Bingham Academy Class of 2013

Bingham Academy Class of 2013

Check out this post by our friends the Farrell’s who serve with us at Bingham. What a great privilege it was this past week to be a part of the graduation of these amazing bunch of young people. 

Rwanda

A land of a thousand hills where two parallel societies exist, those on the ridges and those in the valleys.

The society on the ridge drives cars on sealed roads, everybody is dressed well and every manicured garden has a large fence and immaculate house behind it. The shops and restaurants are all clearly signposted and have diverse menus. A military presence is felt and the place is very quite.

The society in the valley is accessed by dirt tracks, walking or moto only. The houses are mud walls, the children are friendly and very willing to engage. They talk about their schools, being orphans and were they are heading to. Plenty of smiles and greetings are exchanged in four different languages as we try and find one the works for both people. The gardens are lush with corn, beans, potato, banana, papaya and marrow growing in abundance. The sound of people can be clearly heard from the sound of large numbers meeting in small shacks, to the African beat of music echoing around to the laughter of the workers as
they complete there jobs. No fences, no walls, no visible security at all.

As you exit the valley and climb back onto the ridges you are hit by the change in pace of life and the absence of ‘people’ replaced instead by cars. Whether on the ridges or down in the valleys the country is kept in a very clean state, with community work days once a month where everyone must close their business and help clean their country. The pride in their land of a thousand hills is felt in every aspect in society, whether it is a small boy taking my hand and
showing me his village or the person who leaves his office to show us one of the genocidal sites and requests that we take what we have seen and learnt and tell others so that they can stop it happening in their country.

Learning about the genocide, the mistakes that were made by the government, the aid agencies, the UN, and the people themselves was reflective of there being no logical or explanable reason for how this could happen, other than there is evil in our world. It was not just the number of deaths that occurred during the genocide that make it so appalling, but rather that it was neighbours killing neighbours and often times intentionally delaying their death so that a greater humiliation could take place before they finally died.

A truly challenging and eye-opening look at human nature, yet the joy of seeing a society that was ripped to pieces and is now living in a state of hope as they rebuild relationships and their country. This rebuilding can been seen from a government level as you enter the embassy or the airport all the way through to the grass roots level. When we were shopping the shop assistant stopped to tell us how the three colors in the weaving represented the three tribes and that the spiral that they form shows that they are now one. That one of the biggest insults that you can now ask a Rwandie is ‘What tribe are you from?’ We all have lessons that we can learn from this country about rebuilding, hope and racial discrimination.

And all of this on the backdrop of one of the most beautiful countries that I have every seen, with lush green hills leading away in every direction and a people who are unified with the excitement of seeing change and progress in the land of a thousand hills.

We don’t belong anywhere, actually no, we belong everywhere

We don’t belong anywhere, actually no, we belong everywhere

 

Fantastic article, written by an ex-student from Hope International School in Cambodia reflecting on her life as a Third Culture Kid. Click on the link above for an insight into her life.

Simpson’s Ethiopian Experience

Simpsons Ethiopian Experience

 

You have to watch this short Simpsons Clip – made me laugh a lot… just click on the link 🙂

Walking with the Piries October 2011

Walking with the Piries Oct 2011

Ethiopia’s River of Death

 

 

Hi Everyone,

Below is a link to an article in Christianity Today. We have SIM team mates working in this area of Ethiopia and have experienced the practice of Child Sacrifice. It is  worth a read to see how the Gospel is making a positive impact on this people group and saving the lives of many children.

Ethiopia’s River of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

September News

Walking with the Piries Sep 2010

Bingham Bubble

Last night I was challenged talking to a fellow missionary about the concept of living in the “Bingham Bubble”. This concept is one that not only applies to teachers here at Bingham Academy in Addis Ababa, but really to any teacher working in an International Christian School. The idea is that we can become ‘caught up’ in our work and life at the school and in the compound we live in and therefore not experience the country and cultures we are living in.

This idea wasn’t a new one to me. It is something that I often thought about as we contemplated living on compound as we prepared ourselves to serve overseas. We had already experienced living and working at an International School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. However our experience there was living in the local community, so the ‘bubble’ wasn’t quite as big an issue, but it was still talked about as we worked and socialised mainly in a ‘western’ setting.

Going back to our time of preparation, I remember distinctly having a conversation with a long term missionary from PNG. I was sharing with her our calling to serve MK’s and how we were passionate about supporting them and their families. I also shared that I wasn’t sure what my role would be at Bingham and in Ethiopia and that I continued to sway between serving in the school in some way or working with a local project. Her advice to me was clear, I should follow the calling that God had placed on my life – to serve MK’s and I shouldn’t be distracted.

1 Corinthians 12 talks about spiritual gifts and being a part of the Body of Christ. It explains that we have all been given different gifts and abilities, but that they all come from the one God. It then goes on to explain the Body of Christ which we are all a part of, even though we are given different functions to perform. However all of those functions create the body and we couldn’t survive without each part doing its bit.

Could the mission field survive without the teachers willing to sacrifice and come and serve? We are called to the field, called by God to follow his heart for serving and loving the children who are here because of their parents.  Shouldn’t we focus on that call, just as a missionary called to work with the Somali people should put all their effort into integrating themselves and serving in that community? As I thought about the “Bingham Bubble” last night I wondered, would any other missionary be criticised for being too ‘caught up’ with their people group? Would they be criticised for spending too much time in that community,  trying too hard to connect with them?

I understand the worry that teachers’ in an international school would not connect with the culture they are living in. However in my experience on the field, the majority of teachers I meet are trying their hardest to learn the local language, shop at the local markets and connect with their local community. In fact many are also involved in some kind of local project that they help run after school or on weekends. Also the reality of serving in an international school is that we build relationships with the many local staff who are also working at the school.

The “Bingham Bubble” is something we should be aware of. We need to continue to make an effort to connect with our local community and build an understanding of and connection to the world outside our compound gate. But I wonder, instead of focusing on the negative, should we instead be celebrating the fact that we have such a dedicated group of people willing to serve MK’s and their families?


Walking With The Piries March 2010

Click on the link below to read our latest news!

Walking with the Piries March 2010