Education, the Gospel, and an Island ready for change

By May 12, 2016

Colombia (MNN) – People who haven’t heard the Gospel don’t understand their need for it. And if they don’t see a need for it, they aren’t always interested in hearing it. However, most people readily see the value of education.

Because of this, ministries like TeachBeyond can offer education while telling people about Jesus. Educational ministry has blessed countless people in a variety of countries and situations.

Helen Vaughan, Director of School Services at TeachBeyond brings us some exciting news from Colombia.

She recently visited a college in Bogota where TeachBeyond has teachers. One of those teachers had spoken to a pastor on a nearby island about his plans to bring new opportunities to the community there.

“As she talked with this pastor she learned of their desire to start a Christian school on the island and to have English as a significant part of the educational program,” Vaughan says.

This Colombian pastor was sent out by his home church on the mainland to be a missionary to this island which lies just off the city of Cartagena.

Just off the coast of this flourishing tourist city lies the impoverished island. (Photo by Joe Ross via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/D3EsVW)

Just off the coast of this flourishing tourist city lies the impoverished island. (Photo by Joe Ross via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/D3EsVW)

Vaughan says that Cartagena is a tourist area. But the nearby island is poor and the people living there have a lot of needs.

She explains, “The island also has people that seem open to the Gospel but have not been presented with the Gospel. So combining the school with the church, there’s an opportunity to not only impact the island with an improved standard of living but also to more importantly share Christ with the people that are there.”

One of the economic impacts of starting a school which teaches English is that it would open a whole new arena of job opportunities in the tourist city of Cartagena.

TeachBeyond is partnering with the school, which aims to start this coming January. For now, the board of directors plans to rent a building. They want to start constructing a school and are working to raise money for that.

A unique job description

And with only a few months to go, TeachBeyond is still looking for someone to teach English. English is the foreign language at this school, and TeachBeyond has agreed to provide the staff for that.

Vaughan says they are actually looking for a couple.

This couple would need one person to be fluent in Spanish. They would need to be adventurous, too, Vaughan says. Life on the island isn’t quite what most people are used to, and the teachers would need to learn a new way of daily living. While the island is a safe place, it is isolated which is why they think a couple would be best.

Starting out, the English class would be for young children. TeachBeyond can equip the teacher with English as a Second Language teaching skills.

Because this area has such a low cost of living, there’s not a large number of support to raise.

But most of all what the missionary couple will need is a heart for the people they’re interacting with.

Vaughan says, “The children were delightful, they’re friendly, they’re so enthused about the school.”

They are also open to the idea of going to church. Missionaries with TeachBeyond have the unique opportunity not only to talk about Jesus while giving daily lessons, but they are able to exemplify Christ to their communities in their daily living.

“When we talk about transformational education,” Vaughan says, “it is the whole picture. It’s all of life and there is freedom to speak openly about the Gospel with these young children. And there certainly are a lot of resources in how to teach English using Bible stories.”

They are able to highlight Gospel teaching in the way they interact, how they teach, and how they care for other people.

TeachBeyond has a variety of serving opportunities around the world. (Photo courtesy of TeachBeyond via Facebook).

TeachBeyond has a variety of serving opportunities around the world. (Photo courtesy of TeachBeyond via Facebook).

“It’s the full range of living all of life under the Lordship of Christ. We believe that the spoken word is very important, but the relationships and what the children see in the life is just as significant.”

People interested in this teaching opportunity can find more information by contacting TeachBeyond here. There are also many other opportunities available here.

Even if teaching on an island is not your calling, you could partner with TeachBeyond prayerfully or financially.

 

Homepage photo by Alex via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/aiHRAP

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