Updates from Sheila Dykstra
Welcome to a listing of the updates that we receive from Sheila Dykstra. Sheila is a member of Hope Fellowship who is serving as a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions in Nigeria. You can also visit her blog here.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of doing some teaching for a graduate teacher training program. It is a new program that has been launched by a consult of one of the schools I work with called Meadow Hall School in Lagos, Nigeria.
The training program was three months in length. The participants were people who either had graduated with teaching degrees and not yet found a teaching job, or people who were passionate about teaching but didn't have teaching degrees. Teachers had a variety of training that broadened their knowledge base about teaching, they observed classes and even did some teaching as well. They did group projects which they presented to their colleagues. One of the aims of the program is to give teachers more practical teaching and learning experiences, and broaden their knowledge base and experience in the classroom.
I was able to work with the teachers for one week. What fun it was! We covered topics from lesson planning to classroom management. One of the other topics was creating bulletin boards.
The graduate teachers had a good time. I loved their openness to new ideas -as well as their freedom to ask questions of how these ideas practically work in the day to day life of a teacher. I also had the opportunity to challenge teachers to think about what difference their faith might make as they approach these various topics.
Fast forward a few months.
I returned to Meadow Hall school to participate in a teachers "camp" that the consult holds for schools all over Nigeria. Daniel, who was one of the graduate teachers has now been hired as a teacher for Meadow Hall. Daniel had been a quiet, yet very reflective participant during the graduate training program. He now had more questions for me. Daniel is someone who takes in a training, but is thinking all along how the training can possibly be put into action in his context. He is an ICT (Information Communication
Technology) teacher. He wanted to know how classroom management would work when different students are coming and going everyday. He wanted to know how he could possibly add "activities" when there was so much "content" to teach. It was great! I happened to pass by the computer room and saw some beautiful and creative bulletin boards - yep, they were his! He had even reflected on the connections between faith and technology. I was impressed.
Here are a few of his displays:
Daniel also continues to email me on occasion to give me "updates". Here are a few below:
Hello miss Sheila, trust you great.
Okay, I have tried out Edmodo and I have signed my year 7 classes on Edmodo. The response? Impressive!
First it was the acceptance rate, they all loved it. Next it was the use they put it to, sharing links and discussing assignments. I also give them notes and assignments via Edmodo. They copy their notes at their leisure time (not eating into my lecture time ).
Well its been good so far and thank you for sharing the link with us.
After returning to Nigeria, this is Shelia's latest update from Abuja.
Check out this article from the Banner, the CRC's denominational magazine.
July 2011 - Home Service is Coming!
Plans are well underway for my return to Canada from September to February for a six month home service assignment. I look forward to seeing many of you as I visit individuals, supporting churches, family and friends to share what God is doing in my life and the lives of those I minister with. This is a time of raising awareness and raising support as well. A more detailed schedule will follow. For more information contact your regional missions mobilizer or myself at email@example.com. I am so encouraged when I hear from you!
April 2011 Update
Dear friends and supporters, Greetings from Nigeria. Please find my most recent prayer letter. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
January 2011 Update
Please find the latest update and Prayer Request from Sheila:
World Missions Ministry - Nigeria Recent conflicts in Nigeria reiterate the need to pray for a country experiencing struggles over resources and political, ethnic, and religious tensions. CRWM missionaries suggest the following prayers. Pray that Christians would act as Christ calls them to - loving their neighbors as themselves. Pray for Christians placed in difficult situations, due to family or living situations, who face challenging decisions about what to do in the face of violence. Pray for Church leaders and Muslim leaders to advise people in constructive ways that promote peace. As the country prepares for federal and state elections in April, pray that persons of integrity who have a desire to serve the Nigerian people would be placed into positions of authority.
November 11, 2010 Update
Greetings supporters and friends,
Please find attached my latest prayer letter. Have a great day!
- Sheila Dykstra
July 18, 2010 Update:
Hello friends and supporters.
I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank for your prayers this past month. They have been felt in numerous ways. God has been teaching me more about my identity in Christ - and there have been exciting discoveries. I have also enjoyed a number of Skype calls - with two different churches during their services as well as with an Education class at Redeemer University College! Technology is just amazing. Home does not seem that far away then...
Tomorrow I leave for Sierra Leone and Guinea. Please join me in praying for journey mercies. I will travel by air to Sierra Leone and then by road to Guinea. I had an ear infection last week - I am seriously praying for little pain on the "by air" part of the journey. Thank you for your continued love and support!
-- Sheila Dykstra
June 30, 2010 Update:
Dear friends and supporters, Greetings from Abuja, Nigeria.
I trust all is well with each of you. Rainy season is upon us now, and we are enjoying cooler temperatures and lots of green! Please find attached my latest prayer letter.
God continues to amaze me in the ways He is moving Christian Education all across West Africa! Thank you for your continued support and prayers. On a personal note, I want to send a special thanks to those of you who prayed for rental housing for me. God has blessed me with a beautiful house, and beautiful flatmates! I hope to post pictures soon (my camera is having some problems). I have also been experiencing some homesickness lately (the first time in 8 years!) and would appreciate you praying for that.
Your partner in missions, Sheila Dykstra
May 19, 2010 Update:
Dear supporters and friends..
Greetings from Abuja, Nigeria. Rainy season is upon us and the scorching and humid temperatures are now becoming more bearable!
I have just returned from about one month of travels and conferences. Here in Abuja, we hosted a 2 day leadership conference on Christian Education. I then flew to Kenya for a field testing of some new materials for training teachers - very exciting! From there I spent a week in Lagos visiting schools and building relationships with ACSI Nigeria - the national director and her school. From there I went to Jos where with the assistance of a number of Nigerian colleagues, we hosted a two day introduction to Christian Education. Phew! Now as I come back, there is much reporting, reflecting and emailing to do.
I am writing to ask for your prayers. I thank you in advance for this crucial support you can give me.
- Thank God for the last month, and pray that the seeds planted and watered will continue to grow.
- I am in the process of renting a new place to live for the coming year - the process has been rather stressful. Please join me in praying that all will come together smoothly.
- There is a strategic conference happening in Lagos starting next weekend for Christian schools and universities. Many speakers are coming from all over Nigeria, and the world. Please pray for smooth logistics, meaningful listening and learning.
- Please pray for my health. I am tired, with much work to do. Please join me in praying that I will take time both rest and work meaningfully.
- The plan for the summer months is to make some visits outside of Nigeria - please pray that God will prepare the way for those visits.
- Continue to pray for ongoing financial support in these ministries.
I am encouraged regularly by donations from you my supporters, as well as from the organizations that I am working with.
Your partner in missions,
- Sheila Dykstra