Verona Thompson CTIA Reporter
On the 22nd of September 2006, destiny unfolded to bring to fruition the first remnant of a God-dream that had become a present reality. Under the theme “The Anointed Teacher” the “Christian Teachers In Action” (CTIA) initiative had a day of prayer and fellowship a “Prayer Convocation”. The Bible says “…write the vision and make it plain…..” (Habakkuk 2:2) and indeed the vision of this initiative was explicitly written in heaven and in the hearts of all the attendees. The auditorium of the Shortwood Teacher’s College was packed with the Angels of God and the Presence of the Almighty God Himself, along with 25 teachers and workers in the field of Education. From the onset, the anointing could be felt, as the Praise and Worship team from the Shortwood Teacher’s College UCCF (Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship) Group set the pace for the day.
The Welcome and overview was given by the founder and president, Mrs. Donnette Norman, who expounded on the Motto, Background and Mission of CTIA, which all evidenced the spiritual validity of the initiative. Mrs. Norman introduced the first speaker of the day, Bishop Carleen Riley from Bible Teacher’s International Ministries. Bishop Riley kept the spiritual momentum high as she made her presentation on “The Anointing”.
In this presentation she spoke of the spiritual preparation that is needed by teachers in the classroom. Bishop Riley made reference to the book of Esther in the Bible, where she emphasized that just as Queen Esther knew her mandate in God’s Kingdom in her day, we also “have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this”. She shared that there is power in a praying teacher, urged teachers to continuously pray for students and to not only pay attention to teaching methodologies, techniques and content; which are all important, but also to pay attention to connecting to students and being a representation of God in the classroom. She emphasized that a Christian teacher’s career is a platform for ministry and it is a privilege to be called by God in this manner. Bishop Riley culminated her sobering and spirit filled presentation with passionate praise and worship in song and all in attendance basked in the atmosphere of true praises to God.
The second presenter for the occasion was the Principal of the
Shortwood Teachers College,
Mrs. Elaine Foster-Allen. Her presentation was a passionate one in which she touched on numerous areas such as: Christian teacher’s integrity among staff members; respect for authority; the importance of studying to show oneself approved and being competent in the specific content area/s that one is employed to teach. She shared experiences about spiritual warfare and urged teachers to have no line of demarcation between job and ministry as “the spiritual, intellectual and professional must work in unison”. She charged the educators to be in tune with current events and to be like the children of Issachar in the book of 1 Chronicles 12: 32, who knew the times and what to do. After Mrs. Foster-Allen’s presentation, she led the company of educators into a series of prayer that developed into a time of intercession. She further challenged us not to discontinue the focus but give ourselves over to prayer and collaboration for the good of the education system.
During this session, a special deliverance took place. Teachers who had ailments in their bodies were prayed for and a special session of impartation of anointing and releasing of gifts were all a part of this spiritually intoxicating moment. Specific prayers were done my Mrs. Clover Flowers, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Foster-Allen and Bishop Riley. This was truly an unforgettable experience as each person in attendance was touched by the awesome Spirit of God. Prayer, praise and worship continued even throughout the ‘break’ period.
The final speaker for day was Dr Hazel Salmon, who was a former educator and now works in the “Bible Teacher’s International Ministries”. Her presentation was on “Jesus, The Model Teacher”. She spoke of the importance of being led God and seeing the teaching profession as God sees it. She strengthened the points of the previous presenters and gave all who were present the urgency and passion to put all that was shared into action, so that God can be glorified. At the end of Dr. Salmon’s heart warming presentation, Mrs. Norman, Mrs. Flowers and Mrs. Williams gave their closing remarks. Mrs. Norman mentioned the prospects of extending the CTIA initiative to all levels of the education system (Primary, Secondary and
Tertiary Schools), and also endorsed the suggestion of having a Monthly Prayer Meeting (“When Teachers Meet To Pray”).
Pastor Ricketts from Prayer 2000, who had been assigned to officially close the day’s proceedings, shared two scriptures from the Bible and urged all present to pray for all who are in authority in the education sector; Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, President of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, Ena Barclay and for all the heads and leaders of every educational institution in the country. Pastor Ricketts shared that in order to truly intercede effectively; the broad spectrum of individuals involved in the field of education must be included in the prayers. Upon this directive, the curtains come down on this unforgettable event as teachers held hands in a circle and prayed. Tears flowed, hearts were encouraged and passion was undoubtedly stirred as Christian teachers were in real action!