This month’s seminar

This week I’ve been teaching the History of the Church (Histoire de l’Église) in the part time program at the Benin Bible Institute. Students in that program participate in 9 seminars each year for 3 years and earn a certificate of biblical knowledge. Each seminar is actually taught twice, first during the weekend in French and then again during the week, this time translated into a local language.

It’s an exhausting process. The weekend part starts Friday evening at 7: 00 PM and ends Sunday afternoon at 5:15 PM with 15 hours of class time. The Mon-Thurs group has 25 hours of class. I’ve been surprised how attentive the students have been despite the long hours, only a few times I saw people’s attention stray or their eyelids get heavy. Today was the last day and folks were getting drowsy so one of the other teachers was strolling around nudging those who were nodding off to keep them awake. Some folks moved to the back of the room and were pacing back and forth to stay alert. Now that’s not something you see often in North America.

Some of the questions students asked were: When did Christians start having their worship services on Sunday instead of Saturday? What is in the Talmud? How did Islam start? Why did they keep writing more and more creeds and which of those should we use today? Was Martin Luther married? Since tithing was enforced by the Roman Empire couldn’t we do something similar in our churches today? That idea got lots of support from the class.

Now that we’ve finished I’m pretty tuckered out, but it was a fun seminar to teach nonetheless. On the home front we seem to be doing well. Nancy is winding down her first semester classes this week and Jeremiah and Deborah are busy at school and staying healthy. Harmattan is over now, so the dust has settled down and the heat is back. Oh for those cool January nights…

Deborah is is eating without her two front teeth these days.

Deb’s Smile


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