On a visit to the Durihana International School in Seoul you would be very impressed at what you found. You would see the students wake up and begin their day with a 5:30 am prayer service. You would find them learning a host of different subjects. Regarding language, over half of them speak Chinese, they all speak Korean, and they are learning English. They learn history, mathematics, ethics, and civics. I had the privilege when I was with them of teaching them the reason, nature, and practical ramifications of the three branches of Government in the United States. For them this was incredible because where they come from there is no trial, and the police are the prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.
They have Physical Education classes, giving them an opportunity to try out every sport available to them. The older boys love playing basketball when school is out at the park right across the street. The younger students participate in Tae Kwon Do classes every week. My oldest son taught the high school students how to play American Football when we were there this summer. The students loved it–we did not do full contact and thankfully there were no concussions.
They have choir practice every week, and each one of them is also in the Durihana orchestra. Outside of this many of them play other instruments and serve on the worship team at church. Many of them are tutored after school, or during lunch breaks. And they are also given optional classes like a media/film production class that was taught this spring. You would be very encouraged indeed to see all that the students are learning.
While the education they receive is sound, and there is no doubt that most of them might graduate with flying colors and smiles on their faces while wearing their graduation gown, there is something greater than the education itself that the students receive. Not all education is filled with knowledge. The most important thing the students are taught, the purpose of the school is to teach the students to be worshippers of God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
Knowledge begins with God. As we know Him, love Him, and fear Him, we are acquiring true knowledge. Notice also what the Scripture says fools despise-wisdom and instruction. A fool may not despise an education, but they will despise wisdom and instruction. Education, wisdom, and instruction are not inherently the same thing. A person may have an education, yet lack wisdom and instruction. Conversely, a person may have wisdom and instruction yet lack an education. But the one who has the fear of the Lord has found the beginning of knowledge and will be instructed further still.
Why we teach our children will always determine what we teach our children. Education can never solve the world’s problems. We cannot learn our way out of sin, we need a Savior to deliver us from it. If our learning is not translated into worship, then all that we learn will become a futile act of idolatry spent on ourselves. But when we are worshiping God with all that we learn, our life becomes an offering continually poured out to the Lord.
What this produces in the students is wonderful to watch as they grow up at Durihana School. As they mature in their knowledge of God, “what they want to be when they grow up,” matures with them. They arrive and they want to be rich and famous. They begin to grown into worshippers of God, and their desires change. They want to work in areas that serve and help others. The fear of the Lord sanctifies education and induces it to glorify God.
I remember listening to Pastor Chun speak to a group of leaders at a church here in the United States. They were very excited about the school, and excited to hear all that the students were learning and what they were doing. At one point Pastor Chun paused and said, “we give the students a good education, and yes, that is important. But the most important thing is that we teach them to be worshippers of God.”
It is important that we educate students for eternity. You will not be a plumber, or contractor, or lawyer, or school-teacher, or professional athlete, or Pastor forever. But you will be a worshipper for all eternity. Are you learning to be now what you will be forever? That is what we are aiming for at Durihana School-teaching these children to live now as they will live forever… as worshippers of the true God.