The LoveSingapore prayer meeting reinforced the key role teachers play in shaping the world.
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
Celebrity activists, alongside philanthropic millionaires and humanitarian advocates, usually get a lot of due recognition for their good work, but there is a category of changemakers who are seldom in the spotlight for all their noble efforts—teachers.
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is with this acknowledgment of the key role which teachers play in shaping the nations that a LoveSingapore prayer meeting was held at Elim Church on the morning of Nov. 26, as pastors, church leaders and educators alike came together to pray for the nation’s education gate and its teachers.
Before the prayer sessions, two principals, Ng Yeow Ling of North View Primary School and Peter Tan of Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), took to the stage to share their perspectives. “Education and ministry to me are one—as teachers are ignited in their passion to believe in the change they can make; that is when the impact can be made,” said Ng in his speech.
The prayer session was three-pronged, focusing firstly on the mission of the Ministry of Education to mold the future of the nation—those in attendance prayed strongly for a revival of vision and passion among those called to the education field, that they will go beyond the call of duty, and to be both prophetic and pastoral in instilling values of integrity, respect, service, excellence and godly patriotism in their students.
Another area of focus during the prayer meeting was the teachers’ well-being, as a teacher’s welfare usually takes a backseat to the demands of their responsibilities. The attendees prayed that teachers on the brink of a burnout will be rejuvenated both spiritually and emotionally as well as mentally and physically. Another prayer point called for more safe avenues for teachers to unload their burdens without fear of repercussion.
On a broader scale, teachers were exhorted to embrace their Antioch role—the attendees prayed that God would use the nation’s educators to spark a movement of school-planting in cities and villages all over Asia, empowering millions to break out of the poverty cycle. At least 800 million adults worldwide, most of them women, are still illiterate. And according to conservative estimates, more than 115 million children of school-going age in developing countries are not attending school.
Another MOE staff, Carol Loi, shared that it is not just teachers who can impact the education sector, as she gave a stirring testimony about making a difference where God has planted her. Through her work in MOE’s Pre-school Education Branch, she contributed to the successful enrolment of a 5-year-old boy born with brittle bone disease into Bethesda (Depot Walk) Kindergarten—the boy had previously been turned down by six other kindergartens.
When she started an informal parenting group in the MOE headquarters a few years ago, “one of the things I did was to connect parents to people in my network who can create value in their lives,” she says. Loi also helped found Parent-Support-Parent, a secular peer support group where parents can share their burdens with each other and exchange parental tips. Additionally, by making a conscious effort to be involved in her children’s schooling lives through doing voluntary work and meeting other parents to pray, she encountered open doors to become a source of encouragement to other parents and teachers. “Parents and teachers can and should relate to each other, not as adversaries, but as a fellow brother or sister in Christ,” says Loi.
LoveSingapore is a prayer movement birthed in 1995, with representatives from approximately 150 local churches.