November 8, 2016

Next Steps for Walking Together

Blog Archives:

Leaders in Christian Education, Elco Vandergrift and Diane Stronks, are officially taking charge of EduDeo’s Walking Together program. Armed with a passion for mentorship and teacher development, this pair is ready to transform teaching for children around the world.

We spoke with Diane and Elco at the recent Christian Schools Canada conference about what the future holds for EduDeo’s Walking Together program.

Diane and Elco – thank you for speaking with us! First off, what excites you about EduDeo Ministries and your role as Walking Together Co-Leaders?

Diane – I’m excited about the opportunity EduDeo provides for all kinds of different people to be involved in Christ-centred education. The opportunity for Learning Leaders to bring their expertise to a community that has self-identified what it is they need. EduDeo can connect partners to people who want to volunteer, giving them the opportunity to learn together. As a result, transformation happens for everyone!

Elco – I’m excited about EduDeo Ministries’ vision of empowering partners.  I am also inspired by the hunger for Christ-centred education I’ve witnessed, especially in Zambia.

You’ve both served as Walking Together Learning Leaders. What are some highlights?

Elco – I’ve been amazed at the hunger for Christ-centred education in Zambia – wanting to learn more about what it is and how we do it authentically. Watching the community begin to trust this time of being together, and getting them to feel safe enough to evaluate how the training can work for them in their context.  Sharing, feeling safe to say “this doesn’t work for us”, learning to appreciate how they process.

What can we in Canada learn from our partner schools?

Diane – The work that is done globally strengthens the work in Canada. Canada has a long history of Christian education, but just like in a family where the children often don’t appreciate what the parents and family has done until they go away from home, so we can take for granted what we have in Christ-centred education.

Elco – The hunger for Christ-centred education globally is something that in some way we’re losing an appreciation for in North America. In our partners' countries, it's a beautiful thing to see how teachers are inspired by the power of Christ-centred education to impact children’s lives.  This can be a powerful gift to North America.

What role do you think EduDeo can play in a global movement of Christian education?

Diane – EduDeo is uniquely placed. There already is an understanding that the organization is very careful with whom they partner and how. They are not going to do things for them, instead they are very deliberate about doing things with people. That creates space to flourish.

Elco – EduDeo has an opportunity to help global partners understand Christ-centred education in a deeper way.  It’s Christ-centred education that is so much deeper than simply a view on eternity.  Everything we have is our Lord’s, and EduDeo has a role to play in communicating that message and understanding.

Can you share a practical example of Walking Together causing community transformation?

Elco – I can give an example from Zambia. I saw one school where a leader began to employ a restorative practice in response to “something that had gone wrong”. He realized Christ desires restoration, so he began to find ways to help God’s children practice restoration as well – beautiful!

Elco and Zambian Educational Leaders.

As an organization, we are grateful to Bob Koole and the role he has played as EduDeo’s Walking Together Director for the past number of years.  We look forward to seeing how this work continues to grow and be a blessing under the leadership of Elco and Diane.

Comments:

John
Nov 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Hey Diane and Elco. Congratulations on joining the EduDeo team. It's great to see the God-given success of the Walking Together Program and the impact it is having in Christian schools in various regions of the world. WTP is ever evolving and I'm glad you're following in the footsteps of those who went before and are adding your own unique gifts. Have a blessing and be a blessing. Shalom, John Vanderhoek

Hank
Nov 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Greetings & Congratulations Diane and Elco,from Guatemala Blessings to you both

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