During our vacation in September 2003, we spent several weeks with Diane's brother and his family at Rift Valley Academy where they serve as missionaries in what has to be one of the most unique places in the world of missions. We could see that this was a place where some of our friends back home could consider serving, so we took a few pictures to share with you on the odd chance that you might be one of them.
While on one of his hunting trips, Teddy Roosevelt honored the school by laying the corner stone in 1909. Situated on the slopes of the Great Rift Valley along the right-of-way of the great East-African railway, for almost a hundred years this institution has provided quality education for thousands of missionary kids from the length and breadth of Africa. Even though it is some 3000 miles from Chad, the children of our missionaries have boarded the Ethiopian Airlines flight to Kenya countless times to attend the High School at RVA. Presently there are some 500 students at RVA from dozens of mission boards representing 40-some nationalities. As the pictures suggest, the facilities of RVA would be the envy of a small-town High School anywhere in North America, including sports facilities, science laboratories, workshop, computer labs, and most recently, high-speed internet service.
This school is staffed by plain ol' people who are volunteers and who either pay their own way, or raise their own support from churches and friends back in the States or Canada. The school pays no salaries. Certification in your field (e.g as teacher) is required, and the minimum time commitment is 2 academic years. The institution is operated by Africa Inland Mission, so going through their acceptance procedures is also part of the bargain.
We were very impressed with the school, and for someone who is not quite up to roughing it in a place like Chageen, this is an ideal place to get your feet wet in Africa. And last but not least, it fills a critical role in the task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ across Africa, facilitating as it so admirably does the education of the children of missionaries who would otherwise have to return to their home countries to get the quality education they need.
<<<<<< Diane's brother Jon teaching a Psych class of upperclassmen. RVA has a wide range of course offerings and its students are consistently among the best entering American colleges and universities.
This gentleman was a shop teacher for 30 years in the L.A. public schools. Since his wife passed away, he's been teaching missionary kids at RVA. What a retirement! >>>>>>
<<<<<Teachers are parents for kids thousands of miles from home. Diane's brother (standing) and his wife have students in their home regularly
Chapel services are held each morning, and we found them anything but stuffy>>>>.
<<<<We made good use of the high-speed internet connection the school recently obtained - something Chad is still without. For the kids at RVA, growing up in Africa does not need be a technological handicap to their future.
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