It Will Surprise You What God Has Done in 2017

By George Durance | TeachBeyond President

The year 2017 was another excellent one for TeachBeyond. There were more projects, more partners, more team members, more countries, more learners, more associates, more national and ethnic groups represented, more resources, and more national offices. In two words, “more more.”
And in a couple more words, without a descriptive context, more is just more and vacuous. Do you remember Elizabeth Browning’s poem, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways…?” She then lists some of the most beautiful statements of love we have in literature. We would never have remembered the poem if she had just said, “How do I love thee? More than ever.” Counting focuses our mind on the specific and concrete and thus grounds generalizations in a way that enables us to understand and celebrate. I think this is why the hymn writer wrote, “Count your many blessings name them one by one.”
Here are a few things from 2017 that come to my mind when I started counting:
  • A teacher became a follower of Christ in SE Asia.
  • A board member unexpectedly “lost” his wife to cancer but didn’t lose his faith or commitment.

  • Four gifted new team members joined the local office in which I am sitting as I write this report.
  • A child came to Christ in Moldova.
  • A new camp was started in Central Asia.
  • Two new schools were started in Central America.
  • Amazing gifts were given for a school project in France.
  • An American university was willing to anchor our graduate program.
  • Six new supervisors were trained for ESL work.

  • Another floor was added to an already impressive school campus in Germany.
  • A Child Protection policy was adopted.
  • Over 100 new full-time members were sent from Canada and the United States.
  • Eight countries sent people to serve in other countries.
  • A beautiful new school building was dedicated in SE Asia.
  • A national leader who had a heart attack is mercifully rejoicing in service today.
  • God is meeting the needs of an employee who needed an extended leave to regain strength.

  • More than ten thousand people gave generously and sacrificially to this ministry because they believed God is using transformational education to draw people to Christ.

…and I have just begun to count.

The hymn writer was right.

When we count our blessings at the end of the year, naming them individually, it will surprise us what the Lord has done.”

2017 was the year of the most “surprises” yet and we reverently say, “Praise and glory go to our Father and His Son and to the Spirit who has done all things well.”

Photos: TeachBeyond archives.