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Teachers’ Heaven

Our God loves to surprise and stretch His children. When it was mentioned to me after eight years of retirement from thirty years of full time teaching that I should consider going to the Philippines and doing a stint in an International school for the children of Missionaries, I gave an emphatic no. Now in August 2008 I have not only spent one school year teaching at Faith Academy Manila but have come back for a second year. My role is to teach the subject I love, English literature, to students who are interested and excited about learning. It is the teacher’s heaven!

What a magnificent privilege it is teaching here at Faith Academy and how abundantly blessed I have been. The 500 plus students come from twenty one nations around the world and for many their passport nation is as unfamiliar to them as the Philippines is to me. Their lives have been enriched by many cross cultural experiences. The school is in a wonderful location on the hill well above the smog line of Manila, and equipped through the generosity of many supporters particularly from the United States.

In marked contrast is the poverty and hardship of the urban poor whose living conditions remind us of the inequality that is everywhere. How does one make a difference when the need is so great? Our A4J program (All for Jesus) is one way the school reaches out. In 2007 460 young people from the community, aged between 3 and 12, came for ten Sunday mornings to play and hear about the Bible. Well over 100 Faith students chose to rise at 6.30 each Sunday to spend time with these young people and to help disciple them.

The OMF family in Manila is an excellent support and our fortnightly dinners and prayer meetings opened my eyes to the vastness of what God is doing in this nation of the Philippines and beyond into Asia. My passion to pray for the nations was stirred and a global vision was birthed as I saw the great work of God through the Home Teams as well as those who had come from so many other nations and had worked in the Philippines for years. How exciting it is to be part of the bigger picture.

It is a wonderful reality to know that God does not retire us and that He continues to take us on exciting adventures. No matter what our age we are still part of His mission. Now I can only say how grateful I am to our Father God for taking me on this journey. I highly recommend it to retirees who are sensing God’s gentle stretch out of the comfort zone.

Original story on OMF Australia website