African faith adventure for Norfolk teaching duo
2010: A Norfolk school head teacher and music teacher are about to give up their jobs and embark on an adventure of faith, to help run a school in Tanzania. Here Jenny and David Robinson tell their own story...
Over the last two years our lives have taken an unexpected turn. We are both teachers, David is head of Newton Flotman Primary, Jenny is music teacher at Hillside Avenue Primary in Thorpe St. Andrew. David is on the leadership of Witard Road Baptist Church, Jenny has, until recently been the Youth Co-ordinator there too.
We have been Christians for many years, but over the last two years in particular, various events in our lives, both good and bad have brought us into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. Thinking of human relationships I reckon this is quite understandable as there are people that we think we know quite well but different events, good and bad again, can certainly help us to get to know them in a far deeper way: deeper than we could ever have imagined before!
So, two years ago we started on a journey based on Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live but Christ lives in me”. God has been very gracious because it has been a journey that we seem to have been travelling together which has been a particular blessing. The message of dying to ourselves and living wholly for Jesus has seemed to come through all that we have read or heard since that point.
Sacrifice seems to be the name of the game at the moment. If Christ gave up everything for us, then when he asks us to take up our cross and follow Him, what are we going to do? Are we going to say, well that sounds very nice and just carry on as normal or are we going to actually “take up our cross and follow Him” whatever that might actually mean for each of us?
Well for us, our cross at present seems to be to give up our jobs and go and work at a school called Haven Of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
For some people this may sound an exciting adventure, but it has to be said that we are fairly unadventurous and rather ordinary people really. This is not an “us” thing to do. We saw the advert at a particular time in our journey, started a road of discovery and six months down the road are now set to start at the school in September this year, with David going first for two weeks in August. This is not a salaried position, although they do give an allowance, and we need to learn a trust in God in a way that we have never had to before.
We are excited, challenged and scared all at the same time. What started out as a simple journey of discovery has turned into an adventure of faith in Christ that seems to be developing by the moment! We feel out of our depth, but at the same time we know that it’s not about us but about a big God with big plans. As Mother Teresa said, “God does not ask us to be successful, but faithful to Him”.
At times we have felt like Gideon saying, “just one more confirmation God, that this is really what you want us to do”.
There have been so many events, verses, links to people etc. apart from our skills fitting the exact requirements of the school we are going to work at: David as Primary Principal and Jenny as Music Teacher. A few weeks back we went out to the school for their 15-year celebration, to meet the wonderful people at the school and to be interviewed for the posts.
In many ways we were almost expecting it to show us why God couldn’t possibly be calling us to do this. Why us? Why Tanzania? As the week progressed it seemed that more and more things were coming together and the biggest worry was that God could actually be saying, “Yes, I want you here!”
So, it’s now June, we have finally taken the big step of faith and given our resignations in at school. We have a great peace about this after the turmoil of the decision. There are so many practical things to sort but we are trusting in a God who loves us and made us, who we pray will help us each step of the way.
We are hoping to be sent through Wycliffe Bible Translators
and are at present in the process of an application through them to do this. The school has links with lots of Missionary societies and indeed this is seen as one of its great strengths in the way that they all work together. If you are interested they have a website www.hopac.net
One of our big prayers at present is about our house, that we will be able to rent it to the people that God has in mind. We want to continue to hold loosely to the things of this world but at the same time be good stewards of all that God has blessed us with. We are also entrusting our children and family to His protection for the time that we are gone. The timing of everything practical is over to God. There is a lot to do in a short space of time.
We really want God to use us in the place that He is taking us to. We pray that the skills that we have to offer will bless the work of God there. We do pray that He will increase our faith and provide for our needs.
If you have time, do pray, we would so value this. Thank you for reading this and we would encourage you to go deeper in your relationship with God. Don’t be satisfied with just knowing God a little. Go for knowing Him a lot. Be warned, it could cost more than you expect!!!