Teaching English in the Congo

Mid-August, I returned from an educational mission trip to the North Katanga conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This trip was educational both for me and for my students. I stayed in the D.R.C. for six weeks teaching an elementary English course to a group of 20-30 adults. Many of my students were clergy who might be elected to the General Conference this spring. I was to prepare these pastors for their voyage to America.

Several of my students were also laity, and the ages of my students ranged from students in their teens to some in their sixties. I was lucky to have been met with such enthusiasm from my students who realized the importance of learning English in today’s global society. They realized perhaps more than I did that the development of their country and its contact with surrounding economies and organizations required proficiency in English. My English course was more of a success than I could have hoped for.

A six week stay in Kamina proved to be the intense but formative experience that I had imagined. I learned a lot about myself and about the problems and blessings experienced by the people in Kamina. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to provide my services in a way that was meaningful to my students, and to have been able to witness the fruits of my efforts. I was met with such hospitality and gratitude. Even so, the hope and the skills that I provided my students could never have been delivered without the financial and spiritual support of the West Ohio Conference and Normandy’s congregation. Thank you for all of your support and prayers!

-Contributed by Christina Heinrich, University of Cincinnati, Summer 2011