Brazilian Teachers Integrating their Faith into the Classroom
By Julian Richter | Communications Associate
“There are only a few Christian schools in Brazil in comparison with North America, but many (public school) teachers are Christians,” said Raphael Haeuser, educational consultant with TeachBeyond Brasil. The Brazilian government has recently made an extraordinary decision to require religion to be taught in public schools while giving wide latitude for the way teachers do that. As a result of this new strategic opportunity in public schools, Raphael has a vision to help these Christian educators integrate a biblical worldview into their teaching in a truly transformational manner. Raphael shared this vision with a neighbor who is a Christian and the vice principal of the school where his children attend. She became excited about the possibilities and introduced Raphael to teachers she knew are Christians. Eight teachers came to the first meeting where Raphael began by going through TeachBeyond’s nine core values, beginning with faith.
“We talked about the [definition of] faith, what it means to have faith, and what faith looks like in a teacher on the day to day.” Next came the topic of integrity. “That value took two meetings to discuss because the teachers saw it as a very important issue. We talked about how to foster an environment of integrity in the classroom and together prepared a list of principles to follow,” Raphael said.
A man who works in school maintenance asked to attend a meeting. Afterwards he told Raphael, “I’ve been praying for a Christian ministry for teachers for 10 years. You are the answer to my prayers.”
“It is exciting to see that what God has placed on my heart is important to others, too,” Raphael said.
Together they are figuring out how to integrate a biblical worldview into their teaching. As the group continues through the list of values, the teachers are praying for two things: that they will find ways to serve and minister to their colleagues who are not believers and that other educators will become involved in groups like this. “I was glad to hear them say this,” Raphael said. “I want the initiative to come from them, not from me. The group is taking ownership of this and praying about how it can be spread.” It is the beginning of a nationwide effort.
While the Brazilian school year is coming to an end, Raphael continues to plan and prepare for the meetings to continue when classes resume in February. We are encouraged to hear how this initial group of missional Christian educators in Brazil is already moving forward to impact their public school classrooms. How exciting to think this could be the beginning of a movement of thousands of Brazilian educators: being equipped to influence the next generation for Christ through this unique opportunity for impact in their public schools.
The equipping of missional public school teachers in Brazil is one of the many strategic ministries supported in part by our Global Impact Fund. In 2019 we are raising $150,000 for the Global Impact Fund so that we may see more individuals and communities transformed by God through education. TeachBeyond leaders, staff, alumni, and friends have already committed to giving $120,000 towards that goal. We are now challenging others to join us as partners for transformation to provide the remaining $30,000 by the end of 2019. Will you partner with us so that we may see more missional educators inspired and equipped to be agents of transformation in their public schools in Brazil and around the world?
To set up your monthly giving, or to make a one-time donation to our global impact fund, please use the box below.