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

Computers, The Gospel And Africa

Computer classes

This year in central Nigerian communities, we in the Transformational Education Network are hoping to launch at least seven computer training outreaches. Partnering with ECWA International College of Technology, the computer training outreaches are key components of our plans to elevate lives through the spreading of the gospel and Christ-centered computer education.

So what’s a computer training outreach? Essentially it involves setting up computer classrooms, ideally of 20 to 25 computers to give students the essential hands-on work with the laptops. In many schools in Nigeria, students can acquire a certificate or diploma related to computer studies without ever touching a computer.

At our computer training outreach (CTO), the students learn God’s story from the beginning of creation and how it applies to their lives. They are given tools to help them study the Bible and strengthen their walk with Jesus long after they graduate.

They also learn how to operate computers, from basic keyboarding, to spreadsheets, to word processing and other uses. We teach them how to produce documents and presentations — creating graphics and manipulating photos are included in the instruction — and even simple websites.

As computers are always changing, we’ll teach the students what it takes to keep up with the changes that affect them. They also develop their own manuals on how to use the features of the common computers programs and they learn, for example, how to apply spreadsheets to real-life situations such as analyzing small businesses.

In going beyond knowing what keystrokes to use, we give the students the foundation of the computer to better understand how computer applications work. Along the way they are taught what are good and harmful aspects of computers and technology and the Internet so they can be discerning.

In addition to teaching them a thorough understanding of the power of computers, we give them hope to get jobs, start businesses, have an entrepreneurial mindset and even use computers to spread the gospel.

If you would like to partner with us to help launch the CTOs in Nigeria, go here: http://ten3.org/index.php/get-involved/financially

To see a short video about our work in Nigeria, go here: https://vimeo.com/113946746

This. This Is Kingdom Work.

Students at a missionary children boarding school in Nigeria.

Students at a missionary children boarding school in Nigeria.

The young students eyed me from a distance. I was at a boarding school in Jos, Nigeria, that’s home to 400 boys and girls. Their parents are missionaries in remote Nigerian villages. At least 43 are orphans, their mom and dad murdered by Muslim terrorists affiliated with Boko Haram.

Then I pulled out my iPhone. I started showing videos of my kids playing back home in Virginia. Racing around in a golf cart. Splashing around in a kiddie pool. Playing soccer. Smiles on their faces grew wide and they laughed and pointed.

WitIn minutes I had made hundreds of friends. I pulled out my Canon T5i and began snapping photos and then showing them the digital images of their grinning faces.

African boys in their boarding school dormitory.

African boys in their boarding school dormitory.

Their eyes lit up.

They smiled, laughed and followed me around the campus on my tour with school officials. For many, it was the first time they had seen their own face in a photo.

These faces are the future of Nigeria. The future of Africa.

When I think of the Transformational Education Network — TEN3 — and the work we are doing in Africa, I come back to these faces.

There’s hope in these eyes.

Our Christ-centered computer training schools are making a difference in a generation of young Africans. When I traveled to Africa and visited with students and graduates of schools who are learning TEN3 curriculum and training, I heard many testimonies of all that God is doing in their lives.

We in the Transformational Education Network have big plans in 2015. We are partnering with ECWA International College of Technology in Jos, Nigeria, to launch seven computer training outreach schools.

We need hundreds of computers and other materials to start the schools.

We are hoping to start a scholarship program for orphans like the ones at this school in the photo above. We need the money to help give these kids whose parents have given so much a quality, Biblically-based education and the skills to go and get jobs, start businesses, or follow their parents into work for the Kingdom.

A girl doing her wash at an African boarding school.

A girl doing her wash at an African boarding school.

We will be working to provide computers for schools in dire need of technology and equipment. We have many other initiatives we are working on.

We need partners.

To help us financially, go here: http://www.ten3.org/index.php/get-involved/financially

If you have a laptop you would like to donate to TEN3 that we can repurpose and ship to Africa for use in one of our schools we’re working with, email us at: info@ten3.org.

If you would like more information on how to get involved in working alongside us in TEN3 — from teaching, to writing curriculum, to designing websites, to financial administration and acquiring and shipping computers overseas — contact me at: communications@ten3.org.

Thank you and God bless you.

–Matt Sabo, TEN3