Flash in the Pan or Boots on the Ground?

Missions don’t just happen, boom! like that. Something that happens all at once, out of the blue is ‘a flash in the pan,’ and has a rather negative connotation. Missions, like military operations need planning, ‘boots on the ground’, a system of accountability and administration and funding. We can argue that the present system is broken, ineffective and more.  yet, you have to start somewhere, and you can’t beat something with nothing. Whatever your critique, missions will always require planning, boots on the ground and system of accountability and administration and funding.

With this is mind, my boots (shoes really) are on the ground, I am working with missionaries in an established theonomic work, ministering to children. I am seeking people with vision to expand the Kingdom of God on earth, a love for the Lord and his Law who can see the value of the work I am doing, both locally, here in Mexico, and globally, with LRNteach. I hope the following part of my application to CTEN mission, will give you an insight into my vision, and how I plan to realise that vision. Your feedback is most welcome.

Describe how and when you sensed a calling to the mission field

My mission is to a particular discipline, ‘Christian education,’ not to a particular place. My journey started in 1996, in a university tutorial on the history of the 1859 revival. We were discussing the causes of the revival, and listed the social, economic and political causes    , but God was nowhere present. I asked if we could include God as one  of the causes, the Professor’s response made it clear that there was no space for the God of the Bible in that particular tutorial, and, by extension, there was no rightful place for the God of the Bible anywhere in the state education system. This moment sparked a quest for answers; “how did God and his Word fit in with day-to-day learning and teaching?” I slowly came to realise that God had not only given me a question to answer, but a job to do, to learn and teach in the name of Christ.
I also grew up reading a lot of Christian missionary biographies and, as a member of Young Life U.K., regularly met missions speakers. My father is in ‘full-time service’ as a pastor, many uncles, aunts and cousins are likewise engaged in ‘full-time Christian service.’ I considered this a normal ‘career’ option, and intended to dedicate myself to the most effective form of ‘full-time Christian service’ possible, after graduating from university.

Describe any formal and informal Bible training you have received

I attended Belfast Bible college for 18 Months, from January 2008 to June 2010, I qualified with a Postgraduate Diploma (distinction) in Theological Education. I have maintained a habit of listening to sermons and Christian talks outside of Sunday meetings and have kept up a habit of daily Bible readings and reading Christian books and articles to expand my knowledge of God and His Word and the application of this Word to all of life. I have been encouraged to give Bible talks at Young Life from my mid-teens.

Describe your conversion experience and present relationship with the Lord. Include the date of your conversion and any other pertinent information about your Christian walk

I was brought up in a Christian family and was acquainted with Sin, the requirement of God’s justice and the coming judgement. I was pressed in a Christian meeting when I was 10 about the reality of my salvation and realised that I wasn’t a Christian. I sought assurance of salvation for a few months and God answered my prayer in July, 1984.
I was introduced to the disciplines of regular Bible study and prayer some time later, a discipline which I have maintained ’til today. I have maintained membership in Evangelical Churches, have listened to sermons and Christian talks, read Christian books and articles, investing in my knowledge of the Christian faith.
I have been involved in Christian ministry of one kind or another since my teens, including personal witnessing, street preaching, giving talks at Christian meetings, supporting the work of Christian missions through technical support and teaching in Christian schools.
I have vowed to the Lord to return to my native Northern Ireland to help promote Christian Education there, but not until I have gained enough experience and ability to offer a real, Christian alternative to the present, humanistic, norm.

Describe your ministry vision and plan. Include information concerning the local ministries and churches you will be working with on your field of service

Current Ministry
My main ministry is teaching English as a Second Language. I am responsible for around 80 children and adults six classes; one kindergarten, two primary, two secondary and one adult group and oversee the teaching of another advanced group. I am responsible for the overall English programme and the overseeing of a non-native English teacher.
In addition to these daily duties, I help with social media for the ministry, producing videos for the Vision-Mexico YouTube channel, Facebook page and website.
I also manage a related ministry ‘LRNteach’ ‘Christian Education for poor and marginalised Children’. I interview authors, businessmen and educators on the theme of Christian education in principle and practice. I also produce two weekly shows, one on Christian education and the other on various doctrinal issues.

Vision

Long-Term

My vision is to make self-consciously Christian education available, through the marketplace, to ‘poor and marginalised children,’ through, first, the creation of an electronic ESL curriculum and, further, the assembly of a complete Christian curriculum for primary and secondary children, with support materials for teachers.

Medium-Term

My medium-term goal is to develop a self-consciously Christian, electronic, ESL curriculum for Kindergarten, primary and secondary children in schools and home schools.
To this end I have;

  1. Gained two years classroom experience teaching ESL and
  2. Committed to a further five years, subject to yearly review, as the lead teacher in the ESL programme of the newly-formed ‘Fundación Pierre Viret.’
  3. Started a YouTube channel to network and learn video editing skills.
  4. Recorded four audiobooks and committed myself to recording more, to become competent in audio creation and production.

I have also committed to reading and blogging on;

  1. The principles of language learning and teaching.
  2. Classroom management.
  3. Learning theories.

In addition, I have committed to becoming competent in;

  1. Appropriate E-Learning authoring tools.
  2. ‘Studio’ video recording.
  3. Online marketing.

Summary

My calling is to promote, and facilitate Christian education for the poor and marginalised, in the developing world, and in my native Northern Ireland. I acknowledge that this is not the work of one man, but will require help from many sources, particularly the Church of Christ, in my local area, wherever that might be, and appropriate partnerships with Christian institutions, including CTEN.

You can give, right away to support the work of LRNteach and my work teaching in Mexico via PayPal,

or through a gift to Roger and Marcy Oliver.Roger-Marcy-graduation-2012-270x211

 

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