Celebrating Anniversaries

This year I got to celebrate two anniversaries of two very special and respected academic institutions:

75-ebcEmmaus Bible College started in 1941 in Toronto, Canada under the leadership of three men: R.E. Harlow, John Smart and C. Earnest Tatham. In 1947 growing enrollment lead to the establishment of a campus in Chicago and 1953 the school acquired the YMCA building. In 1984 moved to a 17-acre campus in Dubuque, Iowa and received accreditation to grant bachelor degrees. Today is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

 

60-eccEscuela Cristiana Camireña was founded in 1956 in Camiri, Bolivia by educators and missionaries Eugene and Loraine Train. Some of the same old adobe-brick classrooms are still there, but by God’s providence there is also a new building with air-conditioned classrooms.

It has been a wonderful experience for me to be in the celebrations of the many years of service and to hear old and new stories of many people through the decades whose lives’ purpose, direction and meaning have been given, marked and taught by the teaching, influence and counsel of Godly men and women.

The topic of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS has been repeatedly brought up in the two celebrations. Dr Daniel Smith pointed out three ingredients of faithfulness:

1.- Character: There has to be integrity, honesty and rectitude.

2.- Commitment: Able to keep his word, a promise, a guarantee.

3.- Capability: The ability, the power to carry out.

In conclusion, God’s faithfulness is something:

He DOES and He IS.

Published in: on November 10, 2016 at 5:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Useful Tool (5)

Not too long ago one of my students asked me “What did you want to be when you were a kid?” He gave me a skeptical look when I answered him “a teacher.” As if it would be impossible to become what you dreamt or wish to be as a kid. In my teen years I also became interested in “missions” and like my student, I had my doubts as well that one day I would be doing missionary work and teaching at the same time. I never imagined the process, the where and the how, but little by little, step by step God made all things fall into place and even circumstances and events I thought were “a waste” made sense of why I had to go through.

when I grow upThe thought of me fulfilling “The Great Commission” in the “traditional” way (preaching to strangers in a foreign land with different language, food and customs) was the most scary thought.  That is why I love what I do and where I am. It is a blessing for me to serve my Lord in a school setting for the following reasons: 1).- People don’t know me as missionary, but as teacher. 2).- The classroom has given me close contacts. 3).- The school provides work hours and I don’t forget the feeling of excitement for weekends and days off. 4).- Teaching, if anything, is influence. 5).- Teaching is a lot of fun.

I know God calls each one to different things and areas of ministry according to the gifts given, personality, background, training, etc. However having a teaching certificate is a useful tool in the Lord’s work wherever you are. As for me, there is no greater joy.

“It is a beatiful thing when

a career and a passion

come together”

 

Published in: on May 26, 2016 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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60 Anniversary

60 años

1956-2016

TO GOD BE THE GLORY

Published in: on March 10, 2016 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Future of Christian Education

bus

The future arrives one day at a time. Today is yesterday’s tomorrow and in matter of hours; Today will turn into yesterday. Nobody can tell with certainty what the future, near or far, will bring. We all “live in the question” about the future and can only take moments one by one and no more, without exceptions.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15).

Christian Education today faces many challenges and these bring questions and doubts about tomorrow. All we can do, really,  is live today, take the unique opportunity and enjoy the moment. For the way I choose to live today, will have an effect on tomorrow.

 

 

Published in: on October 1, 2015 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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What’s the impact of a Christian School?

When Jesus asked his disciples “Who do men say I am?” we can see no one nailed it in the answer as Peter (Matthew 16:13-20), BUT on the other hand; people were not all that “off track” when they identify him with past men of God, the prophets. I find a similarity with what people think of a Christian School for I often have to explain that our school is not a reformatory and there is no guarantee that a troublemaker will be straightened out, but many parents do bring their kids because they know they will be taught Christian values and hope that their child’s bad behavior will change.

The Bible and prayer have influence into people’s hearts and I see with my own eyes that even though not all our students profess to be Christians, they do drink less, smoke less  and have better conduct and morals.

lighthouseThe degree to which the Bible, the written Word of God, is central in a school is in proportion to the impact it will have in the lives of staff and student body; for the Bible is the only life-changing book with a living and powerful message. The impact of a Christian school is light in the darkness that cannot be hidden.

Published in: on September 24, 2015 at 9:12 am  Comments (1)  
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The Role of a Principal

snoopy directorA school principal is the primary leader in a school building. The job of the principal covers many different areas and is hard work. Founder and director of the Camiri Christian School, the late missionary Eugene Train, left me with an example to follow as he is remembered as Pastor,  father-figure, mentor, and as a compassionate person with high standards.

desk The most important job of the principal, in my opinion, is not done behind a desk. As a leader, the principal must find time for the most time-consuming work: people. He must be available to teachers, staff members, parents, students and community members. The work with people is an ever ongoing work; for we as persons, regardless age, are never completed; we will always have areas for improvement, change and growth.

Although the principal must take decisions, he is not the boss. Decisions are to be made with a servant attitude for the well-being of the people in his care at school. The Principal is responsible of the work and people of the school. A fundamental and vital part of a job well done is people and people do and give their best when motivated, inspired, infused and encouraged by a good leader.

“The true measure of leadership is influence –           Nothing more, Nothing less.”

Published in: on September 17, 2015 at 6:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Keeping up with technology in a Christian School

I do think that technology is helping societies interact in ways that were never possible before; Internet, multiple social networks and specially cellphones have had a great impact on society, human relationships and the way we communicate with each other. I am not writing today about the positive and negative aspects; the fact is that Cellphones have swarmed over our lives in the home, workplace, school and churches; they are the source for communication, interaction, entertainment, information, business, etc. Facebook, YouTube and Whatssap are the most commonly used by young and adult people alike.

human-interaction-schoolA Christian School cannot afford to fall behind technology, but integrate it in ways that teach the students the prudent, judicious and wise use of cellphones and social networks. To answer “how” is more than writing a certain-of-number-steps formula. A Christian teacher must come up with principles that will govern his life in the good use of technology and teach by example. I must find the balance and demonstrate what a life is with and without a cellphone.

“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Published in: on September 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Christian School Finances

There is a difference between business and ministry. Business is mostly meant for profit; it is invested money to make more money or it would be considered poor management with bankruptcy as a result. In ministry, money is also invested, but there is not or should not be personal gain. Money for business can come from personal savings, family and friends or banks and credit unions which lend money to be returned in the future with some interest rate. Ministry also requires money; where does it come from? In the Bible is clear that money for ministry comes through the generous, unselfish giving of God’s people, the church.

a1There are ministries that give free literature, tracks, bibles, etc. It is supported by gifts designated to keep up the cost of publishing and distribution. At times, recipients are given the chance to send a donation, but it is totally voluntary. The Camiri Christian School is an outreach ministry through education.  All these years, there has been a fee for tuition, but it does not cover the real cost of expenses for salaries, maintenance, taxes, scholarships and bonuses to workers required by the government. Even though the Apostle Paul was at times self-supported; there is no command in the Bible that ministry and its ministers should at some point become also self-supporters.

Ministry is a life of faith, dependence on God and of miracles. It is not always easy; but this is how the Camiri Christian School was founded and, in the will of the Lord, will continue to exist, operate, press on and stick to its mission of sower of knowledge and lives for Christ in partnership with the Church.

Published in: on September 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Non-discrimination policy and Christian Education

hh_international day_toleranceSchools become a place to learn not just numbers and grammar but also community building and social interaction. Non-discrimination policy is not anymore about skin color, ethnic origin or social status. It now also involves issues like disabilities, marital status (teen pregnancy), sexual orientation and of course religion; so it has to affect a Christian School. The word of these days is “Tolerance”.

It is time we, Christians, accept the intolerant part of Christianity without feeling insulted and recognize that the message we proclaim has an offensive part. In a Christian School we have the challenge to stand firm to our creed, maintain our values and hold unswervingly to the faith we profess in love, following the example of the Lord Jesus that could call hypocrites to religious leaders and say to an adulterous woman “neither do I condemn you”. What a beatiful balance of truth and grace!

Published in: on August 27, 2015 at 5:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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School Discipline

discipline teacherDisciplining students, particularly those with chronic or serious behavior problems, is a long-standing challenge for educators. We cannot deny there has been abuse in the past, but instead of dealing with those teachers who have misused their position of authority; the system of education has taken an overbalance reaction and in the name of Children’s right; it has taken all authority from teachers and even parents.

There are many factors that could be causing student misbehavior: family problems, insecurity, anxiety, teachers who are boring, unprepared and weak and an ever-increasing society with less limitations, boundaries and moral values. The word “No” is unpopular leaving children alone as victims of the tyranny of their own desires.

It is a hard topic to come to a consensus. The word “Discipline” for most people is synonym for spanking or some other form of corporal punishment. Biblical discipline is the counterpart of love (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:7).

“The kid who needs the most love will ask for it in the most unloving of ways” and a Christian School should be committed to a love that includes discipline; thathappy kid is a training that corrects, shapes, strengthens and completes the student for betterment and the glory of God.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

 

Published in: on August 20, 2015 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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