God is Moving
By: Christi Lynn, Interim VP, Communications and Engagement
February 21, 2023
Right now, somewhere around the world, a child is learning because of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). As mindboggling as it may seem, more than 5.5 million students connect worldwide to Christian education through more than 25,000 schools in 108 countries each day. “The “i” in ACSI has always stood for international,” said Dr. Larry Taylor, ACSI President & CEO.
For most of the more than 45 years of service, ACSI has been serving global national Christian schools. These schools are located outside of the United States and primarily focus on serving the indigenous population. There are 6 global divisions with 17 offices. “Our aim is to help provide culturally relevant, effective Christian education, led by local educators, in an economically sustainable, unique context,” said Mike Epp, Senior Vice President of Global. Additionally, ACSI serves international Christian schools in more than 75 countries. These schools serve the expatriate community and often a portion of the host country population frequently in English with Western-style curriculum.
There have been many global milestones over the years that have certainly been cause for celebration. The first global office was founded in Guatemala more than 30 years ago. The first all-Africa Roundtable took place in 2007. And while these efforts were beautiful expressions of God's hand moving, we have seen Him moving today perhaps more than ever before. “There is a God-only ordained movement and stir within to increase what we are doing globally,” Taylor described.
In January, ACSI named Dr. Sosthene Maletoungou as the Divisional Director for Africa, equipping thousands of Christian schools across 35 countries. Dr. Larry Taylor believes he will greatly amplify the reach and influence of Christian education in Africa. “Dr. Maletoungou joining our global leadership team is a critical step in fulfilling our new global strategic plan,” he said. Maletoungou joins the global leadership of Agus Susanto in the Asia Pacific, Laci Demeter in Europe, Estuardo Salazar in Latin America, David Balik in North America, and additional leadership in South Asia.
When reflecting on the ACSI global leadership of committed men and women who are fulfilling the Great Commission through Christ-centered education, Dr. Taylor is energized about the opportunities. “Education is a universal language. Education is a magnet in many cultures. When visiting a school in Uganda of 750 students where 99% are Muslim, I saw a hunger for Christian education. Imagine if one child receives Christ… what a ripple effect that could be!”
Beyond providing a platform to demonstrate the love of Christ where God can transform hearts and minds, Christian schools are proving to be a refuge from evil. “I can’t help but contemplate the young faces I saw this past fall in Southeast Asia. In one school I visited, 120 precious children were saved from human trafficking,” Taylor recounted. “By God’s grace and the help of brave Christian educators, these children now live in a thriving environment with food, clothes, shelter, and a solid Christian education. I saw the smile on their faces. I saw them worship Jesus. I saw true Kingdom work in action.”
This investment in children’s lives is the foundational heartbeat of ACSI’s global work. Last month, many of the global leaders gathered in Dubai to renew a commitment to this important calling and to cast a vision for the future. Dr. Taylor feels this is a historic milestone for the organization. “The Dubai meeting was unbelievable. It was a rich time of God’s presence. We walked away with a renewed sense of calling and a vision to continue as a global leader advancing Christ-centered education. We will continue to provide biblically based educational resources, increase access to Kingdom education, and leverage God-ordained intersections for greater impact. Supporting the worldwide movement of Christian schooling is one of the most exciting initiatives at ACSI.”
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