George Ferrar: January 2012

PRAYER CAMPAIGN FOR EDUCATION. As I’ve written, I’m planning to hand over my leadership of BC-HOP (Belize City House of Prayer) to a qualified successor as soon as God gives grace for the much-prophesied resurrection of Caye Caulker High School. God showed me He wants BC-HOP established first so that He can release power for all the schools and ministries in Belize. But I wasn’t able to find a teacher to lead prayer for the “mountain” of Education until recently. Teachers in Belize are overworked, and most don’t yet realize that a little prayer can go a long way in easing their burdens and speeding their gains—as our other prayer leaders have found.

At last Ernest Betson (see photo), the warm-hearted, cheerfully busy Presbyterian pastor and founder-principal of Unity Presbyterian School, caught the vision and agreed to lead prayer. It took us time to develop a prayer campaign, as we do with each of the 7 mountains of influence—Family, Religion, Economy, Government, Arts, and Media, as well as Education. In each campaign we identify the short-range breakthroughs we need to make progress to long-range goals, so we can achieve our ultimate purpose. But what is tha ultimate purpose? That’s something I admit, in planning out CCHS, that I had not fully developed. What are we teaching students for?

PURPOSE STATEMENT. It took several phone calls and sessions on Ernest’s white-pillared porch overlooking the Caribbean Sea to find out. But we prayed through and worked out a purpose statement: To pass on the learning of past generations and produce students who can assess their developing SHAPEs (Spiritual gifts & callings, Heart passion, Abilities, Personality & Experience), contribute to team-building, and keep learning and solving problems as they arise in the 7 mountains of influence on local, national & global levels. (The acronym SHAPE we got from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.)

It’s not enough for students to answer our questions and pass our tests. They must learn to ask questions, find answers from God, and pass His tests. Who is God calling me to be? How have I progressed in my calling? How fully is my heart engaged? How am I using His gifts and developing my abilities? How does my personality interact with others? What experience do I have, and what more do I need?

If we stop there, we have an individual who knows only himself. No one can realize his recalling without knowing how to work on a team. This, we are convinced, is a key element that most schools miss. God designed us as cooperative members of a body. “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:16).

Teams are looking for members who can keep learning as times change, and keep solving problems as they arise. The most valuable team members have an overview of the seven mountains, because these mountains do not stand alone but are interconnected in a wide range of concerns. Family and Education prepare children for involvement in the other mountains. Economy is the means we all use and the way the world works. Government steers the world. Arts portray, enhance and transcend it. Media publicizes the most important developments. The more we succeed in managing these mountains on the local level, the more we will graduate to national and international levels.

Education is in essence making disciples of all nations, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt.28:20). We must take one step at a time. The Education prayer campaign is our map. Below are steps, short-range to long-range, in the transformation of our schools, teachers and students:

Teachers and resources

Honoring God as the Originator and Guide for every school subject
Raising up more men and women as Christian teachers & administrators with biblical worldviews
Conversion of non-believing and nominal teachers into ones passionate for Jesus and His purposes
Elimination of homosexual and other ungodly agendas in curriculum
Textbooks & resources with a bibical worldview on all subjects, including intelligent design
Christian teacher review boards with higher standards than Belize’s Teaching Service Commission
Thorough, well-paced, divinely-appointed course plans with room for Holy Spirit initiatives
Integration of course plans so teachers can know and build on teaching in other courses

Parents and conditions outside school

Right relationships among stakeholders for the good of the school & community
More connections with parents leading to better understanding and cooperation
Counseling for dysfunctional families to grow in right relationships with healthy boundaries
Agreement on times and quiet spaces at home for students’ schoolwork
Family finances to support ongoing education of all family members
Safety and watchful eyes for students going to and from school
Counseling & good alternatives for students caught in fornication, drugs, violence & self-destruction

Conditions in schools
More time in the school day for heart-to-heart worship & prayer, both planned and spontaneous
Presenting Him as the Originator and Guide for every school subject
More room for God during the day in heart-to-heart communications with students

As we make room, He will address every difficulty in learning, discipline & communication
Agreement among teachers & students on practicing biblical values
Simple but comprehensive discipline plans which teachers & students agree on enforcing
Divine protection so that students will consider weapons unnecessary
A grace-filled social climate with basic cooperation and healthy, respectful competition
Respect and proper boundaries between the sexes
Good male and female role models who help students grow in their God-given identities & callings

Learning activities
Purposeful learning activities that build step-by-step into greater understandings
Classroom management of varied lessons that fully engage students with different aptitudes
Opportunities to learn teamwork with team assignments and assessments
Students who excel in any skill to teach other students, and help them outside the classroom
Equipping students to assess and improve their spiritual, mental, emotional and physical growth
Growth in understanding how each learning unit contributes to the big picture
Methods and content that interact proactively with a quickly changing world
Increased access to computers and other devices as students grow more responsible

Applying learning to life

Relevance of lessons to current developments on the 7 mountains of influence
Development of habits of lifelong learning and solving problems
Promotions, based on thorough ongoing assessments, only when students are ready
Jobs available upon graduation which will utilize & develop students’ skills for the greater good
Preparing this generation for ongoing divine transformation at local, national & world levels

Agree in prayer with us, that as we seek first His kingdom and righteousness in Education in Belize, all these things will be added to us on Caye Caulker.
Yours in Christ, George