I’m the kind of guy who likes charts (in color if possible). If you’re anything like me, perhaps this post will interest you.
I know when I read letters from missionaries I sometimes have to pause for a moment and do some mental gymnastics. What country are they in (and what continent is that on)? How old are their kids? What is the focus of their ministry? What are their biggest challenges? What language(s) is/are spoken there? Etc.!! Well, here are some charts and graphics (in color of course) to give you some snapshots of our ministry in Niamey, Niger, West Africa.
Who are the Totmans? We are a family of five. Dave is the Youth Pastor at an international school in Niamey (Sahel Academy). Anora supports that ministry, holds the family together, teaches Trey & Zoe at home and is pursuing a graduate degree in professional counseling! (Yes, she’s very busy.)
|Ereina is 8 and in 3rd grade (at Sahel Academy)|
|Trey is 5 and in Kindergarten (homeschool)|
|Zoe is 3 and doing preschool alongside of Trey|
Where in the world is Niger?
Well, Niger is listed as a West African nation. Most of our country is in the Sahara Desert, but the part we live in is at the very bottom edge of it which is called the Sahel Region (hence the name of our school). We live in Niamey, the capital city and are located right on the south bank of the Niger River as it passes through the city.
For more information about Niger, you can visit the following sites:
What is an international school?
It is difficult to truly have an international school since each country has its own educational standards. Meeting the requirements for Niger, America, Canada, Australia, Nigeria and Korea all at the same time is next to impossible. We call ourselves an international school because we have students from all over the world (all inhabited continents!) and we partly use a North American curriculum alongside the IGCSE (British) curriculum. This is to try to meet the needs of our students who wish to go on to university in North America, Europe or Australia. Here are some specifics on the nationalities of our students this year. As you can see, we’re quite a blend (24 nations and blends represented!).
Not only do our students (and their parents) come from all over the world, but they also serve throughout West Africa. Some are in traditional mission efforts (such as serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators (SIL or WBT) or Serving in Mission (SIM) and others work for Non-Government Organizations (such as World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse). We have the privilege of supporting families (by educating their children) who are serving in Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Niger. It’s truly an amazing ministry post that we are very blessed to have been given by God.