July 25, 2014

A calling

Discover & Learn 2014 HANDS Team:

As we made our way into Emaus, an ACECEN school in Esteli, these words greeted us: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (Proverbs 22:6). Right here, at the entrance to the school compound, the tone and purpose of the school was set.

Emaus started as a pastor’s vision in 1995 with 80 students. They have since grown to 290, with the majority being in high school. Primary classes range from 20-24 students, while the high school classes have 25-30 students. 

On the last Friday of every month, Nicaraguan teachers are expected to attend government workshops for teachers and therefore the schools are closed.  Despite being officially closed, several teachers and students came to interact with our team. They had created carefully planned presentation that included a Nicaraguan traditional dance, a liturgical dance, a Chris Tomlin song, a father son guitar duet, and a video presentation. We felt honoured and blessed by all of their hard work and dedication. Our visit clearly meant a lot to them.

Following the presentation, we sat in a circle and listened to the staff, parents, and pastors share their own stories not just about the school, but about how God has been working in their lives. One teacher commented on how the Lord had brought her to the school and she knew that she was not there by accident. She recognized that teaching was not just a job, but also her calling. A mom said that the school was a second home to raise her children. Having been a student there once herself, she clearly trusted the teachers at the school and valued the nurturing care and training they provide for her children. Here was a clear example of Proverbs 22:6 being lived out. Also, the fact that a father was there spoke volumes not just about his love for his son but the value he placed on Christian education. It is not the norm in Nicaragua for father’s to involve themselves in their children’s lives, never mind get involved with the school.

Our time at Emaus was mutually encouraging and uplifting. Once again, we were reminded of the value of Christian education and the important role we as teachers (and parents) have in training the next generation to live God honouring lives.

- Lauren Van Rooyen & Annette Dykstra


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