Character + Intelligence // 品德 + 智力

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Christine Ma-Lau felt a stirring to turn to a career in education but she wanted to teach the next generation on good character as well as intelligence. So she looked to the best educator and leader – Jesus Christ – on how to start her learning center, JEMS.  
Christine Ma-Lau心頭上有意去開展她的教育事業,但是她想教育下一代不只要具有好的智力,還要有好的品德。所以她以最好的教育家和領導者 – 基督耶穌 – 為榜樣去摸索怎樣開始她的學習中心 –  JEMS。

What’s the concept behind JEMS (and its curriculum)? How did it start?
Educating children is so important but so much of the education provided today is on academic achievements and skills attainment. I really wanted to be able to provide education that is truly important – on character and values – to complement what is currently being offered. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “character plus intelligence – that is the goal of true education”. If we’re just educating children to be smart without teaching them right from wrong, how to make decisions, how to build relationships and contribute to the community, we could just be raising a selfish and arrogant generation.

So when thinking about who is/was the best educator and leader, I look to Jesus. Jesus is the best leader in the history of this world – he turned the world upside down in 3 years! I searched through Scripture and three things struck me about how he taught his disciples:

1)He told them their IDENTITY, told them who they were and how they should make decisions.
2)He helped them build RELATIONSHIPS with Himself and each other.
3)He brought them to serve the COMMUNITY and showed them how they should change the world.

Taking those three concepts, we formed a vision to see children know their identity, build strong relationships and be a positive contributor to their community – a Junior Excellent Member of Society (JEMS).

JEMS(和其課程)背後的概念是什麼?它是如何開始?
教育孩子是非常重要的,但是現今很多提供的教育只在乎于學術成果和技能水平。我很想有能力去提供非常重要的教育- 就是在於品德和價值觀的課程 – 去補充現代教育所提供的。馬丁路德金曾經說過:「品德和智力才是真正教育的目標。」如果我們只是教育小孩子要聰明而不教他們分辨是非、怎樣去作決定、怎樣去建立關係、怎樣為社會作出貢獻,我們只會培養出自私自大的一代人。

所以當我在想誰是/曾經是最好的教育家和領導者,耶穌基督就是表表者。耶穌是這世界歷史上最好的領導者-祂用三年的時間顛覆了這個世界!我搜索經文,有三件關於祂如何教導祂的門徒的事情打動了我:

1)  祂告訴他們,他們的身份、他們是誰和他們應該如何做決定。
2)  祂幫助他們建立與祂自己和彼此的關係。
3)  祂帶他們到社區服務,並向他們展示他們應該如何改變世界。

憑著這三個概念,我們建立了一個願景去教導孩子認知他們的身份、建立牢固的關係、成為一個在他們社區裏的正面貢獻者 – 一個年少的優秀公民。

How and when did you feel the personal calling to start JEMS?
I have always had a passion for educating children but I felt God lead me to start JEMS in 2008. I had taken 3 months off to really seek the Lord for the plans He had for me in my life. I believe that there are GOOD things and then there are GOD things and I really wanted to find out what God wanted for my life. I had told friends that I wouldn’t do anything until God told me what it was and a week into my prayer time, I started getting worried thinking “what if God doesn’t tell me for ages?” But about a week later, God started speaking to me through books, people and prayer times and stirred up in me my passion for education and in particular, for character education.

是如何和在什麼時候你感覺到自己的呼召去開始JEMS?
我對兒童教育一直有熱忱,但是在2008年,我感覺到神帶領我去創立JEMS。我用了三個月的時間去真正尋求神祂在我生命裡的計劃。我相信有好的事情和神的事情,我需要去尋求神在我生命想要什麼。我告訴我的朋友我不會去作任何事情直到神告訴我是什麼,然後在我禱告的一星期裡,我開始擔憂地想:「如果神在很久都不告訴我,那怎麼辦?」但在一個星期後,神開始透過書、朋友和禱告的時間,激起了我熱愛教育的心,尤其是品德教育。

In what ways has JEMS/your career experienced challenges and blessings from God?
I think it’s the time of challenges that God’s blessings shine the brightest. God’s hand was always and continues to be on this mission but it’s the times when things got tough that God really revealed Himself to me. As an example, I found it very challenging to find a location for JEMS. I had looked at a number of venues and none of them seemed right – too small, too big, too far, too dark. Then one day, I opened my prayer journal and dared to ask God for big things. I wrote down 10 criteria for the place I was looking for detailing location, size, price, layout, etc. and everyone thought I’d get 8 out of the 10 criteria at the most but a couple weeks later, I walked into the place where JEMS now stands and it fit every single one of my criteria. Now that has to be an answer to prayer!

你的事業經歷了哪些方面的挑戰和從神而來的祝福?
我認為在挑戰的時間裡,神的祝福閃耀得最亮。上帝的手一直秉承在這一使命上,但在事情最艱苦的時候,神真正向我顯現祂自己。譬如,為JEMS尋找一個適合的地方非常困難。我看了好幾個地點,沒有一個感覺合適-太小、太大、太遠、太黑。然後有一天,我打開我的禱告日記,大膽向神要更大的東西。我寫下對這個地點的十個標準,地方,面積,價錢,格局,等等。每個人都認為我只能找到符合最多八個標準的地方,但是幾個星期過後,我走進現時JEMS所在的地方,它符合我的每一個標準。這就是一個祈禱的應許!

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
I’ve learned that you have to know the purpose in what you’re doing and be passionate in doing it. For me, being passionate means believing in what I do and loving every child who comes through our doors. I would have to be honest to say that there are good days and there are not-so-good days but every day, I need to focus on the fact that this is God’s project. On a good day, I thank God and on the not-so-good ones, I remind myself that God called me to this and His grace is sufficient for me.

在你的事業裡,你學到最重要的功課是什麼?
我學到你需要知道你現在做的事情的目的是什麼,然後熱衷於這件事情。對於我來講,熱衷意味著相信我做的事情,愛每一個到我們這裡來的小孩。坦白地說,這當中有好的時候,也有不是很好的時候,但每一天我都需要注意的事實是,這是上帝的項目和計劃。在好的一天,我感恩。在不是很好的時候,我提醒自己是神呼召我去做這件事,祂的恩典夠我用。

Where do you hope to go with JEMS from here?
I hope to go wherever God takes me!

你和JEMS希望下一步到哪裡?
我希望去神帶領我去的地方!

Image credit: flickr.com/oter

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