Guest essay by Ronald Kirk
What if you could help powerfully redeem a long-broken but promising African nation to Christ, to see a significant answer to Christ’s prayer—God’s will be done on earth?
A little explanation…
Back in the early 1980s, my wife and I started a pioneering Christian day school called the Master’s School. Through an extended fellowship of Christian activists and soon to become life-long friends, we rediscovered the great heritage of scholarship, education and action that produced the liberating Biblical Reformation and eventually the United States of America.
The recovery of this great Christian cultural heritage from its negligent obscurity fueled our imaginations toward a thoroughly Biblical view of Christian life that would produce real changes in society—changes such as the Scriptures promise when Jesus’ work flourishes to become mainstreamed in real peoples’ real lives. We wished to produce Biblically envisioned Christians ready to serve God in every aspect of their lives.
We know this happens when God’s people get hold of the vision God plants in His people. No one could stop God’s hand on Noah, Abraham, King David, Paul the Apostle, King Alfred the Great of England, or the American Pilgrims. This very heritage, with contributions by many other Biblical thinkers led to the American resistance to tyranny and the fledgling but historically monumental and fruitful American experiment in Christian self-government.
The Bible and examples from providential history of Biblical fruit gave us insight and tools we needed. We learned how first to identify the Biblically mature and complete Christian. What are his qualities of character, wisdom, knowledge and skills? Then we identified Biblically grounded content, teaching methods and the qualities of relationship needed to achieve our Biblically identified ends.
We were persuaded that there should be no gap between Biblical theory and effective practice save what faithful dependence on God requires. God gave us tremendous encouragement with the results.
After a few years of together learning and applying what we learned, the Dangers family joined our little school.
Jay Dangers, the son of missionaries, was born in Africa—in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then called Zaire. Jay and Vicki already possessed a unique vision for applied faith evangelistic work. The Dangers, as adults then took this vision to Uganda to minister to the devastated Idi Amin orphans and widows. Amin broke this country with his demonic tyranny and murder. Our work complemented theirs providing rigorous Biblical thinking to produce a comprehensive view of Christian life which typical outworking blesses the family and the community through godly relationships and economic activity, all upon a faithful evangelism.
Though discovery of a more ancient Christian evangelism in Uganda would not be surprising, animism—the worship of spirits in everything—has been the mainstream religion. The recent Christian history of Uganda is short. David Livingstone opened a flurry of missionary activity in East Africa that in turn produced a fledgling Christian education. Since the end of the Amin era many Christian ministries have continued to lay evangelical foundations.
However, the Dangers’s work through New Hope Uganda at Kasana Children’s Center is unique. For twenty-five years the Dangers’s and their Ugandan friends have built new families, taught Biblical man- and womanhood, provided a sound education, and inculcated a godly work ethic applied to agriculture and other industry. They have taught civic responsibility as fundamental to the Great Commission. The amazing results with the sons and daughters of Kasana with their high scholastic achievement, productive entry into Ugandan culture, and burgeoning leadership have caught the attention of Ugandan leaders—civic, business, academic and Christian ministry.
Inspired by the teachings and success of New Hope Uganda, one young man, Godfrey Kyazze (pronounced Cha-zay’) has studied the Kirk’s life work for the past four years. This inspiration has led to sharing the vision with educators such as Dr. Gillian Kasirye, education professor and curriculum specialist at Makerere University in Kampala.
Godfrey and Gillian are now spearheading a movement to found the Master’s Institute for Education (MIE)—a teachers college and education advocacy organization. What is unique about MIE is that this work led by Ugandans has the encouragement of many Ugandan leaders as well. It is a movement whose time has come.
The first classes to train godly professional teachers—including several PhDs and college instructors—have already begun. This work is on its way, Lord willing.
As effective pioneers in a uniquely Biblical approach to education, NHU has urged us to make additional contribution, to take an active role in teacher training and curriculum development for MIE. We’re needed to provide the practical, hands-on element, typical of our successful, crafted work. Our first visit to Uganda last September was very encouraging.
Christina and I spent the September trip in Uganda helping to lay philosophical and practical plans alongside the New Hope governing board and launching team. We hope to return as soon as possible to contribute our now decades of crafting and fleshing out our educational system—known as Get Wisdom! We have found that using our Biblical approach, we can very quickly reproduce this system to a very high degree of accomplishment. Also, our Ugandan friends have asked us to help develop curriculum both for the teachers college as well as child education.
I would add that the new Nordskog Publishing book Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed is an exploration of the thinking that produced our educational work. Designed to be a popular read, the book explores every area of life in Biblical and Kingdom terms. At the same time, it teaches basic skills in applied Biblical thinking and action. We believe Thy Will Be Done is an important ministry in itself, holding seeds of restored Christian society. Any royalties will go to the Uganda work.
Anyone interested in this work might visit the Get Wisdom! Master’s Institute for Education web page: www.getwisdom.us/mie1.