John and Amber Adams are teachers at Numonohi Christian Academy in Papua New Guinea. John teaches history, French and social studies, while Amber teaches second grade.
We discussed their motivation for teaching missionary children on the other side of the world. Following are a few highlights from our interview.
Q: Do you see yourself as part of the church planting team?
John: Absolutely. It’s a real privilege to be a part of that church planting team …. It takes a lot of people to get the gospel to those places …. You don’t have to be a Bible translator or a church planter directly to be involved in the ministry.
Amber: Well, I’m a teacher and so I teach. But the reason I teach is because I teach children of the pilots and children of mechanics and children of the IT people and children of those who are working with the government and children of the Bible translators and children of the church planters.
And because I’m teaching, all of those people can do their ministries, the Bible is getting translated and people are coming to know God. That’s the exciting part of being able to teach. So I’m just doing basic teaching with the little kids because that’s what I know best. But because I’m there, everyone else can be there, play their part and people come to know God.
Q: What is the most fulfilling thing about teaching here?
John: The most fulfilling thing is realizing that we’re part of a bigger work, that we’re part of getting the gospel spread to people who’ve never heard it before. [It’s] knowing that when I do something that seems very basic like grading a test for a history class, that little bit of work that I’m doing is making it possible for other missionaries to preach the gospel, for other missionaries to translate the Bible, for other missionaries to do discipleship work. … That makes the job worth doing.
Q: What’s the most fulfilling thing about being here?
Amber: I love being a teacher and I love seeing kids learn. I love just the joy when they come up and they say, “I love reading,” “I love math,” and “I’ve just understood this.” I love being part of that. That’s the day in day out that kind of keeps me going
But part of me thinks I only have so much time that God’s given me. And 100 years from now no one’s going to remember my name. No one’s going to remember I was here. But here, a hundred years from now, a tribal church will have a Bible in their language, and they’ll still have that Bible.
They won’t remember me, and it won’t matter. But they’ll know God. And there will be believers there, and they’ll be brothers and sisters a hundred years from now because I was teaching reading and because I was teaching math and because I was investing in those kids and watching them grow.