muslim majority, that means students receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the schools we are working with the students are taught the Bible in addition to computer skills that help them get jobs, enter the workforce, start businesses and help their families financially. We’re seeing lives changed and a fruitful harvest.

Pray for us. Consider supporting us.

To see more of Abubakar’s story, go here: https://vimeo.com/116589234

To donate to the Transformational Education Network, go here: http://ten3.org/#donate

–Matt Sabo, TEN3 communications manager