July 23, 2014

Ideas have consequences

Discover & Learn 2014 HANDS Team:

There is a door at the entrance of the Nehemiah Centre, made by a man who works as part of their iron-welding program.  On this door there are several bars, each running parallel to each other.  As the bars travel toward the top of the door, they converge, and as they converge they become a full, beautiful, leaf-bearing tree.  This door is no accident; it is a picture of the good work several organizations experience here at the Nehemiah Centre. 

On Wednesday we learned a lot of new information about Nicaragua’s complex history, dreams for its future, and ways that those dreams are becoming a reality.  Our home base for this trip is the Nehemiah Centre, a place (and yet place seems to be the wrong word) where a group of like-minded mission and development organizations work together to empower communities. 

I have long been inundated with discussions about worldview.  I think, given our family’s background in Calvinist Christian education, that it might have been close to one of my first words spoken.  It’s been a while since I’ve allowed this concept of Christian worldview to invigorate and interest me.  Today I was reminded of how important this concept is to doing good, fruit bearing work in the Kingdom. 

The title of this blog is “ideas have consequences” and this is the basic tenet of any worldview.  If I think about life in a certain way, eventually my actions will change (or I’ll eventually start to think differently about the world).

We learned today that Nicaraguan Christians (and they are not alone in this) have typically seen life from a dualistic perspective – there’s a physical church I attend on Sunday, which is God’s kingdom, and there’s everything else.  The devil’s realm.  Obviously this is an over simplification, but it doesn’t take long to see how this view of life influences the way one would look at school, or any sort of cultural change. 

A number of years ago, a group of missionaries came together to acknowledge the idea that our world belongs to God – every square inch.  They explored how they could best combine their efforts to claim those square inches, and teach Nicaraguans that their faith in Jesus does in fact cover every part of their lives, including their goals, dreams, and prayers for the future.

EduDeo and ACECEN have space at this table.  Educating young minds to see Christ is an integral part of this country’s future.  Teaching teachers that every part of their lives, including classroom practices and interactions with students, belong to Christ is essential. 

Hearing teachers’ stories of transformation and invigoration regarding a Biblical worldview is exciting, and invigorating my own experience here as well.

- Shannon Marcus

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