| Rasch family - Missionaries to Nigeria |
I fill a half-time position at Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria. Hillcrest School was founded in 1942 by the Church of the Brethren. In the following years at least twelve other mission organizations joined as partners, each one having the responsibility of providing staff (both teaching and non-teaching). In return for this, the member missions received significant tuition discounts for their missionaries’ children to attend Hillcrest (primarily as boarders). The LCMS (through the Lutheran Church of Nigeria) became partners with Hillcrest almost 40 years ago. Hillcrest School currently has about 240 students from close to 25 different countries. Approximately 90% of the student body is Christian, with most of the remaining 10% being Muslim. Roughly 60% of the student body is Nigerian – the rest coming from quite a variety of other countries. The teaching staff represent at least eight different countries. Over the years, the school has maintained two primary purposes: a) educating missionary children to the standards of a North American curriculum, and b) being a Christian witness in a community that is split roughly 50/50 between Christianity and Islam. Many of the children who pass through Hillcrest School have become missionaries as adults (including myself). My role at Hillcrest is that of Computer Technician. I am one of two network administrators for a network of over 100 computers. From time to time I teach a course (math or computers), but my main responsibilities center around technical support, hardware maintenance, network administration, and staff training.
My second half-time position is to provide computer and communications technical support for all of our LCMS World Mission Africa missionaries, as well as to offer support to the national church bodies that our missionaries work with. For our missionaries, this means I am to help them obtain and maintain internet access at their stations. I also provide remote technical support for any computer or communications questions they may have, and to do research for them when it is required. Over the past few years the Africa Regional Business Office for LCMS WM has also been located here in Jos, so I have been involved in meeting the computer needs of that office with regular on-site support. For the national church bodies that our missionaries work with, I offer consulting, configure computers and networks, and provide remote technical support. We are working hard toward also being able to provide computer training for seminary students, pastors, and church leaders, with the goal of enabling them to be more efficient and effective with their efforts in reaching their Ablaze goals.
Jennifer, Ivan, Heather and Timothy Rasch