Most of us will have heard at some time or other something like this: “He gets so stressed out-it must be because he is a perfectionist.” People who speak like this give us a glimpse as to what their worldview is. This quest for perfection is a fool’s errand. The writer of Psalm 119 knew this full well. He says in verse 96 “To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.” He states in this psalm that there is a limit to all perfection. Nothing on earth is without limit or boundary. The boundaries of geography contain the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world. The boundaries of time restrict what we can accomplish in a given day. The limitations of our physical bodies determine what we are capable of doing without assistance from others or some form of technology. Every created thing will decay and wear out-eventually.
Even your cell phone which gave you so much joy when you first acquired it two years ago no longer gives you the sense of status and prestige that it once did. Now it is scratched, the memory is too small and horror of horrors you have to delete some of your photographs in order to continue downloading applications! If only you had the next version then life would be good again! So you think!
There is, however, no limit to God’s perfection. As Creator He is the standard for perfection. We see this in Isaiah 40:13-14: “Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows Him his counsel? Whom did He consult and who made Him understand? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?”
As Christian teachers we need to be aware of our tendencies to demand perfection rather than excellence. One is do-able,the other is not. It is only as the Psalmist ponders His statutes that he sees the limitations of a fractured world of which we are part. This will make us more empathetic in our teaching as our pupils discover for themselves their own limitations and learn to accept themselves and God’s estimation of them: “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Songs 4:7)
ACSI ZIMBABWE NATIONAL COORDINATOR
IN THIS ISSUE
Christian Education Snippets
From the Chair……
+263 786 031 794
Declared by some “the best survival book in a decade” 438 Days is the true story of a man who survived fourteen months in a small boat drifting seven thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean.
On November 17, 2012, two men, Alvarenga and his friend Ezequiel Cordoba left the coast of Mexico for a weekend fishing trip in the open Pacific. That night, a violent storm ambushed them as they were fishing eighty miles offshore. As gale force winds and ten-foot waves pummelled their small, open boat from all sides and nearly capsized them, captain Salvador Alvarenga and his crewmate cut away a two-mile-long fishing line and began a desperate dash through crashing waves as they sought the safety of port.
They managed to get to within 20 miles of their desired haven when their outboard motor packed up. Now at the mercy of all the currents they were blown far out to sea. At the end of three months of living by their wits they had both lost weight and were battling to ensure that their water supply carried sufficient to keep them alive. The men had very different characters. Cordoba was given to bouts of depression and he came to believe that he would die shortly. Alvarenga on the other hand had a deeply held conviction that they would both survive the ordeal and live to tell others about it. Cordoba got thinner and thinner and began to entertain thoughts of suicide. Alvarenga did everything in his power to keep his friend alive. He gave him a generous share of the water which they gathered each day and prepared his food like a
cordon bleu. Notwithstanding these efforts Cordoba eventually died hopeless and despairing.
Victor Frankl , well-known neurologist and pioneer of logotherapy, who was an inmate of at least three prisoners of war camps came to believe that only those who had hope in a better future would form the majority of those who would survive the ordeal of being a prisoner of war. He cites the example of two men whom he knew. One man believed that he would survive to see his wife again while the other felt doomed to die in the concentration camp. Within a month the second man was dead.
For the Christian the best always lies ahead! We live in tough times, in a country on the brink of economic disaster, in a world on the cusp of a third world war. It is easy to look at our circumstances and to give up, to despair and to lose hope. At moments like this we must turn to God’s Word and read what God promises to His children. Look what Paul prays for the recipients of his letter to the Romans:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow
with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The above is our theme-verse for the Christian Educators’ Conference later on this year. Look at all the positive words and phrases:
God of hope; joy; peace; overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit.
Is this your experience now? If you’re honest you are probably like me and many others. We glimpse the truth, we have moments of joy. Let’s ask God’s Spirit to give us overflowing hope, peace and joy as a steady experience of His love for us!
ACSI (ZIMBABWE) Coordinator
ACSI ZIMBABWE ADVISORY BOARD 2022
Back Row (Left to Right) : Eric Zinyengere, Kevin Ricquebourg, Lenard Mudiwa, Gus Hulley, Unity Sakhe
Front Row (Left to Right) : Sarah Cross (Chair), George Faneti, Tunga Mashungu, Tavonga Goto, Melanie Martin, Caroline Chirume, Temba Mkhosana, Charmian Deysel
From the Chair…………..
“Shalom” – Peace – was the recent theme for the ACSI Global day of prayer. It is more than a Hebrew greeting.It is more than just well-being. It is an understanding that we have a part to play in God’s larger story. Before time began, God planned for you and your school to make a difference in your community, right where you are, for such a time as this. It is contentment found in Jesus no matter the cultural tides encircling us. As the global team said, “When the Shalom of the Lord is present there is flourishing”, in other words, there is growth and beautiful, extensive, vibrant growth.
As we begin to look ahead at 2022, we are excited at the new opportunities and praying for God’s favour and growth in our membership and areas of influence. We long to be more accessible to anyone interested across Zimbabwe whether in government or private education. We are also looking at how to be a clearer voice in education, declaring God’s standards from a Biblical worldview. We believe this to be key to true holistic education and transformational for our country. In line with ACSI Global, we will be focusing on the 3 pillars of advancement, access, and advocacy. A key part of our advancement is that we long to strengthen partnerships with churches and other interested Christian organisations or individuals. We are also looking at new trainings and continuing to promote PSI, the Paths to School Improvement programme. For access, we continue to work on our data base, strengthen our social media platforms and presence, and also seek ways to subsidise membership fees for struggling schools. Our role in advocacy for now is building relationships and seeking to be a voice for integrating a Biblical worldview in education both to encourage individual teachers as well as institutions.
Please take time to look at our calendar and support any trainings or events as appropriate. Please also give us feedback on events or needs that you have and would like us to include in our partnership with you or your school or church.
In the month of February, many schools and churches and our communities celebrated.
supporting the cause of childhood cancer. Did you know that the founder, Mrs Andrea Whatman, is a member of one of our Associate members, Northside Community Church, and her heart is that Christ stays at the centre of Kidzcan, that each child and family know and hear about Jesus and His love and grace in their lives. We have included a bit of history on Kidzcan so that you can continue to pray and partner and see Gods blessings through being obedient to God’s call, one step at a time.
You will see on the calendar that we are excited to be having a visit by Sean Moore, the Director of ACSI Southern Africa, in early March, and he will be running various workshops, and visits to member schools. One of our partners, KURARAMA TRUST will be running a workshop on 12th March (entitled “The Mess and the Value in It”) to equip teachers – looking at mental health and substance abuse support and understanding. In April we will re-commence PSI trainings and there are still vacancies for new schools to join this two-year training programme to improve their schools. Please contact our office if you are interested.
To go hand in hand with the Peace of God, Shalom, our educators’ conference theme for August is HOPE. Jesus Christ is our HOPE. We have a great line up of speakers excited to support and encourage us.
So as we step into 2022, may the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and PEACE (Shalom) as you trust Him.
As I think about KidzCan my mind is drawn to the story of the Little Engine that Could. A large freight train rolled into the station filled with toys for children on the other side of a large mountain. Its locomotive broke down and so the train started asking all the other locomotives, starting with the largest. They all looked at the large freight train and the large mountain and declined. Finally, the freight train asked the smallest (and cutest) locomotive – who said he would try. As the little engine pulled the large freight train over the large mountain you could hear it puffing, “I think I can, I think I can”. At times the mountain was steep, and the puffing was slow, “I… think… I can…!” But finally, the train got to the top of the hill and as it picked up speed, you could hear the engine puff, “I knew I could, I knew I could”. The train arrived at the station and the toys were distributed to the children.
26 years ago, Andrea Whatman came to see me at Northside Community Church. I was the pastor, and she was a member. She said that she felt God wanted her to do something to help children who were sick in hospital. Andrea was a patient in what is now Parirenyatwa Hospital with leukaemia as a child, until she was wonderfully and miraculously healed by God. She knew what it was like to be sick and in hospital. So, we started a ministry called Pari Volunteers. I asked Andrea what this would entail, and she said she had no idea! We learned as we went along, saying, “we think we can, we think we can”. There were times when the journey and the learning curve was steep.
One day Andrea discovered that the Oncology Ward (the ward Andrea was in as a child), only had Paracetamol. The children were weeping and crying out in pain. She burst into my office declaring, “I will not go back unless we do something to fix this!” So, I asked, how do we fix this? To which Andrea replied (again), “I have no idea, but I think we can!” We thought the journey and learning curve up till then was steep. Boy, were we wrong! Andrea pulled a small team together and we started assisting the doctors and hospital source drugs and whatever else they needed. We called on fellow churches and Christians around the world to help us pay for what was needed. We always had just enough! This part of Pari Volunteers grew until it was too big and so, KidzCan was created and registered as a PVO.
Northside continues to support all 4 children’s wards through Pari Volunteers, supplying things KidzCan cannot. KidzCan can only support children with cancer. If a child without cancer needs something, Northside tries to step in.
Kidzcan’s Vision is “A compassionate world where children with cancer are given the chance to lead healthy and fulfilling lives”. And its Mission is “Kidzcan is dedicated to increasing the survival rate of children with cancer in a loving and caring environment”.
We thank God for Andrea (the little, cute engine that could) and we thank God for loving sick Zimbabwean children. KidzCan continues to grow, but that is another story for another time…
Pastor Gary Cross ( Senior Pastor)
WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER SCHOOL
PITTER PATTER PRESCHOOL – WESTQUE ACADEMY
We are a Christian School in the heart of Avonlea< Harare. We have been operating since 2012. Our Preschool is called Pitter Patter and the Primary is called Westque Academy. We start taking children from 1½ years to 12 years of age. We have qualified, experienced and God fearing staff and pleasant school grounds for our children to enjoy. Our motto, is “Quest Ad Excellentem Illius” which in English means, Quest for Excellence – Achieving excellence in everything that we do. Our Vision is to be an outstanding Christian School in the community, achieving excellence in everything we do and ensuring every child achieves their full potential.
CURRENT MEMBER SCHOOLS
Celebration International School
Destiny Primary School
Eaglesvale Junior School
Eaglesvale Senior School
Gateway High School
Gateway Primary School
Karanda Mission Primary School
Lendy Park School
Midlands Christian School
Midlands Christian College
Mutarazi Junior School
Pitter Patter / Westque
Southern Lights Trust
Success Tutorial College
Upcoming Training Events
The ACSI Paths to School Improvement (PSI) is a strategy to accomplish resourcing as many schools as possible through a school improvement process.
For more information: email email@example.com or
Tel: +263 786 031 794
- Involves a two-year commitment to training, undertaken during school holidays by Heads, and then actioned throughout the term. There is a cost involved. The process of improvement continues as a lifelong commitment by the school.
- The advantage of this programme is that you walk the continual process in partnership/relationship with other schools, building a community committed to improving Christian Education through Zimbabwe and Africa.
If your school would like more details on the PSI Programme or to join Cohort 3 for training in April 2022 please do contact us at the above email or whatsapp number.
I am so thankful to the ACSI team for equipping me as a Christian educator with the Biblical knowledge that l need to be able to fulfill the values and mission of Gateway Primary School. As we all know that the school environment has a great impact on how a child develops, Gateway’s Christian Education system has made a huge difference in my life and my children’s ever since we joined the community. My children and l have developed a deep relationship with God and I feel blessed to see that now they understand that God does not only exist on Sundays when they go to church or at home when we pray as a family but that He is constantly at work every single day.
Allow me to commend all the staff members for the shepherding and discipleship work that they’re doing to transform young lives. Speaking from a parent’s perspective and teacher’s perspective it should be said that it only takes witnessing transformation in children that are coming from outside for one to fully acknowledge the positive impact Christian education is making in the school in terms of spiritual growth and personal development. I have witnessed my children’s lives being transformed ever since they joined the system as they have been encouraged to enrich their knowledge of God’s Word through devotions and Biblical integration done during lessons. Now my children are well equipped with both hard skills and soft skills that they need to transform their world and make good choices in everything they do.
Keep doing the brilliant work you are doing ACSI, you have no idea how it is positively impacting the learners lives.
If you would like to enquire about membership of ACSI Zimbabwe please contact the office for details : firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com or call +263 786 031 794 https://acsi.co.zw
Membership Categories are as follows:
1) INDIVIDUAL: ($10 per term)
2) SCHOOL: (0.50c per pupil per term)
3) ASSOCIATE: $50 per term (for churches / business organisations)
- For growth and support to more schools across Zimbabwe through increased membership.
- For growth in being a voice for all schools working with ministry of education to support holistic education.
- ACSI Zimbabwe Advisory Board as they strategise for growth in 2022 – 23;
- Sean Moore as Director of ACSI Southern Africa and his leadership and mentoring role of schools in SA during these challenging times;
- ACSI Zimbabwe Members Schools: – those who are facing financial and other challenges;
- Re-commencement of PSI (Paths to School Improvement) training in April 2022;
- Schools who are currently part of PSI as they implement what they are learning;
- State schooling system;
- Protection for our communities, schools and families from Covid 19
If you have something to share, specific prayer requests or response to any article, please contact us : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to receive latest news from ACSI Southern Africa please notify by email to email@example.com /firstname.lastname@example.org