Jemma and Tom Fifield have served at Bingham since 2016. Sent by two Bury St Edmunds churches, they live in Addis Ababa with their daughters, Ellie May and Mim. Jemma works in the school’s HR and recruitment team, while maths teacher Tom is the high school principal. Bingham Academy is a Christian school with classes from Reception to Year 13. It has served the mission and international community of Addis Ababa since 1946. The school is named after one of the three founders of SIM, Rowland Bingham. The gospel is going forward in Ethiopia and Bingham plays a sustaining role. Without high-quality education on the field, many workers would return to their passport countries to seek schooling for their children. This is Jemma's profile of a typical day at Bingham:
A quavering call to prayer drifts across the campus and mingles with the sound of waking dogs; the sun rises and Bingham Academy’s day begins.
Our director and other early birds run around the track at 5.30am. At 6.15am a group of staff tak their daily prayer walk through the compound to praise God for his faithfulness to our school and community over the last 72 years and to ask his blessing on the concerns of the coming day.
The gates of Bingham start to open and close at 6.30am as our Ethiopian staff arrive to get an early start. Mums and dads are also dropping off students ready to meet their coaches for soccer, athletics, volleyball or basketball training.
At 7.45am when the first bell rings, the campus is already alive with students who are taking time to enjoy each other’s company before the school day begins. The staff migrate to the teachers’ lounge for devotions and prayer before the 8am bell rings to send everyone to their classes.
A studious hum descends over the campus as lessons commence. Biblical integration and the Christian philosophy of education are key to our ministry here.
Academic excellence is vitally important, but it is the vehicle by which we pursue our deeper goals: teaching truth, equipping generations and changing the world for God’s glory.
The morning passes industriously and then at 10.35am, arguably the most important bell of the day rings. Buna Gize — Coffee Time! In Ethiopian culture, it is hard to overstate the importance of coffee and the social interactions that go with it. If you want to build a friendship with an Ethiopian, to really know and love them, don’t miss Buna Gize!
The day continues in a cycle of diligence and hustle-bustle as the bell moves students between classes. The final bell rings at 3.25pm as taxis converge on the campus for the school run; but for many students the real fun is only just beginning.
Our gym, field and cross-country track will be busy until early evening as dedicated athletes train for competitions, both local and international.
As the sun sets, the students are gone but if you peer through an illuminated workroom window our dedicated staff are settling in to grade papers, prepare tomorrow’s classes and to share a smile over the stories of the day.
●For the Lord to supply additional full-time teachers for the years to come.
●For the Fifield family to keep trusting God as they live and work for his glory at Bingham.
●For Bingham to remain a beacon for the gospel in a country where so few people know Jesus.