Greetings from Kenya! We are writing to any Christian educator – primary, middle, high school, or university level – who might be interested in a cross-cultural experience training and mentoring teachers in East Africa. We are looking for educators who love Christ and would like to take part in an opportunity to disciple brothers and sisters in the Lord—fellow teachers—about how to keep education in the heart and mind of God (COL. 2:2-3) for the purpose of raising up children to be Christians who will bring the heart and mind of God into their world.
After moving to Kenya in 2011 we set out on a journey, trying to find ways to reach teachers in East Africa with the true gospel of Christ. We sought a means so teachers would become the ones to disciple their students for Christ, while teaching the government curriculum. In East Africa, it is not like the west, where governments have prohibited virtually any kind of promotion of our Lord Jesus. Here teachers can openly promote Christ and teach every subject from God’s perspective. In large part this is because Christianity is a “normal” part of the culture, yet the gospel is not always clear to people. It is difficult for many teachers to see how mathematics (and other subjects) fits in the heart of God. We are looking for teachers in the USA who would like to learn more about how this works, sharing the glory of God with teachers and their students, here in Africa.
For a while, we were stumped as how to go about training teachers for lasting impact. Soon, we ran into acquaintances who had a similar vision – but had taken educational training to a much higher level. This organization, Advancing Leaders International, employs a bold philosophy: to bring an entire school on board—leadership, community leaders, and staff—committed to multiple years of training that will lead to changed methods of teaching to more fully empower their students to change their world for Christ. Their training consists of more than seminars. It includes action plans that a school implements, plus a mentoring program for each teacher in the school. The mentoring helps teachers implement what was taught in the training seminar. Trainers help plan a lesson with each teacher, observe the lesson being taught, then debrief after the lesson is over. Normally this cycle happens three or four times with each teacher after a training. As you can see, this is a BIG endeavor. We immediately followed ALI’s lead and officially joined Advancing Leaders International to fulfill God’s calling for us in East Africa.
Every school training gives us more insight from God on how to continue the work, with more wisdom. To convince us of this, God has opened the door this year to train more schools than we can possibly handle by ourselves – literally hundreds of schools in Kenya!
Can you see where YOU come into play? While a week-long seminar can be taught by two people, more facilitators are needed for the personal interaction of mentoring. Some trainings are conducted with a number of schools at one time. If we combine two, three or four schools, training 50 teachers at once, mentoring them one by one becomes a daunting task. It is during these mentoring times that discipleship takes place. We are able to meet the personal and professional needs and struggles of each teacher… academically, emotionally, spiritually. Is this a transformational work you would like to be a part of?
What a huge blessing it would be to have a spirit-filled teacher, or group of teachers, come to East Africa and volunteer with our ministry! The time commitment can be for two weeks, three weeks, or a month with the goal of coming alongside Kenyan teachers to assist them in implementing creative lessons, becoming more proficient in critical thinking and questioning, and learning how their subject matter fits in the heart of God. You will help teachers move from a lecture/memorize strategy to an interactive learning strategy that develops students’ thinking capacity, and helps children discover why education is important from God’s perspective, and how God has a purpose for their lives.
If you want to learn more about how you can volunteer and impact the Kenyan educational system by sharing the heart and mind of Christ, contact us and we will give you information to pray about… information that might help you discern if God is inviting you to participate in “Education in Christ” trainings and the work of Advancing Leaders International.
Mark and Cathy Lessig