Tuesday, June 21, 2011

They Have Transformed Our School!

Roderick, Muyano, and Benson are three of my former students. I visited them at Sinde Basic School yesterday. Here is their story.

Lina Tiyo, headmistress of Sinde Basic School, glows with enthusiasm as she describes the three George Benson Christian College graduates who began teaching at her school in January. “They have transformed our school!’ she announces proudly.
Roderick Siantobolo, Muyano Siabulumbi, and Benson Kapule finished their coursework at GBCC in December. Their official teaching credentials will not be ready for several months, but for now they are already in the classroom and making a huge difference in the rural community of Sinde. Benson teaches math and science, Muyano teaches English, and Roderick teaches history and religious education. All three are coaching sports teams and providing supervision for the students who board at the school. “Before they came, I was the only one who wanted to have chapel,” Miss Tiyo explains. “Now we have chapel every day, and they are teaching the pupils how to lead the chapel services,” She adds, “Their behavior is outstanding, and they are role models for the pupils.”

A GBCC graduate herself, Miss Tiyo requested help in 2009. Sinde is a grant-aided school and is allowed to emphasize and teach the Christian faith, but its teachers are hired and paid by the government. For several years the teachers who were sent to Sinde by the government were not committed Christians and did not provide spiritual leadership for the school or the church.
In January of this year, the Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland offered to support GBCC graduates who would agree to serve in the rural Christian schools under the Namwianga umbrella. Benson, Muyano, and Roderick were chosen for their excellence in academic performance, their Christian character, and their leadership skills. They receive a small living allowance for their services now, but it is expected that the government will soon hire them on as official teachers and they will be self-supporting.

Beyond their duties as educators, the three GBCC grads are working with the local Church of Christ. The congregation had split in 2010, but the new teachers have been able to help heal the division. Benson and Roderick share the preaching duties with other men of the congregation, and they also teach a Saturday Bible study class. Muyano is in charge of the children’s Sunday School classes. The three of them started a visitation program, and now they go out with other members to call on those who are sick or who have been absent from church services. Benson notes that attendance has been climbing steadily and that people who had stopped coming in years past are now back.

Muyano says her education at GBCC prepared her well for the challenges she faces at Sinde. “The Bible studies and chapel services (at college) helped us. We don’t fumble here and there, and we emulate what we learned from the college.” History teacher Roderick adds that his college training helped him learn “the importance of a good model and how to be a good model.”

Benson, Muyano, and Roderick are representative of the many Namwianga-trained teachers who are teaching with excellence and spreading the gospel all over the country of Zambia. Schools and communities everywhere echo the plea: “Send us more teachers from George Benson Christian College!”

These three teachers would not have been able to go to college without sponsorship. Others like them are waiting for sponsors right now. If you would like to help train self-supporting evangelists in Zambia, please consider sponsoring a high school or college student at Namwianga.

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