Education is one of the most powerful tools you can offer another person. Not only does it prepare someone to live a more fulfilling life, rise above poverty and avoid exploitation, but also, education empowers people to live up to their highest potential as followers of Christ.
This September, will you pray with us for teaching and education ministries around the world?
Click here to get a printable version of these requests, and sign up here to get the new prayer focus in your inbox each month.
1. Pray for increased faith in students’ hearts.
Hai* enrolled at a TEAM-affiliated European school two years ago when her father was sent by the Korean government to study Spanish. She didn’t know anything about Spanish, English, Jesus or the Bible.
But over the next two years, Hai grew in leaps and bounds in her knowledge of the Word, as well as in her English and Spanish skills. Sadly, Hai is returning to her South Korean home this year, but her teachers pray that she will continue to grow!
1 Corinthians 3:7 says that God is the One who gives growth to the seeds of faith that have been planted in our hearts.
Pray with us for students — like Hai — who have had seeds of faith planted in their hearts. Pray that they in grow in the Lord and share Him with others.
2. Pray for more teachers.
When it comes to teaching and education ministries, this is the most common prayer request we receive from the field.
“This year has been particularly challenging and we are beginning the school year short-staffed,” says TEAM missionary Sarie Anderson, who serves as director of Evangelical Christian Academy (ECA). “In fact, we don’t have a first-grade teacher … and we are at the point of needing to put students on a waiting list for most elementary grades due to the lack of staff.”
Please pray that the Lord will lead the right staff members to schools like ECA. Pray for an outpouring of gifted, Christlike teachers. And please ask God for funding, as many teachers raise their own support.
3. Pray that students will be able to afford school fees.
The ultimate goal of any teaching and education ministry is to teach students that we all have the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.
However, in order to fulfill this goal, these schools must operate as private Christian institutions. That means they must charge some kind of tuition fee in order to keep the facilities running.
“Currently, our center has difficulty meeting expenses, but we desire to offer these services at a minimal cost so as not to deter people from joining,” says one TEAM worker who teaches at an English club in the Middle East.
Pray that students will be able to pay school fees so they can not only receive an education but also hear about our hope of salvation. Pray that funds for facility costs and teacher salaries will be provided in abundance so that tuition prices can be decreased.
4. Pray that faculty and staff will lead students well.
Anyone who has worked in education knows that teaching in a classroom every day is taxing — even in your home country.
Missionaries who teach abroad deal with a multitude of challenges on top of the challenges home-based educators face. They must navigate cultural differences and expectations, perhaps learn a new language and overcome the potential loneliness of working in a foreign field.
Pray that the Lord will give teachers and staff members strength when they feel fatigued. Pray that they will be quick to remember the reason they are there and the eternal difference they are making.
5. Pray for good relationships with local governments.
Running a credible, accredited school is nearly impossible to do without the support — or at least acknowledgment — of the host government.
For TEAM missionary Carey Owens, having the local government behind Seville Christian School in Spain is essential: “We need God to give us good favor with the government officials who grant the legal paperwork,” he says. “For instance, in June 2016, we requested a building permit, which wasn’t granted until April 2017. Currently, we have a couple of other legal documents being processed that will allow us to proceed with developing our [school].”
Pray that schools like SCS will be such a bright light in their communities that local governments will be glad to welcome them and even work alongside them. Pray also that the Lord will soften hearts where softening is needed.
6. Pray for missionary kids to thrive.
A majority of students who attend international Christian schools are children of missionaries, and each one comes with their own set of daily challenges.
“It’s not always easy being an MK,” says TEAM missionary Marie Blanchard, a teacher at ECA. “I was an MK from France and loved my experience, but there were still challenges, such as having to always say goodbye to friends or teachers, or not always fitting into either culture. MKs sometimes also feel pressure to act a certain way or to ‘be Christians’ when they may actually be struggling with deep doubts or rebellion.”
Pray for missionary kids this month as they navigate the uniqueness of their situation. Pray that they will draw close to the Lord in all things, especially during times when they feel pressured or don’t quite fit in. And ask God to send them friends and teachers who will guide them in good directions.
7. Pray for academic success.
Even if the students of international schools aren’t missionary kids, many are children of global businessmen or foreign service workers and have already lived in several places. Because of this constant moving, many of them tend to have gaps in their learning.
In addition to academic challenges, TEAM missionary Stephanie Steffens says, “the [global] students sometimes arrive with more insecurities than normal.”
Students who come from international families often have a hard time discerning where “home” is. This gives missionary teachers a tremendous opportunity to offer security and belonging in Christ.
Pray for academic success for these students as they struggle with questions of nationality and purpose. Pray that they will find their ultimate identity in Jesus.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer! Click the image below to get a printable version of these requests to remember how to pray all month long.
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