Do you remember a significant teacher in your life? What made them so special? My wife Kimberly stayed in touch with one of her high school teachers for many years (I probably shouldn’t say exactly how many years—haha!). She was profoundly affected by his care and concern for her, not only educationally, but personally as well. This distinct relationship reminds me of the influence that teachers possess. As instructors, we have the opportunity to teach “knowledge and good judgment,”as the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:66. This text refers to two domains: knowledge and wisdom. They are distinct topics and excellent teachers are able to teach both simultaneously. Students who sit in their classrooms not only learn the subject material, they also develop strong character, life skills and an awareness of their divine purpose.
By God’s grace, and because of the intentional efforts of Liz Ingabire and Fred Karangwa, the faculty at Hope Haven Rwanda is consistently recognized as exceptional! Our teachers have strong English skills, astonishing classroom management and excellent relationships with their students. There have been days when I wanted to be back in the classroom as I observe what our students are learning and the unique relationships they have with their teachers.
We were recently able to host a Teacher Training Conference, led by Professor Lynn Fisher, a member of our Board of Trustees, and an experienced educator. Lynn was also joined by some of her students from Colorado Christian University. They learned alongside our Hope Haven teachers while inviting teachers from our local community to spend a Saturday learning best practices, receiving encouragement from each other and observing demonstrations in the classroom.
For many years, Rwanda has suffered from a shortage of well-qualified teachers. Because of the extraordinary faculty we have been blessed with, and because of this distinct need in Rwanda, we believe that God is leading us to specifically prepare our students to be world-changing Rwandan educators. This will likely involve preparing students to enter university following completion of their “A Levels” with a focus on Education. There will definitely be more information coming soon about this unique focus and we invite you to pray with us now as we plan.
As a part of our research process, Lynn, Liz, Fred and I visited a Teacher Training College, interviewing the administration, exploring the facilities and even engaging with some of the students. We left very encouraged about the potential for long-term impact! God is doing something incredibly special at Hope Haven Rwanda and we hope you will continue to be part of the story!