Southwestern Christian University President Dr. Reggies Wenyika may have stumbled on the steps on his way up to the stage, but it was the only hiccup in an otherwise flawless performance. Over 400 people packed into the small chapel at the Boston International School as President Wenyika started the proceedings at the Obed 2016 Christian Educators Convention.
The school’s principal, Kika Reyes, had led the worship band in song, and the crowd was treated to some traditional Colombian dancing from the students of the Boston International School. A stand out performance came from eleventh grader, Gabriela Mercado, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and told she would never walk. Her voice was a true gift from God, and her story is one of hope, faith, and courage.
"Prepare your students for work in this life, not the next"
President Wenyika spoke passionately about how big a role a teacher has in a child's life. He recalled a story about his own teachers whilst growing up in Zimbabwe. These teachers took an interest in him when he had run away from home and had very few material possessions which included a dirty school uniform and a snapped off branch that he used as a toothbrush. The crowd laughed as President Wenyika did his best impression of his English teacher who was a chain smoker and spoke like a "toad." Without his teacher’s encouragement, Wenyika claims he would have never had the self-confidence to try a new language and ultimately live in a foreign country.
"Christian education is about transformation"
Farid Arana, the school’s chaplain, concluded the conference by having the congregation of teachers repeat the mandate. Wenyika's message of highlighting the importance of teachers rang loud in the chapel, and it was encouraging to see so many young and enthusiastic teachers in Colombia.
Students graduate at sixteen in Colombia, so there are a lot of young teachers being employed across the field. This is why such conferences as the Obed Christian Educators is an important convention for teachers to attend. Information from such figures as President Wenyika is invaluable, and shaping a young person is a huge responsibility for a new teacher. Having said that, it was encouraging to see these educators eagerness to learn as well as their desire to help provide a suitable environment for a student to grow both academically and spiritually.
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Posted on Wed, October 5, 2016
by James Kilvington