TeachBeyond Germany has a new department called “Formal Education – Kindergarten and Schools.” Andreas and Iris Koch will work on the establishment and operation of Christian, bilingual, educational institutions in Germany. They also will support and advise existing Christian education institutions with information about consolidation of schools or bilingual educational offerings.
In the photo are (left to right) Iris and Andreas Koch; Katharina Kopp, head of the bilingual Christian School of Kandern; Wolfgang Zschämisch, chairman of the board of TeachBeyond Germany; and Markus Becker, managing director of Black Forest Academy, Kandern.
“When I became CEO and chairman of the board of August Hermann Francke Schools (a network of Christian schools in Hamburg) in 2007, I had my first exposure to the great opportunities we have open to us for Christian, biblically-based education,” Andreas said.
Iris and Andres recently visited the VEBS Congress in Siegen (pictured above). “VEBS” stands for the Association of Evangelical Confessional Schools in Germany. The convention was filled with workshops and lectures on the subject of Christian education. Networking with new contacts greatly encouraged the Kochs in their newly founded branch of TeachBeyond Germany.
One of the priorities of this new initiative is supporting local churches with the start-up of new schools and day-care centers. These churches are part of the German Evangelical Alliance, a network of about 1,200 free (non-government-sponsored) churches founded in the 1800s.
TeachBeyond also will pursue educational cooperation with municipalities and other Christian organizations. They plan to offer lectures and aids on the theme of family, education, vocation, and pastoral counseling for children and adults as entry points into the message of the gospel. The goal is to tell people about the gospel of Jesus Christ and to show them the way to a relationship with him.
Their first project is in Ahrensburg, Germany, where a Kindergarten and family center will be established. It will be an interdenominational, intercultural, bilingual, Christian school. “It is important to us to have opportunities for migrants,” Andreas said. “The very positive experience of parents and children in Christian Kindergartens repeatedly leads parents to want such an education for their children.”
“Our goal is that in our educational institutions every child, regardless of performance, color, national origin, age, or sex, will experience God’s unconditional acceptance and love, and learn to develop a healthy self-esteem,” Iris said.
The parents of the students in these schools do not necessarily profess a Christian faith. Many who are not believers have observed a difference in Christian educational institutions. They associate it with Christian values of reliability, trust, tolerance, and honesty, and think it makes sense that their children learn these values. Seeing their children developing these characteristics often leads parents to desire to be better informed about the Christian faith. This also applies to migrants with a Muslim background.
“Our vision is that TeachBeyond makes a significant contribution through transformational education. Perhaps from Ahrensburg a spiritual radiance will spread throughout northern Germany,” Andreas said.