Travel plans on hold – CAM Director Dave Garrard had to cancel his travel plans when the world went into lockdown. Thankfully, his four-week trip to Ethiopia had gone ahead in February, but sadly, the two subsequent ones – six weeks in Congo from mid-March, and two months in Zambia (with his wife Ruth) from early June – were not to be. Dave had been working for many months preparing a new Bible course on the book of Revelation, and had been looking forward to teaching it (in French) to the ISTELU Bible students in Lubumbashi, Congo, and later in Zambia (in English). (The photos show one of the ISTELU classrooms with students Dave taught previously; a lesson he gave outside on a very hot day in Congo; and Dave in CAM’s Preston office.)
Zoom to the rescue – But then Dave realised that the popular Zoom conferencing-call programme could help him out. He arranged to teach his course to the students in Lubumbashi using Zoom. He started on 20 May. The schedule is three two-hour sessions a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. On weekdays, the time is 4-6pm (5-7pm in Congo, so those who have jobs will be free) and on Saturdays 2-4pm UK time. This way of teaching is only possible because all the students have smartphones, so they don’t actually need to go to the Bible College. Some gather round one computer to participate.
40 hours… or more! Nearly 30 students have enrolled, incuding all the ISTELU teachers and Mwamba the director. They are all very interested in Dave’s course, for which his material is ‘plentiful’. It is a 40-hour course, ‘but will probably end up more!’ (Dave also likes to leave 15 minutes or so at the end of each session for questions.) We pray that this online teaching will be a blessing.