Synergy Leadership
"To Know Christ and Make Him Known"

Mentoring servant-leaders to love God's worth, live out God's Word in community, and to liberate God's world through the ministry of the local church.

Synergy Leadership, Port Elizabeth, Republic of South Africa

Ministry at Mashaka

Penny has had the privilege of serving at Mashaka Primary for almost three years. It began by an invitation from the headmistress, Mrs. Ndlovu, to come and assist with English literacy in the school. Penny responded to the invitation with a meeting. Mrs. Ndlovu and her primary school HOD, Mrs. Mkhize, expressed the needs of the school in the area of English literacy. Penny quickly explained that she is first a Christian and then an educator. Her involvement in the school would include prayer, sharing Christ with the teachers and the use of Biblically based literature in the classroom. Mrs. Ndlovu embraced this concept and the journey began...

Since that initial meeting, much has been done. Penny initially spent months getting to know the teachers, their children, the needs in the classroom, and building credibility with the staff and faculty. It was a time of hearing their concerns and expressing her desire to walk with them in improving the education at Mashaka. She then found free online resources and coordinated these resources with the South African CAPS curriculum. These resources have included the generous contribution of Jennifer Cooper-Trent in allowing her to use her online Fantastic Phonics reading series.Formal training sessions for the teachers were held on teaching strategies. Penny spent three mornings each week in the classrooms doing sample lessons, transitioning to observing the teachers' lessons, and then mentoring the teachers to refine their skills and effectiveness in the classroom. It has been a real ministry of synergy as they work together to enhance their classrooms to become effective places of learning.

A critical element of this mentoring process, has been to share Christ with the teachers, helping them with their walk with the Lord. This included praying with them during difficulites, providing them with gospel centered books, and helping them to realize that Jesus is the answer to everything. They have also begun implementing Bible stories and prayer as apart of their daily routine with their children. Penny has provided each teacher with a devotional Children's Bible that is age appropriate for each grade.

Penny is presently transitioning from Mashaka Primary to another school Sibongumbomvu Combined School. She is confident that the primary teachers are well equipped to teach well at Mashaka. She will continue one morning a week at Mashaka to encourage the teachers and children as well as to foster relationships betweeen the more affluent Hilton community nearby to assist with tutoring and resources. She is also training Thuli Myeni, a mother in the area, to assist the teachers. She hopes to continue to identify moms in the community who could volunteeer at the school, building a sense of community and accountability.