“It struck me that Christian schools in my city should work for God and we should connect and do something for the Lord,” said Irene Rao*.
Irene has worked at a private school since 2006. Her role as the academic administrator has placed her in a unique position to be a light for Christ in her school. The school is run by her father so she naturally thought she should work there. But the Lord had other plans for her.
“I thought missions was about going to villages and remote places and sharing the gospel or ministering to youth or students,” Irene said. “I never really thought of workplace ministry.”
Ninety-five percent of her school is not Christian, even though it is a private, Christian school. This reality made Irene’s heart heavy for her school and the Lord led her to read Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
How could the Lord use her to minister to teachers and students? He brought two office staff alongside her to pray for the school.
“One woman received the Lord at our school three years before,” she said. “Over the past year, I’ve developed a relationship with her and she prays with me. There’s another person that God has added and she too prays with us.”
Through prayer, Irene has seen amazing things happen at her school.
“There was a real problem of disobedience in some of the classrooms. We started praying about it. A day or two days after that, the church team came,” Irene said. “Generally, the high school students were arrogant and tough and did not want to participate. They gave an altar call and many students came forward and prayed in groups.”
“Later the students said, ‘We really had a breakthrough today. We have not had this at our school. Something is different this year.’ I knew that the Lord had answered our prayers … The Lord was really pumping us up, showing that He is already working.”
Another area Irene focuses on is developing her teachers.
“My inspiration from God is to really build the teachers. If you build them, they will multiply,” she said. “Through meetings, appraisals, and mentoring, I try to share what the Lord has been teaching me with them. I want to make our teachers become readers, creative people and to become speakers.”
Irene and her fellow educators are continuing to trust in the Lord to make a difference in their school. When asked what advice she would give to those who want to share the gospel in their workplace, Irene said,
“First become rooted in Christ, be built up in Christ and have a prayer life. Equip yourself with the word of God. Don’t rule in your flesh but listen to the Holy Spirit.”
*Name changed for security reasons
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