Education is an important step in the process of preparing for service. We’re called to do everything for the glory of God and that includes preparing ourselves to be the best tools for His kingdom we can. Paul, after his conversion, spent three years learning and studying. Being prepared both with spiritual knowledge and physical knowledge is vital for effective ministry.
A missionary will want to equip himself or herself with not only spiritual knowledge, but cultural and worldly knowledge, as well, so as to relate effectively with others.
Education not only prepares the missionary for the mission field, but also opens up opportunities, such as in the case of Professor Leah Morangu. During our Mission Immersion trip to Nairobi, Kenya, on the day we focused on education, she shared with us her story.
"In my early years, if not for [a] missionary, I wouldn't be here today," she told our group of 42 high school students from the United States, Canada, South Africa and Europe.
Morangu’s mother believed that education was not important and did not want her daughter to pursue it. But because her then missionary teacher felt Morangu would go far in life if given a good education, she helped Morangu through school. Morangu then was able to pursue a higher education in America and eventually become the vice chancellor at Africa Nazarene University (ANU).
The students then participated in a scavenger hunt around the ANU campus, looking for information about each department, including admissions and the library. We also played a game in which we were given the profile of a fictional person and the resources to discover what their background and resources might be. Then we were instructed to develop a story about how a missionary changed the fictional person’s life.
There were several stages to consider and we were given many obstacles and challenges such as disease, visa issues, family problems, blessings and many more while making the story. Current missionaries and teachers Rod Reed, Russell Lovett and Verna Stanton judged the teams on how well we went through the story.
"It made my expectations more realistic," said Blair Foster, a participant from Central Ohio.
Overall, education day was an eye opening and learning experience for many of us. We learned about the importance of education in the mission field, as well as to have realistic expectations of outcomes in the mission field.