The movement of global, Christ-centred education doesn’t happen over a night, over a year, or even over a few years. It takes many years of relationship investment; many years of conversations and changes; many years of partnership. The story of EduDeo Ministries doesn’t begin in 2011 – in fact, it starts in 1994, with a different name in a different country. Look back with us to see where the roots of EduDeo began.
In 1994, a small seed was planted. A group of Canadians came together after seeing the work of Worldwide Christian Schools (WWCS) in the United States and decided to incorporate WWCS Canada as a formal Canadian charity. While the organization didn’t engage in much activity in its first five years, this one small choice has grown into 21 years of faithful ministry presence in the global movement for Christ-centred education.
THE MOMENTUM OF A LEGACY
In 1999, WWCS Canada was blessed with a gift – a $33,000 legacy donation from a former teacher, who was passionate about the advancement of Christ-centred education in the majority world. This gift would serve as the momentum for the organization to hire their first staff person, send out their first newsletter, and eventually, hire Hank deJong as the Executive Director – EduDeo’s longest serving staff person (2003-2020).
STRONG PROGRAM ROOTS
The energy of staff members – committed to the work of WWCS Canada - helped the organization grow quickly, leading to substantial revenue growth in their early years. In 2004, the first short-term mission team – under the name Helping Another Nation Develop Schools (HANDS) – was sent out with WWCS Canada, beginning over 17 years of faithful construction service with our partners. In 2006, the Walking Together program began, working with partners directly on strengthening and training teachers, leaders, and organizations for faithful, Christ-centred service. Both of these programs would become key pillars of EduDeo’s work over the next number of years.
While WWCS Canada began teacher training workshops through the Walking Together program in 2006, the organization still did not have direct relationships with partners – but had a growing desire to learn and grow alongside international partners, understanding their local contexts and how they could support as they advanced Christ-centred education for children around the world. In 2010, the WWCS Canada Board marked this change by mandating that the organization have direct relationships with international partners. Over the next year, five partnership agreements were signed with associations in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Zambia.
A NEW VISION
While the driving passion and purpose of the organization stayed the same, the work and vision had expanded. Strategic planning took place to determine a future course for the organization, and it was decided that a new name – with a new mission and vision – would show the transformation WWCS Canada had taken in the last number of years. In June 2011, EduDeo Ministries was introduced, with a bold new vision: to see every community transformed by the Gospel, through the advancement of Christ-centred education.
The movement of global, Christ-centred education doesn’t happen overnight, or in a year, or even in a few years. In EduDeo’s case, it’s been over two decades that we’ve been working towards the advancement of Christ-centred education. It’s been a long-standing vision that we’ve been blessed to work towards. We are grateful for a past that is filled with deep roots, faithful people for the cause, strong relationships, and the never-ending kindness of God.