Capturing Teacher’s Hearts in Uganda .
Written by: Cindy Nick
While traveling to Uganda with Team 37 a few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit several PCM classrooms and observe the PCM teachers in action. I couldn’t help but admire the way they inspired their students to achieve excellence in an environment that included little more than a chalkboard and a piece of chalk. Students were engaged, focused and eager to learn. Having been an educator for the past 37 years, I was inspired by the level of commitment that these teachers had for their students; I hugged them, applauded them and then went on with my life.
Last August, God began to put a stirring in my spirit for the teachers in Uganda. As a new school year started in Texas, my heart was suddenly drawn to another continent far away. I felt a yearning to somehow connect with the PCM teachers again, so I began to pray for them. Life went on. After several months of divine appointments (which included the PCM Choir performance at my school), I knew I was supposed to be doing more than pray.
In the spring, teacher Jonathan stayed in my home while visiting the United States. He shared his heart with me and I was convinced that God was leading me back to Uganda for the purpose of building relationships with teachers. Fast forward to Trip 73 and Rwemikoma School: a school not frequently visited by PCM teams because of its remote location. I saw God’s plan unfold before my eyes as we spent a beautiful afternoon just loving on teachers and support staff. They shared their hearts with us as we listened to them reflect on the reasons “why” they became teachers and the difference they were making in the lives of the PCM students.
We laughed, we prayed, we discipled and we built bridges between teachers from two continents. Most PCM teachers do not think of their work as a profession, but as a calling from God. They teach to serve others and contribute to the advancement of humanity. Many of the teachers sacrifice extended time away from their own families in order to teach. They certainly reflect Col. 3:23-24, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ”. We reminded the teachers that the seeds they are planting now in young hearts and minds will grow and bring forth much fruit, even if they never see the immediate fruits of their labor. We used an illustrated message about “bucket filling” to demonstrate the importance of pouring into the lives of others through encouragement, prayer, acts of kindness and reading the word. We shared that when our “spiritual” buckets are full, we can more effectively bring joy and happiness into our classrooms.
Our team gave the teachers a much-needed break from their classrooms while the students created cards with inspiring messages for their teachers. We presented the cards to the teachers at the conclusion of our day.
My heart was full as I watched the teachers smile and laugh, reading each card.
Our day would not have been complete without loving on the support staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes, cooking, cleaning and nurturing the students and staff at every PCM school. They are the unsung heroes, the hands and feet of Jesus, serving faithfully. Each teacher and member of the support staff received a t-shirt and motivational book reflecting the many roles they play in the lives of their students.
We left them with Deuteronomy 32:2 “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants”. I hope that we were able to capture the hearts of the teachers in Uganda; they certainly captured ours.
To God be the glory!