Monday, January 18, 2016

Senior Missionary Friendships - Elder & Sister Henderson

One of the best parts about working in the Pacific Area Office is the opportunity for friendships with other Senior Missionaries.   Currently there are about ten couples who all live in the same apartment complex we do and all work in offices in the PAO.   Their assignments are varied, including humanitarian aid, public affairs, mental health, education, legal, and others.   Some we see little of as our schedules just don't coincide.  Others we have the good fortune to associate with regularly.  A few we are able to have adventures with during our off hours.  

One couple we have recently gotten to know better are Elder & Sister Henderson from Cottonwood Heights, Utah.   Their assignment is to coordinate the International Teacher Education Program  (ITEP) for the Pacific Area.

James and Kathleen Henderson from Cottonwood Heights, UT

Here is a little info about the ITEP program:

From 1991 to 1996, great effort was made to meet the needs of in-service training of teachers in the Church schools throughout the Pacific. The moving forces in this effort were Jack Johnson, then Associate Vice President of BYU-Hawaii and Dan Andersen, then CES Consultant for the Pacific, along with other leaders at CES and BYU-Hawaii. The result of much inspiration and work is the INTERNATIONAL TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM (ITEP).

ITEP was officially organized in 1997 as a partnership between three LDS Church entities: (1) BYU-Hawaii, (2) Seminary and Institutes Program (S&I), and (3) Missionary department. The goal of ITEP was to meet the needs of teacher training and improvement in the LDS South Pacific Church schools. The decision to organize was truly inspired because the need was great and the resources were few.

The ITEP Program currently operates under the direction of the BYU-Hawaii ITEP Director in the College of Human Development and the Assistant Area S&I Director of Pacific Church schools. 

ITEP began with six missionary couples assigned to six schools – two couples in Tonga, two couples in Samoa, one couple in Fiji, and one couple in Kiribati. These professional education missionaries were called to serve as adjunct faculty for the School of Education at BYU-Hawaii. They offered BYU Hawaii-approved course work and provided supervision for teacher training certification. Eventually new positions were created for the Church middle schools in Tonga and Sauniatu Primary School in Samoa. Another couple was called to coordinate the work in the schools and, initially, was housed at BYU-Hawaii. This position is now housed at the Pacific Area Office in Auckland. Couples have now been called to work with the TVET classrooms at each of the six Church high schools.

Currently there are 15 missionary couple positions in the ITEP. Since its inception, more than 80 couples have served ITEP/TVET missions.

ITEP missionaries include the ranks of trained teachers, principals, superintendents, university education faculty, and technical and vocational educators and other practitioners. In the early years of the program, missionaries were asked to assist with teacher certification only. Currently ITEP missionaries have the opportunity to teach, mentor and assist with teacher, counsellor, and administrator certification, as well as assisting educators with degree completion and professional development. They serve as consultants for administrators, school leadership teams, and Community Councils. They are viewed as facilitators who assist schools and employees in accomplishing Pacific Area initiatives and targets.


So as you might imagine, the Hendersons have a lot on their plate.  But it's not all work and no play.  Even the most dedicated missionaries need to get out and have a little fun on P-days.

We have enjoyed going on bush walks together...

We went to the Otara flea market one Saturday and then went for lunch at the mall in near by Manukau.

We even got together for a hair-dye night to have our sweet husbands color our grey heads!

No More Grey!

We very much enjoy our friendship with Elder and Sister Henderson.  Building bonds like this that will enrich our lives all the rest of our days is a big part of what makes being a Senior Missionary so great.

No comments:

Post a Comment