By: Helen and Ellis Vaughan | FBC members and missionaries with TeachBeyond
Partial blog appears in August Connections newsletter (pg 7) – Click here for August Connections
What could be better than sitting on the floor for 17 hours in an airport in Africa where there are no chairs or benches, no running water in the bathrooms, oppressive heat, and the terminal roof leaking while you are in Monsoon? The answer . . . anything! And what could be better than being in God’s will? The answer . . . nothing. Just two weeks ago, Helen experienced both with our TeachBeyond work in Central Africa.
We wholeheartedly desire to serve our Father’s world, to love Jesus Christ, and to see individuals and societies transformed by His Spirit through education. This, TeachBeyond’s vision statement, was our mission in Central African Republic (CAR) and was a highlight of our ministry to date with TeachBeyond. The recent “conflict” (their term which describes the recent civil war) caused the seminary in Bangui, CAR, to close after 37 years of training pastors for several central African countries. Up until that time, the need for education of the seminary student’s families resulted in a school of 1200 kids. Upon the end of “the conflict” the UN protected facility could re-open, but they requested help and asked TeachBeyond to partner with them on a regional scope; providing services impacting 5 central African countries and the re-opened school which now has 2000 students. Helen’s visit was to serve as a consultant to the French speaking organization providing insights, training, and guidance in formulating a 3 year plan for Christ centered education. What a privilege.
The 2 day trip to arrive and the 4 day trip leaving, along with the heat, electrical outages, and the delays, were all challenging. Helen’s group was among the first outsiders to visit the country following the civil war. But the work and the people made it all worthwhile. This was affirmed by one of the African teachers who said with tears in her eyes, “For you to come see us at this time in our country must mean you love us.”
The staff and the students have the most important ingredient that can be used as a springboard for success moving forward: namely, the burning desire to learn and the value they put on a Christ centered education. With the Lord’s guidance and your partnership, may it be so. Will you go? Will you send? Contact us at email@example.com for this and other opportunities to serve worldwide. There is an abundance of exciting work to do.
(submitted to FBC July 3)