The Principle Approach in Brazil
Today, I have the blessed privilege of introducing my readers to Roberto Rinaldi. Of note, he’s President of the AECEP’s Administration Board in Brazil. It’s my hope that you will find encouragement! Seeing God’s Providential Hand actively involved in both America and other nations is refreshing! Praise Almighty God for what He is doing through individuals!
Listen to the history of their form of government and the liberty that they gained through the application of the Biblical Principles of government. Hear the heart which God places in our Brazilian brothers and sisters in Christ. See how they respond to Holy God in education and missions through the Biblical Principle Approach to education. To God be the glory!
And now, without further ado, here is what’s happening with the Principle Approach in Brazil.
MY STORY WITH PRINCIPLE APPROACH EDUCATION IN ANOTHER LAND
My wife and I started a Christian school in the city of São Paulo in 1992. Beforehand, for two years, we homeschooled our own and our friend’s children and had the support of a couple of teachers. This prepared us for starting our Christian school. At first, we had no commitment to a specific method. But soon a friend of mine shared a few cassette tapes with messages from Paul Jehle. These recordings were from the inauguration of a Christian school in another state. While driving to work, I listened to those tapes. In effect, a real revolution happened in my education perspective as I learned about the Principle Approach. With some research I found FACE. So, in my next executive business trip to the USA I put in my agenda to visit it in Virginia. The intent being to get to know better this Principle Approach.
Arriving at the Foundation for American Christian Education
I was invited to attend a class with Dr. Elizabeth Youmans, where I sat at the floor and absorbed that wisdom. And with a growing conviction I had found what I wanted. At the end, Dr. Carole Adams spoke to me kindly about her own story of Christian schooling and granted me one of the red books and the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language.
Taking My Principle Approach Education Back to Brazil
I went back home and dove deep into those books and Paul Jehle’s material, to translate and train teachers at our school. On that very first year of our school’s operation we decided to hold a conference to share our findings. So, I invited as speaker the pioneer young lady that had been trained by Paul Jehle and brought him to speak at her school inauguration. Her name was Cida Mattar, and the conference was labeled Workshop of Christian Schooling Education. On the following years, we had the honor of bringing Dr. Elizabeth Youmans, Dr. Paul Jehle, and Dr. Carole Adams to be key speakers at this annual conference. As a result, a long valuable relationship with them and their institutions grew.
Growing in the Biblical Principle Approach
After that, we continued to study and practice the Principle Approach in our school and to share openly with others interested. In essence, we did this by following the steps of those who had inspired us.
Soon, we found that there were a few churches and schools willing to go through mentoring by us. So, I invited Cida Mattar to come work in our school and to join me in building an institution to better serve those interested. As a result, AECEP – Association of Principled Education Christian Schools was founded in São Paulo in 1997. Consequently, it’s established as a collaborative learning community of institutions and professionals.
I felt this was a strategic move in God’s agenda to help our nation. Important to realize, our nation comes from a history of exploitation by the Portuguese crown and religious domination. As a result, it kept this new land closed to any external influence. And even without any university during 300 years. The consequence is a culture prone to dependence, syncretism, and to working around the law. Which—in last decades—made room to populist socialism and a military dictatorship reaction in our government. Thus, damaging the economy and allowing for wide corruption.
Establishing Principle Approach Schools in Brazil
AECEP has grown to almost 150 associated schools covering K-12. It’s located in most states of Brazil, serving them directly or via a network of varied partners. As such, it provides:
- Reference materials,
- On site and distance learning courses,
- Regional events,
- Interchange of experiences,
- And consulting.
We have been translating and publishing our own material, including complete curriculum guides and an administration guide. The Workshop evolved to be the anchor event. It gathers annually around a thousand educators from all parts of Brazil and even from abroad.
Discipling the Nations for Christ with the Biblical Principle Approach in Education
This vision has given birth to AECEP in Missions 6 years ago. In short, we have a missionary arm of AECEP to reach vulnerable contexts with the Principled Educational Approach, PEA in short form, as we named our local expression of Principle Approach.
AECEP in Missions has been ministering in poor parts of Brazil, 5 African countries and even in Pakistan. Specifically, we’re training teachers—reaching out to many thousands of children and families. And it will now actively support planting PEA sustainable schools in vulnerable places.
The Value of Reasoning Biblically
AECEP’s motto—“Developing generations with competence and character”—aims to impact the nation by integrating schools, families, churches and community leaders. The purpose is to educate young people that manifest the Kingdom of God with the application of its principles to all areas of life.
We believe it has influenced thousands of teachers and families with a biblical worldview of education and government. As a result, this it has contributed, jointly with the Christian churches’ move, to elect our last president. Our president is a man committed to Christian values.
This is happening after 16 years of rather leftist government. We have been enforcing in our trainings and in events the relation between education and form of government. The value of reasoning from consistent biblical standards, relating to the 7 governmental principles, is conducive to these social and political results.
America’s history is pictured as a successful experiment of building and developing a nation upon biblical principles. So, to inspire our people to trust, we too can strive to experience it in Brazil working over the same basis.
God’s Providential Hand: Homeschool Growth in Brazil
Homeschooling has never been legal in Brazil. But more recently— with the new president—a door is widely open. And so it shall soon be legalized. Because of that, we have seen:
- Thousands of families adopting it,
- And several organizations coming up in support of it, to help these parents.
AECEP sees this movement as aligned with its philosophy, and understands it as an opportunity. Therefore, it has launched a training online course, is receiving homeschooler parents as affiliated, and is encouraging the associated schools to be prepared to work as hybrid. We are planning also on making specific curriculum and materials available to serve these families. This is another strong component in our PEA learning community.
Blessing Brazil’s Next Generation with Liberty Through Education
Throughout all these years FACE has been a source of inspiration and of quality material, reference to Principle Approach education. And it is an amazing partner along with others in this noble journey. We are excited with the possibilities ahead. For instance, this Coronavirus pandemic has been an excellent laboratory:
- For assessing our values,
- Reinventing our way of working,
- And confirming our mission bless the next generation.
President of the AECEP’s Administration Board
Learn more at AECEP’s website and connect with them on social media:
Our books: https://aecep.org.br/loja-virtual/
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