As you know, our mission statement reads “In partnership with parents, CBA exists to inspire world changers through Christ-centered, intercultural, language immersion-education.” We are on a continuum, where we are either growing stale or deepening our mission. I am more passionate about our mission now than 9 years ago when we first crafted it. It is why we are launching a high school. We only get to do this parenting thing one time. And the world is coming 1,000 mph at our children, beguiling them with destructive self-absorption. As a result, American adolescents are drowning in mental illnesses. Self-centered living, while tempting, goes against the grain. In the image of our Creator, we are designed to live for others. I recently heard the strong distinction between these similarly sounding phrases, “Do not do unto others what you do not want them to do unto you” versus “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” Our prevailing culture says the former, while Jesus, our Designer, says the latter. The first portrays an inward orientation (not our design) and the latter is based on an proactive outward orientation (our design). 

Our five main pedagogical distinctives in our elementary-middle school programs are: project-based, service-oriented, language-immersion, and Christ-centered education, embedded within an intercultural context. I would like to briefly share with you about my 1 week trip in February and my upcoming trip next week, as we want to constantly deepen our mission’s distinctives. In February, I first flew to Dallas, where I serve on the board of directors for the Association of Christian Schools International. It is mind-blowing seeing where rapidly changing technology is taking education (and by education I mean  schooling but even more, the formation of the next generation). I am grateful to sit at a strategic table that analyzes current risks and strategizes how to design future models to make high quality, Christian education accessible to children everywhere.

From Dallas, I flew to Honduras where I visited Alberto Brooks’ and Victor Nuñez’s town, Danli, on the Nicaraguan border. CBA is forging a partnership with Children’s World School, where Señor Brooks served as an administrator for many years. I was able to work with their administration team on Christ-centered, project-based learning. From there, we drove up a mountain on a dirt road to the afterschool program that Sr. Brooks started for low-resourced children. Beyond Beautiful 🙂 The children stole my heart. I also had the privilege of preaching in one of the churches that he started. Fifty people gathered on a Thursday evening in Sr. Brooks’ house to listen to me preach in my gringo Spanish!

Not only do we want to grow our impact, we want to continue to grow ourselves.  Similar to last year, I am returning to Canada. This week I am traveling to Vancouver, where I will visit three schools and attend a Teaching for Transformation (TFT) conference. TFT schools passionately employ Christ-centered, project-based learning to serve their communities. Their refrain is, “real learning, to serve real people, with real needs.” Additionally, this summer our language immersion teachers will travel to Minnesota for a CARLA summer institute, where they will explore PBL practices in a language-immersion context.

We do not simply want to talk about “world changers.” In God’s grace and provision, we want to be what we want our students to become. Counterculturally outward oriented. Learning to live in our design.

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