Food, education, health and security are vital elements for the spiritual growth and the physical development of a human being. I think of them as fundamental human rights. If we have the right to live, then we have the right to eat good food, the right to be educated, the right to live a healthy life and the right to protection. This is evident in the life of every human being. Parents—mothers especially—seek to provide these four things. They provide food to their babies and raise them with moral education. They are their children’s first doctors and the first to protect them from danger.
In some ways, the church can be thought of as a mother that provides good spiritual food, good moral and practical education, good health education and excellent faith-based security in the Lord. These were evident in the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. He fed, He taught, He healed, and He provided security (calm in the storm). In our various ministries to the unreached, these should be our keys to enter closed territories.
In our ministry in Guinea, we focus on meeting the fundamental need for quality education. Our school is one of the premiere institutions in Fria. In the national exams every year, our students produce among the best results in our city. Therefore, we have attracted Muslim parents, animist parents and parents from other religions to bring their children to us for a quality Adventist education. Our school currently has 681 students—627 Muslims, 35 non-Adventist Christians, and 19 Adventists. This majority of non-Adventists in our school is exactly what we want, because they are our mission field. The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” By providing high-quality education for our students’ minds, we gain the opportunity to educate their hearts and bring them to Jesus.
Having bought into Adventist education, our students’ Muslim parents have no problem with us praying with their children. Some even visit our church on Sabbath. Our Muslim teachers attend our staff morning devotions every day, and we all pray in Jesus’ name. Some even request prayer and share their testimonies when their prayers are answered.
Many parents have shared with us how the lives of their children have changed since they came to our school. Recently, our AFM President, Pastor Conrad Vine, and our Field Director, Marc Coleman, came to our project. They visited the school and each of the fifteen classes. In one of the classes, after Pastor Conrad finished giving words of advice to the second-grade students, a little Fulani Muslim boy said, “Let us pray.” We all smiled, but we were not surprised. This is what their teacher has taught them.
Six years ago, a group of Muslim sixth graders put Jesus to the test. Before taking their national exams, they fasted and prayed in Jesus’ name, and He manifested Himself to them in a mighty way. All of them passed their exams with excellent scores. Since then, it has become a tradition in our school for students preparing for the national exams to organize themselves for three days of prayer and fasting. They invite our church pastor every evening to pray for them that Jesus will help them understand the exam questions and remember what they have learned.
On March 23 we held our education Sabbath. With the school director, we organized a special Sabbath program at the school campus and invited the parents, teachers, students and representatives from the local education department. We rented chairs and provided food and refreshments. There was standing room only. During Sabbath School, we spoke on the philosophy of Adventist education, and the school director further explained its goals in her sermon. The Pathfinder club also displayed their talents in marching and reciting Bible verses. All the parents were amazed by their performance, and some Muslims asked if their children could join the Pathfinder club. So we are now encouraging our Adventist kids to start a Pathfinder club at the school.
As we strive to provide excellent Adventist education to the children in our city, we would like to develop our teachers’ skills. We are working on fusing the national education program with our Adventist education program. In November this year, we are going to start a three-year teacher-training program in collaboration with the Andrews University education department. We are also preparing our new campus for the 2019/2020 school year.
Please continue to pray for all of our students, their parents and their teachers as we plant seeds of truth in their hearts and minds.