"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life" (Ps. 138.7).
1. Give thanks with us for safe travel back to Nigeria. Everything went smoothly, even on the road from Abuja. We only stopped once for some serious questions about a booklet on the highway code that we were supposed to have in the car (but do not actually need, since it is intended for those who are learning to drive). After a lengthy discussion we were allowed to continue. We are always grateful for God's protection on the road from accidents and thieves (especially those who pretend to be officials).
2. At the University of Jos courses are going well. Since we had completed all our undergraduate courses for the year before leaving in November, we are now taking up a variety of courses for the Master's level students, who have just started their program, since registration was delayed (as also happened last year). We are grateful that the section in Ethics and Philosophy this year has only 15 students, which is a good number for seminar style classes (unlike last year when we had 35 students in each of our classes). The New Testament classes have 8 students this year.
3. We also ask your prayers for Nigeria at this time. January 29 was declared a public holiday so people can complete voter registration leading up to the elections in a few months. There are long lines everywhere, so Nigerians are obviously serious about fulfilling their obligations as citizens of a democracy. There is additional motivation for them, since registration cards are required for many people, such as market women. Please pray with us that upcoming elections may proceed safely and fairly, and that the outcome will bring a degree of stability to Nigeria.
4. We would appreciate prayers for Adrian's parents in Ottawa. There are many issues to be resolved both in terms of health care and housing. Please pray with us for a resolution which allows them to receive the care they need so that they will be able to enjoy a degree of peace and well-being.
5. We are grateful for life and all the opportunities given us, as we hear about the death of loved ones, family and colleagues. Just before we arrived back in Jos a neighbor lost her sister, and only few days later an uncle in the same family died. Our helper, Julie, lost a close family friend the same week. Also we heard of the death of George VanderVelde, a much appreciated colleague and friend, in Toronto. May God comfort and sustain these families.
Back in the classroom with some of our graduate students, whom we share, since we teach different courses but to the same group