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Not a Work, but a Service!
November 27, 2017

Only teachers, all teachers, more than 120 teachers, almost all of them are Adventist teachers. They came together for a Sabbath of worship and fellowship at the multipurpose hall of the Hong Kong Adventist Academy on September 16, 2017. They are teachers of Sam Yuk schools of Hong Kong-Macau Conference, including Hong Kong Adventist Academy, Kowloon Sam Yuk Secondary School, Tai Po Sam Yuk Secondary School, Hong Kong Sam Yuk Kindergarten School, and Macau Sam Yuk Middle School.

During the worship, teachers were encouraged to rethink and answer together the question “Why Adventist education?” In his one-hour presentation, Dr. Richard Sabuin, NSD education director, posted three questions in relation to the coming of Naaman to the Jordan River for healing from his leprosy: 1) What brought Naaman to the Jordan River? 2) What did Naaman find at the Jordan River? 3) What did Naaman experience at the Jordan River? Analogously, these are three questions about Adventist education. It was God’s prophet (Adventist teachers) that brought Naaman (the students) to  the Jordan Rivers (Adventist Schools). What students would find in the Adventist schools is a faith-integrated curriculum. And what they should experience is a total or whole-person conversion: physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social. These make Adventist education unique. Moreover, the church offers Adventist education at the end times, in the context of the great controversy, before the second coming of Christ. This makes Adventist education very vital in preparing young people for the coming of Christ.

Facilities are important, but far more important than good facilities is the service of Adventist teachers. Abana and Pharpar in Damascus might be much more beautiful than the Jordan River, but God’s prophet is not there. He is at the Jordan River! Again, it is Adventist teachers that make Adventist education a unique one. Undoubtedly, we do need Adventist education.

Dr. Barbara Choi, education director of Chinese Union Mission, did the translation from English to Cantonese for the sermon and the panel discussion focusing on the role of Adventist teachers in mission schools. Three senior Adventist teachers were part of the panel: Kar Wai Lam (Kowloon Sam Yuk), Wong Chung Yeung (Tai Po Sam Yuk), and Tam Tsz Ho (Macau Sam Yuk). One of them stated: “For me, teaching in an Adventist school is not work; it is a service or ministry.” Another emphasized that doing extra responsibilities and serving overtime is expected for Adventist teachers.

The whole program ended at 4 p.m. after a team-building activity involving all teachers, led by the chaplains of the schools. We thank Dr. Frank Tam, HKMC education director, who has organized this annual event since 2013. Indeed, I could see the excitement of the teachers expressing the same message that teaching in Adventist schools is not work; it is a service for the Lord!

Richard A. Sabuin, NSD Education Director