While Jesus’ words in the Great Commission includes an exhortation to “teach,” missionary Joe Hale didn’t associate that with schools. More than 30 years ago, he and his wife, Ann, were serving in Korea when they needed classes for missionary children. Soon, responsibilities surrounding providing an education to a growing group of children took up their time. “I was praying, ‘When can I get back to the main thing?’ He kind of let us know that the main thing had changed,” Hale said. “We were seeing more people come to Christ through that school setting than the rest of our ministry.”
From there, the Network of International Christian Schools was formed. Thousands of students are served in 17 schools across 15 countries – and growing. The home countries of the students include about 120 nations. Many of the students and their families hear the Gospel for the first time through school and school-related events.
“I’m absolutely convinced that the new missionary visa is a teaching credential,” Hale said. “Your teaching credential will get you into more places than anything. There are basically no closed doors.”
When young people, many of whom are future leaders, become Christians, the ramifications in their lives and in their home countries are exponential. “We’re going to influence the nations by influencing the children. They can impact their countries. That makes me excited to get up every day,” Hale said. “We have to be consumed with seeing His glory taken to all nations.”