Posted by: Jack | May 31, 2016

Teaching English and teaching leadership

2016-05-31 18.11.10

Pat preparing her English lesson

Once a month, Pat goes to a nearby city to teach English to a group of 10-14 seniors. Most of these have grandchildren living abroad in an English speaking country, so they are eager to improve their English. Although Pat often feels stressed to prepare, this group is a lot of fun. Last time, they were stumped for the English word for ‘vertebrae’. Suddenly someone piped up, “Oh, I know what it is: spare ribs”.

Pat was asked as ‘native speaker’ to volunteer to help this group. There are a few spiritual conversations. Pray for wisdom to continue and to prepare hearts for the gospel.

Meanwhile, Jack teaches leadership. At the end of April, he helped organize ETF’s annual leadership conference. The focus this year was on how our society and our churches become increasingly diverse, with people from all kinds of countries, cultures and religious backgrounds. How do you lead in such a society or church with a healthy sense of identity, instead of losing control?

ILSE Conference (1a)

Book presentation from previous conference, entitle “Challenges of Moral Leadership”

The conference had a number of speakers from South Africa. Their personal experiences with ethnic and religious violence impressed upon us how deeply these issues affect our societies. We are eager to publish these contributions next year, so that others can benefit as well.

In November, Jack has an opportunity to present some of his work on pastoral leadership at the annual conference of the International Leadership Association in Atlanta. Over 2500 leaders (practitioners, teachers and scholars) are member of this association and about 1500 people attend this event. Yet, religious leadership is discussed by only a few, so this is a great opportunity to contribute to that discussion as a Christian. Jack has found three other Christian colleagues who are willing to present on this topic together.


There’s just one hitch: the cost. Flight, conference fee and hotel already total about $1700 (going Dutch – as cheap as possible). We plan to combine this with some visits to our supporting churches to make good use of this visit to the US. Can youCoffee Helping Missions help us with this ministry? Any gift to our education fund would be greatly appreciated.

There is one other very practical way to help us: order coffee from Coffee Helping Missions and have the proceeds go to support missionaries generally and (if you so indicate) us specifically.



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