We have been sharing a six-part blog series about some of the best parts of ministry last year. This fifth post is about education opportunities for current and future leaders and how this benefits their ministry work and personal development.
Last year the three men Fernando has spent the most time discipling (see Part 4) began their undergraduate studies.
One reason young people in Honduras struggle with poverty and the temptation to get involved in unhealthy activities is lack of opportunity to study and work. Not only do they miss the chance to learn, grow, and make the most of years full of potential, this is a loss for families, communities, and the future of the country. As for pastors, most have to work in addition to their ministries, and more education usually earns greater respect from those they minister to. For these reasons, we feel it is highly important for young pastors and potential leaders to pursue higher education.
"I Never Thought I Could"
Some benefits of these three men's studies in their ministry work are quite obvious: computer skills facilitate documenting stories; advanced reading and writing skills aid Bible study; administrative abilities improve overall work performance; diligence and responsibility in their studies strengthens leadership.
However, perhaps one of the greatest gifts education has given them is something Wilber told me about recently when I asked him about last year's studies and this year's plans. Wilber is the first in his immediate family to study at a college level, and he really hadn't considered it until the opportunity was extended to him. You can also imagine that studying in one's second language presents unique challenges, as well.
But he said, "I love working on the computer, and I can't wait to learn more. I never thought I would like this kind of thing or even that I could do it!" Wilber discovered he was able to do more than he thought, and this is propelling him toward trying new things and taking new risks, not only in education, but also in leadership roles. In fact, by sharing his experience with other young people he could inspire them to do the same.
Elvis, Alex, and Wilber have resumed classes after the holiday vacation and plan to study throughout this year. We would love to see more young people gain access to higher education for their futures and, especially, for the glory of God.
Coming up in Part 6: Wageira