My profession calls me to teach future Christian educators who will one day work in church, para-church or other ministry fields. I spend a majority of my time training students who will one day teach others the Christian faith through Sunday school classes and small groups, from pulpits or possibly even on the college campus.
My mission is simple: teach future Christian educators how to be great teachers one day.
And then I was invited to Amman, Jordan to lead a 3-day teacher training workshop. Again, my mission was simple: Teach current Christian educators how to be great teachers in their work with language students from around the world.
In the end, I received the real training. I sat and discussed principles of education and learning with men and women who teach Arabic as a second language. Their students come from numerous backgrounds with the intent of learning one of the hardest languages known to man.
These teachers are dedicated to their students and to their craft. They have put their lives on the line for their work. They firmly believe the more students they equip in Arabic, the more the Gospel will reach out.
These teachers have become my personal heroes. Many of these teachers teach in spite of the fact they are paid less than other Arabic instructors. Many suffer mild persecution for their faith and involvement in training others to serve in the Middle East. And yet they show up semester after semester, putting their hearts and souls into their classes knowing it is for God’s greater mission.
In the end, I came away with the most benefit from the conference. I came away knowing that if these teachers in Amman, Jordan are counting the cost and giving their all to Jesus in a moderate Islamic country with limited religious freedom, I can give my all in Campbellsville, KY teaching in a private Christian school in a land of absolute religious liberty. I learned that Christian education, no matter the location or language, is a high calling of God. Teaching others is a gift and a great stewardship of a sacred trust between teacher and learner.
I am honored to serve these wonderful men and women. I pray for them, for their students, and for their work in Amman.
(More Journey to Jordan Reflections are soon coming.)