4000-041-Bentley, Barbara

Teaching Third Culture Kids (TCKs) in Guinea

Please pray that having a long-term teacher on site will encourage more families from all the mission agencies present to consider serving in and around Kankan. Please pray for wisdom as we think through the myriad of details required to set up a one-room schoolhouse. Please pray for discernment to know how best to be involved with the nationals.

Challenges:
Lesson preparation and teaching will take a major portion of my time. Language learning is always a daunting task, and I will be learning a bit of the indigenous language for the area as well as French, Guinea’s official language. Intentional relationship building with nationals will take effort due to limited time and language challenges. “Hot and humid” weather is no fun. In some settings, being left-handed means I must always be aware of which hand I am eating with or extending.

About me:
Missionary families living overseas can face an enormous amount of stress. It is difficult to adequately express the joy it gives me to know that I can help relieve some of the stress parents feel to provide their children with the best education available in their setting at any given time.

My primary role is to support missionary families as I help parents care for the educational needs of their children. I was first involved in a one-room schoolhouse in northern Brazil from 1989 to 1997. After our school in Brazil serving three mission agencies closed due to decreased enrollment, I chose to fill the need missionary parents in Argentina felt for help with their children’s education. In January 2015, I completed over fifteen years working throughout Argentina as an itinerant teacher. None of the five evangelical mission organizations with whom I worked were seeing new families with children of school age choosing Argentina as a country for ministry. Once again I was with few students.

I am now back in the States to raise prayer and financial support for a move to Kankan, Guinea, West Africa. I know that living in Guinea will be a challenge. So, why Guinea? Over 88% of the people living in Guinea profess to be Muslim. The Maninka people who live in the Kankan region where I will be serving are reported to be 99% Muslim. The spiritual needs for this country of over 10.6 million people are tremendous. Less than 1% of the entire population of Guinea claim to be evangelical.

I count it a privilege to invest in the life of each of my students. A lot of my time is spent in preparation and teaching, but I also have opportunities to build relationships with nationals with the hope of introducing them to Jesus. There can be no greater joy.

Together with those who join me through prayer and financial partnership, we are able to support a number of ministries by caring for the educational needs of many families. Our prayer is that by having a teacher in Kankan, more missionary families with the various missions represented would be encouraged to consider joining the Kingdom work being done in Guinea.

Location:
Guinea, Africa
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