1. In just a few short weeks we hope to be back on our way to Nigeria. We know that the strike at Unijos is over, but it appears that the process of students actually returning to the classroom is somewhat delayed. We are grateful that we were able to finish most of our graduate courses before leaving. Over the summer we maintained email contact with a number of students who continued to work hard at their projects and dissertations, in spite of the strike and our absence. Please pray that there will be no further obstacles for this new academic year at the university.
2. Thank God with us for the academic conferences we were able to attend this summer, Adrian at the Vision conference of IICS/CSI in Kansas City, and Wendy at a conference on Sophia in modern Russian/East European literature of the modern period, as well as the Patristics conference held every four years in Oxford. These are occasion which uplift spiritually, as we renew acquaintance with colleagues around the world, and are stimulated in our own academic work, and challenged to keep up with developments in our respective academic work.
3. The entire Helleman family was together for the third week of August, and this was the very first occasion in five years that all of us could be together! We had planned this week as a belated celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary (October 2006); it was a special time of celebrating God’s goodness to us in the years gone by.
4. We have heard of some heavy storms in the Jos area. Although such storms are not unusual for the end of the rainy season, we know of friends of ours at the college of education in Gindiri (just outside Jos) who suffered significant damage to property and destruction of a bore hole, which means there is no safe drinking water for students. Please pray for our colleagues as they deal with these emergencies, and particularly for health concerns raised by these storms.
5. Thank God with us for his protection in keeping us safe in all our travels this summer. We ask your prayers for upcoming travel to Calgary and Edmonton, where we hope to connect with friends, visit churches, and participate in the all-college Interdisciplinary Studies Conference at the the King's College (September 19 and 20), presenting aspects of our work at the workshop, "Heartbreak and Hope in Interfaith Relations in Nigeria.” We certainly would appreciate your prayers for effective communication as we share the joys and challenges of our ministry at Unijos.