“Hello friends and family around the world!
I wanted to pass along what the world looks like in West Africa. Overall, our entire community has been impressed with the decisions and actions taken by our government here in Senegal.
March 15 our president shut down all schools in Senegal for three weeks. Since then, the closures have been moved to May 4, 2020. We are all currently waiting for any change in this decision as it has (clearly) affected our school and students of Dakar Academy greatly. We miss our students so much! Thankfully, we kicked off online learning on April 6 after 2 weeks of very calm and quiet Spring Break. Since all of my computer and media classes are already very internet and technology dependent it hasn’t been too hard adapting for myself or my students. I really love still being able to connect with my students everyday. Daily I’m able to go to campus, get work done, answer emails and listen to Jesus music. The only thing I miss is having my people around… but what can I do.
Near the end of March the president also began an 8 PM curfew for the entire country including restrictions to remain in your region. For our community that means to remain in the Dakar city region. Thankfully there aren’t too many reasons to go out as we also have “groups in limited number” rules enforced as well as all large event – including church and mosques – canceled and closed. We have this opportunity to dive deep into the people near us.
Some of our American community members have been able to obtain seats on embassy flights back to the States since our airport has been closed as of March. That closing, along with all borders, has been extended until May 31. We miss our teachers and students that have had to leave unexpectedly. We pray for solid closures for all of our students and seniors and still hope for opportunities to see them again soon.
I am still finding all the adjustments awkward. It’s a new season for us all. But there are many joys to find as our crazy busy schedule has been drastically reduced. Time to pray. Time to rest. Time to ZOOM and FaceTime everyone I’ve ever met in my life. Time to press into the Father’s heart for us all. I jumped in on a ZOOM chat with new friends in India – I heard believers feeding thousands and being met with hundreds of conversions. I hear of the hundreds of young missionaries shipped home who are now in quarantine that are pressing into prayer, interceding for America. I am still able to seek out my people and students to check in and simply connect and pray.
Regardless of the physical limitations we are faced with right now, please continue to seek out every safe opportunity to LOVE the people within your area of influence. We need you all!” – Caitlin Woodward