Steve will leave on the 25th January to go to South Korea for just over a week. He will be working there with Sejong Global School (about 50 miles south of Seoul), which was set up to meet the needs of Korean mission families. They may be returning permanently, taking home leave, or serving overseas while sending the children to school there. When families from Korea leave their home to serve overseas, their children lose or fall behind on academic Korean, and become outsiders who can struggle to return there. Many of these children study in English, as that is the language of almost all home education systems and international schools that are available to them while living abroad. For this reason Sejong is a bilingual school, but finding the right balance of how much teaching should be given in each language has proven difficult. While Steve is there he will be working with the staff to help resolve this and other issues such as staff recruitment and training.
After Korea he will fly on to SW Asia on the 4th February to teach at a conference of around 130 of our leaders from various Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. He will be teaching an intensive 2-day child safeguarding investigation course for our own designated staff in countries where there are no social service or police authorities able to deal with any incidents. Our response to any incidents, and our potential teaching for national colleagues, is particularly important as most of the countries concerned have very high rates of all kinds of child abuse and the related problem of domestic violence.
He will also teach a seminar on the related theme of internet safety.
There will be sessions on more general mission children themes such as multilingualism, which is a concern for almost all families in mission, and supporting mission children in major transitions, including big international moves, such as returning to the passport country.
He will return to the UK on 13th February.