Concordia International School Shanghai in India with ALEA
This February saw the visit of Dr. Jim and Joanie Koerschen, Head of Concordia International School Shanghai (CISS), to some of our Lutheran schools in India. The India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) runs some 80 schools in three synods (districts) in India, some dating back close to a century. We were only able to visit schools in Ambur Synod this time, however.
The immediate purpose of their visit was to explore how CISS could partner with schools there. However, ALEA also wanted to bring to the attention of one of our Lutheran Education leaders the real situation of our schools in India. We hope that Jim will help ALEA come up with strategies and ideas of how our whole network of schools and colleges in the US – and our international schools – can more effectively work with these schools as a whole.
There has already been some pioneer work in this. Bill Leese has been taking groups of High School students from HKIS for three years now, and enthusiasm for his trips only grows. Students from HKIS generally work building relationships and sharing English and other interests with the students there. But they also bring money for computers and other materials which help the very great infrastructural needs many of these schools face.
Beth and Dave Hoeppner, former HKIS teachers, have also been working with the IELC schools for the last two years. Besides making a directory of the schools there with details and contact numbers for the schools, along with their strengths and weaknesses, they developed a new Religion Curriculum which they shared with all the schools – the first such project in decades.
We at ALEA thank God for these dedicated people and hope that even more will become involved in this education ministry.
The Koerschens (L) and Hoeppners (R) at the Bargur School for the Blind.