I cannot help but chuckle each time I think about the high-sounding essays I wrote as a prospective teacher. Come on now. What did I really know about being a teacher?
Education has always been the Plain Jane of the working world. It’s the cute, low- maintenance job that people always approve of, but never want to date for themselves. The sexier fields of commerce, health care, and government always steal the spotlight because they have headline- grabbing personalities and the hefty bank account to support them.
Excel Academy started as a step of faith—God’s prompt for HMCC to become active in the Ann Arbor community through the means of education. Excel serves the community by providing educational programs to see every child excel academically. We knew that there were many international families in Ann Arbor who had children needing and wanting to learn English. We started in 2005 as a two week summer English program for the international population.
There’s a new restaurant here on State St. called the Earl of Sandwich, where the sandwiches are overpriced, the coffee is decent, and the breakfast sandwiches are delish. Hopefully, it’ll out-live its previous tenants – Einstein’s Bagels and Caribou Coffee. However, what’s special about this place is that right above it is a small, easy-to-miss institute called the Michigan Language Center, a.k.a. my mission field for the past year and a half.
When I think about the sphere of education, I often think about how it can be used to reach the people in need with the Gospel. In the past two years of teaching, I've experienced the difficulty in reaching a group of students and staff with the Gospel. Being in a public school limits me from being able to say certain things I want to say and teach certain things I want to teach.
Not everyone enters college with knowing exactly what God wants them to do. At least that was my case in 1999 when I came to the University of Michigan as a freshman. Though I was lost in life direction, God found me after a month into school by transforming me from my nominal Christian identity to a born-again Christian with a clear purpose and hope to live for His glory. As I got more serious about my relationship with Christ, I started praying about God’s calling in my life. During this time, God had also been burdening my heart for missions.