We are in the Philippines because of Sora’s vocation as a midwife, but I have long realized that I need to be teaching in order to be happy. I am a classicist, the son of two classicists, and the brother of a classicist. Teaching Greek and Latin languages and literature is the family trade. It is very fulfilling and satisfying for me when I can do it. When we first considered becoming missionaries, I told Sora that I was willing to do it if I had a place to teach.
Faith Academy was the first “place to teach” that I found, but God clearly also has other plans in bringing me here. This Tuesday, a small crowd of Filipino homeschoolers crowded into our kitchen, where I had installed a whiteboard. I distributed copies of Hans Ørberg’s marvelous textbook, Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, and we began. These homeschooled students are very bright and they ask great questions. For any former students reading: Yes, there was homework the first day. And yes, there will be a quiz at the second meeting. The flashcards for the class are available at Quizlet.com. I will take the students as far as I can in the time we are here. I hope that that will mean reading Ovid or Vergil together eventually. Certainly we will be able to do some of the Vulgate. We’ll look at medieval manuscripts and inscriptions, too.
This is an exciting development in our life here in Davao. It gives us a way to cultivate relationships and share resources with the local homeschooling community. It takes us further out of the American missionary “bubble” so that we can more fully manifest the unity of the body of Christ with our Filipino brothers and sisters. I’m doing my best to explain Latin grammar by comparison both with English and with Bisaya.