Jian* was already behind when he started at his new school. It was a full quarter into the school year. Then, for the first two months, Jian had a far-off look in his eyes. His teachers weren’t sure he was even paying attention.
But one of Jian’s teachers was TEAM missionary, Rachel*. Jian’s lack of interest couldn’t stop her from talking to him about “the Father,” “the Son” and “the Word.” And one day, suddenly, Jian wanted to know more.
Jian decided to specifically ask Rachel to tell him more about the Son — he wanted to know Jesus the way she did.
“Education is a great and versatile platform for ministry because it provides teachers with a lot of freedom in how to communicate the Good News to their students,” says Rachel. “Kids are going to be in schools regardless, so what better way than to meet them where they’re at?”
As schools begin their fall semesters this August, will you pray with us for education ministries around the world?
1. Pray for opportunities to build meaningful relationships between teachers and students.
It’s hard for teachers to find time to interact with students one-on-one, but that’s often when they form the deepest relationships. And those relationships are what open the door for discipleship.
One TEAM missionary, Seth O’Day, teaches at an international school in the Philippines. He helps lead extracurricular activities so he can get to know his students on a more personal level. One example is his homeroom group.
“Once per week, I meet with a small group of boys for a homeroom group that is specifically intended to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and discipleship,” Seth says.
Pray that teachers will find opportunities to get to know students inside and outside the classroom. Pray for effective discipling and mentorships.
2. Pray for wisdom as parents decide how to educate their kids.
Today’s parents have many choices for educating their kids.
For missionaries, the decision isn’t just about education, but also about learning the host language and navigating the culture. Homeschooling, public schools, international schools, online schools and missionary-run schools are just a few of the options.
For local parents, missionary-run schools can present better academic opportunities, but they have to be willing to let their kids hear the Gospel. This gives missionary teachers a chance to witness to kids who may never hear about Jesus otherwise.
Pray that education decisions will be as stress-free as possible for parents. Pray also that kids will be put in environments where they can learn about Jesus and thrive.
3. Pray for new teachers and supporters.
Workers who serve in the education field have enormous opportunities to share their faith. But many missionary-teachers have to raise their own support to teach abroad. And it can be hard to explain to supporters why the school doesn’t just pay you a salary.
This can make it hard to recruit new teachers. But that doesn’t lessen the demand for education-based missionaries. Even if they cannot explicitly share the Gospel in the classroom, teachers have a chance to graciously share God’s love with those they are teaching.
Pray that God will call both teachers and supporters to education ministries. Pray that their hearts will be open and receptive to those calls.
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