Transformation Through Christian Education
It has been said that an education provides the best route out of poverty. Most people think of poverty as lack of material possessions, but it affects so much more. Poverty invades a person’s identity and negatively affects how someone views themselves socially, emotionally and spiritually. Therefore, Edify believes that the best route out of poverty is transformation through Christian education.
Empowering schools to improve and expand so students can receive a quality education is crucial, yet Edify’s vision goes beyond that. We desire to see the millions of children who experience the global education crisis first-hand to discover their true identity in Jesus. When a person places their identity in Jesus, their physical poverty may not change, yet their social, emotional and spiritual poverty does, because they understand their value as being created in the image of God. We desire to bring light to places that are both spiritually and economically poor.
Do you notice anything special about this picture?
Mr. Lampu Koren, the founder of TMT Academy in Manipur, Northeast India, grew up as an orphan without an education. He started the school with his daughter, Hoinu Koreing (pictured), now the school’s Director, out of his desire to do more for his community. In 2013, the school launched with only 35 students in a rented space. After partnering with Edify, they received a loan to purchase a plot of land and build classrooms. They now have 250 students! TMT Academy is growing quickly and becoming well-known in the area as a quality, low-fee Christian school.
Do you see the picture differently now? Do you still see the rugged and rocky terrain? Or is the beaming woman with drive and purpose who your eye is drawn to? The small potted plants behind her were a gift from her father; she places a plant in each classroom with the reminder that there is always hope in dry land. Because of Hoinu’s commitment, TMT Academy is flourishing.
Transformation That Facilitates Flourishing
What do we mean by flourishing Godly nations? The Word of God provides examples in Genesis 1 and 2 when He declares that everything He had made is good, and when Jesus teaches us to pray “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10). We know that many of our everyday experiences, especially for those in the underserved communities, are far from God’s original intent.
Flourishing starts when people’s lives are transformed – it starts with the Gospel. When people accept and love Jesus, He transforms them to become more like Himself. When we are in close relationship with God, we move from a mindset of scarcity (poverty) to a mindset of abundance (flourishing).
When the Gospel impacts people, they make an impression on their communities. The influence of transformed people and communities will impact whole nations, and they will then begin to flourish.
Take a look at the photo one more time. The brand-new classrooms are simply constructed with wood and corrugated tin. The stairs leading to the school’s entrance are dug out of rocky soil. But Hoinu Koreing’s smile and those few potted plants change everything. They represent hope and the promise of flourishing.
Flourishing Godly Nations
At Edify, we hope that it is clear how focused we are on accomplishing our mission and vision. That, however, does not mean we only seek transformation in the lives of the students we serve. As a Christ-centered organization, we want to be agents of transformation with whomever we interact and wherever we go. We want the teachers who attend a Christian Transformation training to grow deeper in their walk with God so they can implement biblical principles in their classrooms. When we install a computer lab in Ghana, we hope the school owner knows how much we care for them and the success of their school. When a Director of Edification and Philanthropy meets with a potential financial partner in the US, we hope they feel heard and cared for before we even discuss their potential involvement with Edify. The same way we desire to see the Truth of the Gospel and the Word of God impact lives within our partner schools, we also must remain open to that same transforming power in our own lives. It is what shapes us more into Christ’s likeness and allows us to flourish in our pursuit of the Great Commission through education.
Will you flourish with us?