WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – TeachBeyond is all about transformation. In the early years following World War 2, Youth for Christ invited the Janz Brother Quartet to travel from their homes in Manitoba to participate in crusades in Germany. Those crusades envisioned sharing the hope found in Jesus Christ to transform a languishing, war-weary nation.
In 1954, the brothers moved permanently to Switzerland, where they would be centrally located to continue evangelistic work throughout Europe as the Janz Brothers Evangelistic Association.
Their 15-minute biweekly radio program, begun in 1956 and aired over Radio Luxembourg, led to the transformation of their ministry into a broader outreach across Switzerland and Germany.
In addition to holding evangelistic crusades, the team transformed by venturing into multiple areas of ministry, including youth work, camps, education, and a radio ministry that reached three continents. By the late 1990s, the team had opened offices in France, Belarus, Brazil, Great Britain, and Portugal.
The transformation continued as the ministry began to focus more and more of its time and effort on educational programs. In 2009, the organization changed its name to TeachBeyond. Within two years, TeachBeyond owned and operated six schools, primarily for missionaries’ children. By 2015, TeachBeyond was engaged in a five-year plan that “focused on global initiatives for educators, learners, organizations, and communities” in 47 different countries.
“TeachBeyond’s website explains that their “primary emphases are on educational initiatives such as schools, English language camps, teacher education, professional seminars . . . to engage with the needs of the world—physical, relational, and spiritual.”
“We are called to an age-old idea in Christian education, which we call transformational education. This is the simple, yet profound belief that through the power of God’s Holy Spirit active in education, children and adults can undergo a redemptive, holistic transformation. This makes them increasingly like Christ in their world.”
Mission Network News recently featured the story of how TeachBeyond is reaching out to help educate children living near a garbage dump near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Just as in areas of South Asia, many children do not attend school because they are sent to scavenge in the dump, hoping to find items that can be sold to help their families subsist. TeachBeyond has partnered with Open Schools Worldwide to reach children between the age of seven and 15.
The Open Schools program is designed to transform those children, many of whom have never been to school, by filling in the gaps in their education so that they are prepared to enter the public school system at the grade level for their age. The program is often the first place these children ever hear about Jesus, which connects with the group’s Vision Prayer:
“We wholeheartedly desire to serve our Father’s world, to love Jesus Christ, and to see individuals and communities transformed by His Spirit through education.”
Their Vision Statement continues . . .
“When we, as an international organization, have provided transformational education through teaching and learning services and in the power that God gives us through His indwelling Spirit, we see emerging a great movement of people who have experienced personal renewal and whose world of influence experiences redemptive change.”
Although the methodology has changed – the biblical hope and gospel message is the same as the Janz brothers believed and shared in 1954.
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