Christian Education Snippets March 2021

Dear Colleagues, 

He was my soccer coach, my swimming coach, my mentor, role model, and most importantly, he was my Grade 6 teacher. I don’t think he was a Christian but then neither was I. He had a love for young people and a deep desire to impact them for the good! I was one of a group that used to hang onto every word he said. I can remember how I used to look forward to getting my end of term report from him simply because it mattered to me what he thought of me! His comments were incisive and invariably accurate – he seemed to know what we were thinking about and whether this was good for us in the long run – he was not afraid to call a spade a spade! My parents recognised the value of having someone like him in my life. If they threatened me with a visit to Mr.W. I would modify my behaviour quickly and do whatever it took to avoid the latter! Such is the power of a good mentor! 

A few years after Gateway Primary School started I was sitting in my office finishing off some things that I had to do before the next day, the secretaries had gone home and the school was quiet. I heard footprints coming towards my office, a head popped round the corner and there was Mr. W. as large as life! 

He happened to be in the area and had heard that I was the Headmaster of a new school and decided to see if he could catch me before I went home. We chatted together for a while catching up on the many years that had elapsed since our last meeting. He was about to leave the country for the UK. That was the last time I saw him. 

In my school days teachers of his calibre were rare, and to think that I just took his influence for granted! I wish I could see him again for five minutes to thank him for the impact that he had in my life! Is there a teacher in your life who has helped you to become the person that you are today – a Mr Fish or a Mrs Betani? Why don’t you write them a note or email them to thank them for being the people that they are/were and for being the positive influence that they have been in your life! 

If you are currently teaching in a school, pause and reflect on the positive impact you are having or should be having on the pupils you teach or coach. As Christian teachers we have a God-given opportunity to make a difference in these young lives, for eternity. Don’t let us waste one precious moment. As C.T. Studd said, ‘Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.’ 

K.M. Ricquebourg 


Christian Education Snippets June 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

I wonder if you have ever been in a situation where you get bad news followed by worse news, much like Job experienced losing his livestock, servants, his children and then his health in quick succession! 

Of the “righteous man”, Psalm 112 has the following to say: “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Easy to say or write but a very different matter to do

Jairus , the ruler of the synagogue has much to teach us when it comes to having faith in tough times! 

We read in Mark’s gospel that his daughter was sick to the point of death. Despite the cynicism and out-right hostility that many of his colleagues displayed towards Jesus, Jairus was amazed by this man who could calm storms, command evil spirits to leave people and heal diseases. Finding Jesus was no problem as His exploits were on the lips of everyone. When Jairus found Jesus returning from the region of the Gerasenes, He was, as usual, surrounded by a vast throng. Not put off by this, he ran to Jesus, fell on his knees and pleaded with Him. He cuts to the chase immediately – “My little daughter is dying. Please, put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live”. Despite the demands of the crowd with its press-ing needy people we read of Jesus’s response to Jairus: “So Jesus went with him.” 

What do we learn from this? 

Firstly, we do not get the impression that Jesus felt interrupted. Taking care of Jairus’s daughter was part of His agenda for that day. Growing the faith of Jairus was also part of that agenda, as we can see from the events which followed. A lady, who had been haemorrhaging for 12 years and who was at her wits end, touched his garment and immediately brought proceedings to a halt. With no sense of rush or urgen-cy, Jesus, gave His undivided attention to another individual! We can just imagine how Jairus must have felt at this stage. When he left his daughter she was almost dead. And now this delay would surely prove very costly to him. As if to confirm his feelings some men from his house arrived and told him, “Your daughter is dead, why bother the teacher anymore?” From a bad situation Jairus’s problem has just moved to worst-case scenario. His daughter had died! If we were reading the account for the first time we would probably feel the same – it’s too late to fix this! I find what happens next most instructive. The narrative, instead of switching to Jairus, keeps its focus on Jesus and what Jesus does in this clash be-tween light and darkness. “Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” 

There is much bad news out there today, right now, inviting us to believe it. It’s on our phones, in the newspapers we read, on the lips of our friends, on countless screens – everywhere! And what is its mes-sage? It is simple. 

There is No Hope… No hope… No hope… No hope! 


Scripture says that we are transformed “by the renewing of our minds.” This is so important we need to pause for a few moments and ask ourselves if the problems we have living in this country at this time in our history are because we have let them enter our minds and rob us of our peace?! 

The solution is to believe God’s Word instead of our feelings. We may feel very afraid or discouraged, but the truth is that God is with us and He is sovereign over the affairs of men, and He has told us not to be afraid. Which are we going to listen to – the feelings or the Word 

K.M. Ricquebourg 

ACSI Zimbabwe Coordinator