Nehemiah Center Trains Christian School Teachers
In this issue we focus on the education work of the Nehemiah Center in Nicaragua. In 2000, one person started facilitating training for Christian school teachers. In subsequent years, the Nehemiah Center discovered a significant number of Christian Schools throughout the country. In 2004, the Association of Christian Educational Centers of Nicaragua (known by its Spanish abbreviation ACECEN) was formed out of the desire for Christian schools to collaborate. What was just one person’s passion to reach out to Christian School teachers and train them in a Biblical Worldview became the catalyst for an organized and legal association. Currently, ACECEN has 10 facilitators, an executive director, and an assistant who coordinate the efforts of the association and facilitate the work of the Nehemiah Center’s education program.
ACECEN’s vision is: “To see educational communities promoting transformational development by means of continual improvement processes towards academic excellence with Christian values and principles.”
ACECEN’s mission is: “To cultivate professional development as committed agents of transformation that impact the educational community, promoting Christian principles and values that transcend society.”
Pablo Melendez Moved From Frustration to a Life with Purpose
It was never my dream to work in the education sector because it had no potential to bring me the renown and power that I desired. My name is Pablo Melendez and this is my story of transformation.
When I was a child, my parents would once in a while bring me to church, but as the years went by this happened less and less. When I entered the university, I studied law, and my life was a test by fire through the negative influences of my friends in such things as drugs and alcohol, but despite it all I was able to finish my degree.
After university, I began work as a lawyer and was solely focused on making a name for myself and earning as much money as possible, at any cost. When I did not achieve my goals of fame and riches, I was frustrated. This frustration led to an empty and senseless life. It was at this time that a friend invited me to a Bible study group where I heard the word of God and began to reflect on my life. Through hearing the word of God, my life started to make sense and filled the emptiness that existed in me.
All throughout this time, my wife, Elsa, was working as a teacher in a local Christian school. Because of our different career choices, our topics of conversation were completely separate and created distance in our relationship. She began to pray for me that I would one day work with her in Christian education.
Then, in 2007, I was presented with the opportunity to work for the Nehemiah Center in the area of Christian education as a facilitator. This was something that had never been in my plans. My objective, as mentioned, had been to become a well-known professional lawyer, and I knew that with a career in education I would not be able to reach the professional position that I desired. Working at the Nehemiah Center and learning about Biblical Worldview as well as attending church, began to impact my life significantly to such a degree that my way of thinking and seeing life was changing.
As a facilitator of training and mentoring for Christian schools in Managua, I came into contact with teachers and directors who shared with me the reality they encountered each day seeing the difficult circumstances of their students. Seeing this awoke in me a desire to do something significant for these Christian Schools. All these events made me recognize that God was real in my life, and my desire changed from wanting to become famous and a heart focused on material things to a desire to serve Jesus Christ through the gifts and talents he had given me.
Currently God is allowing me to serve as the executive director for ACECEN. Through this job I have found peace and security in my life, knowing that what I do has purpose for the Kingdom of God. I am very grateful to God, the people, and the organizations that have accompanied me throughout these years and have been an influence in my life. There is no longer frustration and emptiness, but rather purpose in living for Christ.
Ana Marisela Accepted a Challenge, and Now Feels Called to Teach
Ana Marisela remembers well her invitation to teach. “One day, Consuelo, the school director, mentioned that three teachers had resigned from Colegio Bautista Emanuel school and asked if I was interested in being part of the team of teachers there. The truth is I didn’t know what to do because I had never in my life taught classes, but I accepted the challenge.”
Her first day she was full of nerves, but the students, teachers, and parents showed acceptance and gave her confidence in her ability to teach. In the beginning, Ana Marisela’s job at the school was just a job; it wasn’t until she began receiving training in Biblical Worldview through the Nehemiah Center’s Education program that she saw purpose in her life. She says that “At this time God was speaking into my life, and I understood that it was more than a job. It was a calling from God on my life.”
In her training, Ana Marisela was taught how to apply Biblical Worldview to different subjects. One of the tools that was taught in the trainings given to her by ACECEN that has helped her a lot in how to instruct the students in Biblical Worldview is devotions. She devotes time to explain to the students the importance and the necessity to have God in their hearts and teach them that God is in everything that they do, be that in our homes, school, work, church or community. Ana Marisela says, “Perhaps we may not see immediately the fruit, but through the years we have been amazed by what the word of God can do that through our own effort would be impossible to achieve.”
Being a teacher at Colegio Bautista Emanuel has shown Ana Marisela that she has a purpose in her life and that she has been called by God to teach. “I realize that we are instruments of God; we have been called to serve others by being an example of Christ. I have realized that the more I serve, the more I feel a huge satisfaction in me that day by day grows along with the love that I have for this place that God has placed me in where each person who works at the school is watering the seeds placed in the children.”
Ana Marisela is just one of the many teachers who have been transformed by receiving training from ACECEN and the Nehemiah Center.
The Nehemiah Center’s Education program has been impacting Christian School teachers in Nicaragua through training in Biblical Worldview and strategic teaching methods.
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