What sets GEM apart

I love teaching at Manantial and being apart of Global Education Ministries. I love everything that the school is about and what we stand for.The one thing that sticks out the most about our school is that we are a gospel centered school. Before working at El Manantial, I had worked in the public school system and at a Christain Academy for several years. I loved working in those settings at those times but there is an astronomical difference in having the ability and freedom not only talk about the love of Jesus freely in the classroom, but also to live it out. 

A gospel saturated school means that we center everything we do, say and perceive around the gospel. In order for that to truly take root in the hearts of our students, the teachers must have their lives rooted in the gospel. I love that our school’s main focus is Jesus and everything else comes second. And shouldn’t that be the main focus in my life as well? I think that must be the case if I am to teach these students about Jesus and his good news.

When I was working in other schools, back in the United States, I noticed that many of the teachers and staff would get so worn out and frustrated so easily because of the amount of pressure they were under. Sometimes even the lack of purpose was so evidently draining their energy as well. They were limited on what they could say or do when they were angry or hurt by a situation or student. At Manantial, we are faced with those same kind of emotions and frustrations, but the difference is our vision and the foundation on which our school depends on; the gospel. 

For instance, I teach 3rd grade and my wonderful 3rd graders are full of many emotions, as are most children. However, my third graders love to test the limits and are full of energy. I absolutely love that about them, but I am also human so there are plenty of times that my natural tendency in response to their disobedience, would be to to yell or act out in frustration. However, because I am called to center my life around God’s grace and forgiveness, that is also how I should respond to my students. It is in those times where I try to stop and simply pray out outloud. I love that through my response to my students, I am able to teach them how we, as imperfect humans, should respond when we are upset; go immediately before Jesus. It is so humbling to watch my students then take that response in their own lives, especially in the classroom. 

I believe that is what separates us from other schools. Our focus and our vision is the gospel of Jesus. And we have the complete freedom to share that with our students, which is the perfect opportunity to make disciples. I’m so thankful to teach with GEM!

– Philem Andress, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Philem as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!