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Dividing the Work, Multiplying the Effort

POSTED ON Nov 01, 2016 by David Pierce

How does a missionary family living on a remote island care for the education and socialization needs of their four daughters? … Not by themselves.

Lori Luse had little left at the end of the day with the responsibilities of preparing the meals and homeschooling three girls in three different grades. Even with her husband Aaron teaching math, they were both stretched.

Not to mention their extensive responsibilities in Bible translation, discipleship and teaching literacy to the Patpatar people.

“Thankfully we were not in it alone.”

The Family

Homeschool Coordinator to the Rescue

Dawn Eggleton, NTM’s homeschool coordinator in Papua New Guinea, “would do whatever was necessary to make sure she met with us.” Dawn administered annual standardized tests and then consulted with Aaron and Lori to discuss direction, tools and things to consider or change.

Aaron cites a few examples.

“When one of our daughters was struggling with spelling, a curriculum was recommended and sent to us specifically for her. When another was having learning difficulties early on, it was caught, and again Dawn provided direction so we could walk her through that before it became a lifelong struggle.”

Lori was even able to check out books from the school library via email, receive them by plane and use them for months at a time until the next plane or boat could return them.

Numonohi Christian Academy

When their daughter Avalon reached high school age last year, Aaron and Lori enrolled her in Numonohi Christian Academy (NCA) where she was a dorm student on the main island. “For our family and for her it was the best option and a wonderful step towards her transition as an adult who in just a few short years will be out on her own.

“The hours of stories she told us and the hundreds of pictures helped fill in the pieces of what we already knew to be true. We had spent time getting her settled into the school, we had met the teachers, we had toured the classrooms, we had spent time getting to know her ‘dorm parents’ and we felt the heart behind all who were involved in her education.”

Avalon played organized sports for the first time and participated in drama club and the student planning committee. “She was getting a top-quality education from teachers who took the time to teach, re-explain assignments and give encouragement when needed, all from a Christ-centered environment.”

“She was getting a top-quality education from teachers who took the time to teach, re-explain assignments and give encouragement when needed, all from a Christ-centered environment.””
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Teachers That Care

Patrick Eggleton (Dawn’s husband) was Avalon’s geometry teacher last year. Aaron and Lori greatly appreciated Patrick and Dawn. They write of Patrick’s teaching: “He was always available for Avalon and the other students to ask questions and see how it applied in real life. He also sent Lori and me short emails to let us know how things were going from his perspective.”

A Team Effort

Patrick explains how he went from a professorship at a university to teaching at a mission school: “When we [initially] served on a one-year assignment to Numonohi Christian Academy in 2005-2006, we were powerfully impacted by the team effort that was involved in sharing the love of God with the people of Papua New Guinea.

“Prior to living in a foreign country, I had no real sense of how unable the people are to hear anything about God. By sharing our gifts in education, we were able to make it possible for others with gifts in linguistics and discipleship to be able to live in the remote villages and share the love of God with the people there. Families serving overseas go trusting God to meet the needs of their children. Our loving God has provided well-trained educators to meet the needs of these families while they share God’s love with the people.”

Patrick and Dawn recently returned to the United States where he is again teaching mathematics at a university. Of his time teaching missionary children he reflected, “We didn’t feel that we had much to offer on the mission field, but we surrendered what we did have to God to use in His ways. Allowing God to work through us, we have seen many families impacted through our service, and ultimately we know that many who had no opportunity to hear of the gospel have now heard.”

This year Sierra, Avalon’s sister, has joined her at NCA. Aaron and Lori say that she couldn’t wait to share in all that she has been hearing about for the last year.

Meanwhile, Aaron and Lori, confident that this is what is best for their daughters at this stage in life, continue to advance in their church planting ministry in the village.

Thankful Hearts

Aaron sums it up like this: “We truly are thankful for the support structure in place to help with our girls education both in homeschooling and in dorm schooling. We are so grateful for the part that they have in the big picture of tribal missions.”

Are you an educator? You can use your career skills on the church planting team to see people around the world reached with the gospel and discipled!