March 29, 2018
“So Jesus could come back at any time?” asked one of the boisterous second-grade boys as Tara Udeh, a Resonate partner missionary and elementary principal at Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria, led a devotion on Christ’s return.
Almost before Tara could answer, a hand shot up. One of the quieter students in the class, a girl from a Muslim family, blurted out: “No! He can’t come back until my parents are ready.”
“It was a really precious moment,” Tara shared. “This means that she herself feels ready. I asked her later if she had accepted Jesus into her life, and she said yes, and that she reads her Bible at home and talks about Jesus with her parents. I know God is at work even if it isn’t an in-your-face transformation. The change has happened quietly here.”
In almost every parable Jesus tells, His return happens quietly. The church waits, stewarding talents and lighting lamps, following Jesus’ command as He ascended—wait and, while you wait walk, throughout all the world.
A Call to Go
Tara felt the call to ministry overseas when she herself was in elementary school. Tara was attending Zuni Christian Mission School in New Mexico, a school that Resonate still partners with today. She fondly remembers her third-grade teacher who had served as a missionary. Eventually, she came to Nigeria as one of the first grade teachers at Hillcrest. There she met her husband Charles, a music producer and videographer and became the elementary principal.
Tara and Charles serve in diverse ways. Charles’ most recent project has been putting together media for medical outreaches in areas seriously affected by Boko Haram activity.
A Sample of Heaven
The children and teachers of Nigeria are Tara’s passion, and she and Charles are constantly developing new ways to reach out to them. Recently, Tara and her colleagues at Hillcrest organized a teacher training for 300 Nigerian teachers. Teachers were so eager to attend, they had to turn people away because of space.
“It was a little piece of heaven,” said Tara, “looking out at a full chapel of educators working together.”
According to Tara, education in Nigeria is in need of significant support, which has discouraged teachers, but many are catching the vision and realizing the importance of their work despite the challenges.
Tara has been collaborating with teachers on new ways to educate and instill a love of learning, because, for Tara, education is all about discovering God and creation. She referenced Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, and the honor of kings to seek it out,” as her motto verse.
“What a beautiful work we have as educators to help kids do that discovery,” she said.
Thank you for supporting missionaries like Tara and Charles who work tirelessly to find new ways to “prepare the way of the Lord” every day around the world. With them, we look forward to Christ’s return and every day being as joyous as a full chapel in Nigeria.