Because the nature of the ministry work we do, we have the wonderful opportunity to teach observing to people who have never looked through optics before. Even where skies are truly dark, it takes some re-orientation and training to learn to observe. Casual looks are not what I am discussing. Rather, it is observing….the process of seeing, recording, and interpretting what you see. The opportunity to introduce the wonder of God’s created heavens was with 9 students from various schools or municipalities, whom we taught for 26 hours. It is a crash course in binoculars, small refractors, how to get around the sky, the Biblical framework for the created heavens, and observing. The objective is to teach others, so we teach teachers or pastors or lay leaders of some sort. This group was a mixture of all three. Here they are before we continue the story:
The season in the Philippines is for tropical waves and typhoon weather, so we had one night of observing — 2 hours of the moon through clouds. By that time, their excitement had already reached quite an intensity. The next day we hand constructed a crater from mud and illustrated how light from a moving flashlight changes the light play over crater walls. By the end of the day they were making observing sheets by taking turns through small refractors at a small picture of Copernicus in a dark corner about 35 feet away. By today they were proudly assembling the equipment, making more observing sheets, and talking about how they could use this in their schools or communnities. I cannot tell you how much of a blessing it is to see eyes and minds come alive as they are introduced to the wonder of the heavens, which is precisely what God intended as you read Psalm 19:1 or Hebrews 1:2-3 or Job 38:31-33 or Ps 102:25 or many other similar verses. Here they are in the last photo for this post, as part of them are working one of many projects during the course.