The prayerful teacher and the seminary supporter
Be it seminary or school students, Daniel and Regiane Clark are clearing the way for them to flourish in their learning in Lima, Peru
Sometimes, things get in our way.
We want to learn, we want to improve ourselves, but there are things that are stopping us.
For some students at a church-run school in Lima, Peru, it is the pressures of family life that are holding them back. Their performance at school is suffering because of problems at home. Some live in poverty as part of large families where relationships can be difficult.
But these students are now getting help from Regiane Clark, who has been serving with BMS World Mission in Lima since January 2016. She is helping out as a counsellor at Bethel School, working with students with educational and behavioural issues.
“Problems at home can affect some students’ concentration at school,” says Regiane. “I talk to them about their homework and encourage them to get help from their teachers if they are struggling in the classroom. But I am open to talk about anything, to listen, to pray and help them.”
Regiane is also teaching English at the school and is involved with a weekly breakfast for parents, which enables her to get to know families more and provides opportunities to share the gospel with them.
She has a passion for serving deprived people in Peru and sees working at the school two days a week as the first step in doing so.
“It has been a very good experience for me, to know the reality of some of these children living in poor communities,” she says. “I want to reach more. I want to be more involved.”
To help her become more involved, in the coming months Regiane will be spending time with the social department of the Baptist Convention in Peru to learn more about what challenges people are struggling with in the country and how Christians are responding, so she can see where she can play her part in meeting the needs of ordinary Peruvians.
Regiane’s husband, Daniel, is helping Peruvian Christian leaders prepare to serve their church communities, through his work at the Baptist seminary at Lima. Having worked at theological colleges in the UK and Brazil, Daniel is bringing his experience to a young seminary which is only ten years old, to enable them to realise their vision of preparing leaders with strong theological training and the ability to both share the gospel and serve the needs of their communities.
“They’ve [the seminary] got a well thought out vision for what they want to do and where they want to get to,” says Daniel. “I am simply coming alongside and helping them with the means to move forward.”
Daniel has been getting involved in different areas of seminary life, working on it administration systems and organising the library by cataloguing books so students can find them easily and take them out. He has been working with the dean on the structure of the courses the seminary offers to make them clearer and more applicable to students as they look to grow as leaders.
“The courses are structured now so that a student can see the path on which they will progress and develop through the course, which I don’t think was necessarily clear before,” he says.
Daniel has been supervising the staff and is also starting to get involved in some of the teaching too. He set some of the texts for the readings lectures, which has helped students discuss issues they and their churches are struggling with as Peruvian society changes.
“I tried to select readings that weren’t just about classic family counselling but also some of the social issues, like unemployment, that is being faced,” he says. “They had to research family issues – they chose family and crime, domestic violence, single motherhood and cohabitation. I like to think that was partly inspired by the readings they had available.”
In the next term, Daniel plans to teach on both the Master’s and ministerial courses. Although he has preached and spoken at a conference in Peru, it will be the first time that he has taught in Spanish.
Pray for Daniel and Regiane (and their daughter Ana), who spent five years at South Ashford Baptist Church in Kent, as they stand alongside the Peruvian church, helping to develop leaders and students who can overcome the problems they face and grow in knowledge and faith.
Empowering strong and effective indigenous leaders is a key goal of the new BMS strategy Help us achieve this by becoming a 24:7 Partner
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.