Willing hearts: Education in South Asia
By Brian Yung | South Asia in Asia del Sur
Educators who freely offer their skillset to God have been led into ministry at SIM’s partner school in South Asia from a variety of places, for a mixture of reasons, with distinctive journeys.
How did so many gifted teachers end up serving there? Well, one thing unites three teachers, Fiona*, Rita*, and Lisa*: their eager hearts intent on fostering a rich learning environment for Christ’s name’s sake.
Fiona was working in New Zealand when she was invited to relocate to South Asia. She said, “God said, ‘Go.’ So, he led me here and prepared the way. And every step just fell into place like dominoes, really.”
God has helped Fiona settle into the area and acquire an incredible sense of camaraderie with her co-workers. She said, “The people, the staff, whether they’re teachers in primary or secondary, or the operation people, they’re just amazing. They’re like your friends; they’re family. You really have that sense of community, and I’ve never taught in a place quite like here.”
Fiona, like others, realised progress is not always obvious in ministry. But she soon felt assurance in the Lord’s plans. She said, “Often people worry about the fruitfulness of their ministries and where they’re going to be next. You don’t need to worry if you’re with God, you just need to be open to the next step.”
Another SIM teacher, Rita, came to the school and saw a huge range of opportunities, especially in the multi-cultural landscape. She said, “At this school students and teachers have come from 30 different countries. So, this has been my first time meeting people from so many countries.”
Rita has also witnessed a rare depth of investment from the teachers. She said, “What I have seen here are teachers who want to serve. They have not come here to earn a wage or have a better living. They have come here with a willing heart to serve.”
Lisa experienced freedom in trusting God to guide her family’s future. She said: “One thing I remember, at the beginning, just being open to God and saying, ‘Where would you want us?’ And there’s something exciting about that. I think, sometimes, I’ve thought in the past that, ‘Oh, where’s God going to send me?’ But in fact, God wants us to live life and enjoy life.”
The school impressed her, particularly in its dedication to excellence. Lisa said: “I loved the fact that it was committed to excellent education for the glory of God. And one other aspect that I really appreciated that it wasn’t just about the international school here, it was also about improving the standard of education.”
When Lisa encountered challenges with cross-cultural education, she had to loosen her grip and rely on God’s sovereignty. She said, “I’ve become aware that I’m living in a spiritually different environment from the one at home. And that provides challenges on a spiritual level that are not always obvious and overt.
“I’m learning to really trust God that this is where God wants us to be at this time. But I have to be just open to the fact that God’s in control. I just really have been just learning that lately, that my walk, my times are in his hands.”
• Our partner school in South Asia to nurture young people and model Christ in the classroom.
• Teachers as they navigate the cross-cultural setting.
• More educators to partner with SIM in South Asia and beyond, so all “may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other” (1 Kings 8:60).