Computers are commonplace in the U.S., but in many cases, they are a luxury in Africa. Many ministerial schools that could not afford to purchase computers now have a computer lab for their students because of Africa's Hope.
The Malawi Assemblies of God is a fast-growing national church with a critical need for trained pastors. The Bible school has 150 students, and the graduate school has 40. Other facilities located on the Bible school property in Lilongwe are the national church offices and a large church.
Our Africa’s Hope team installed computer labs in both schools and updated the computers in the national church offices. In all they installed 27 computers and networked and connected them to the Internet via satellite link to Italy.
Nearly every day that classes are in session, the computer labs are now full of students with many waiting in line. Both faculty and students are grateful for these tools and the help of Africa’s Hope.
Nigeria has 13 Bible schools, and the national church’s need for trained pastors far exceeds the number of students that can attend these schools. Thousands are coming to Christ each year and new congregations are starting.
One of the 13 Bible schools is located in Saminaka, a strategic city that is home to the headquarters of Lere, a local government area in Kaduna State with a population of 330,000. Africa’s Hope traveled to Saminaka to install a computer lab in this school of 150 students.
TheAfrica’s Hope team had only three short days to complete the work. Because this part of Nigeria has electricity only a few hours in the evening, the computers had to be connected to a small generator so students could use them during the day. For many students, this was their first introduction to computers. They are excited about the potential this gives them for enhancing their education.
Dar es Salaam and Dodoma, Tanzania
Tanzania’s church growth is also outpacing its ability to train pastors. The Bible school in Dar es Salaam, a nonresidential school of nearly 100 local students, is housed in a five-story building along with the national church offices. Students were out of class the week our team installed this computer lab, so we did not have the opportunity to demonstrate it for them. We also connected the school to the Internet via satellite link to Germany.
We were blessed to have the Tanzania AG general superintendent and his officers join us when we dedicated the lab. He said, “I have had a dream that we could get a computer lab, but never did I really think it would happen. You have made a dream come true. God bless you!”
We traveled on to Dodoma in hopes that a container of computers would clear customs and we could install a second lab at the Bible school there. Although the container had not arrived, we were still able to refurbish a number of computers used by the school administration and the graduate school that meets on that campus.
Daloa, Cote d'Ivoire
The national church in Cote d'Ivoire has two Bible schools with about 200 students that alternate between campuses to complete all of their coursework. Neither school had ever had computers or Internet access available to the students. We installed a computer lab at the Daloa school (founded by missionaries in the early 1980s), and Internet access was installed later. The principal reports that students are always in the lab and it has been a great blessing to students and faculty alike.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This project focused on the refurbishing of 36 computers used by school administration, students and the national church. Missionaries had raised funds in the past and purchased about 20 of the computers we worked on and upgraded. The school has a full-time librarian/technician/teacher that we worked with, and he continues to maintain the systems. We will send another five laptops to assist the school and hope to send more in the future.
The Bible school in Gabarone had new administration offices, classrooms and a library added in recent years, so it was a joy for the Africa’s Hope team to help them install a new computer lab and Internet link. We trained two students who will continue to maintain the lab. Installing the lab was a critical part of the school’s process of obtaining government approval, so we were blessed to have a part in that. The school has ___ students and wants to keep growing.
Koubri, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is second only to Somalia in poverty, but it is one of the safest places to travel in all of Africa. The AG national church has one of the oldest mission stations in all of Africa. The Bible school at Koubri is run by the national church, but has missionaries teaching and advising. The 215 students and 145 spouses (who also receive literacy and Bible training) were overjoyed at the prospect of actually getting to use computers for their studies. Very few had ever touched a computer before.