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March 13, 2020 | Gabriel Carrasco

Kalie Kendrick
Kalie Kendrick

Major : Education

Hometown : Berryville, Arkansas

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about what you’re doing in West Africa?

I am in West Africa working with local English students. Our team meets with the students in a cafe. There we are able to have conversations to help them practice English while also opening a door to have conversations about the gospel.

How did this opportunity to teach in West Africa come about?

While I was an RA at SAGU a family that was a part of this team checked their son into my dorm. I went to coffee with the parents to learn more about the team, mission, etc. and now two years later I’m here!

How has your experience been so far in West Africa? What do you enjoy most?

Being in West Africa is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Learning how life works on this side of the world has taught me how to laugh at myself and appreciate all of the things that I have taken for granted. My favorite thing about West Africa is the people. They are so welcoming and gracious, which is a blessing while I’m learning their language.

Now that I’ve been in West Africa for a couple of months, the newness of life here has begun to wear off and culture shock has started to set in. Some days are hard and I miss home, but I am constantly reminded why I am here. Throughout the day when I hear the multiple calls to prayer or see little boys begging on the streets or talk to our English students about their views on marriage and family, I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

How would you describe your experience with the SAGU Education Department and how do you feel that the department has prepared you for your teaching assignment in West Africa?

Every time I think about the good things about SAGU, my education professors come to mind. They pushed me and encouraged me even when they knew I wasn’t stepping into traditional teaching. Students leave their classes as good teachers, but more than that we left as better people.

My professors always said that teaching should never be centered around data, but it should always be about the students. My whole reason for being here isn’t about teaching English. It’s about showing people what the love of Jesus looks like.

Why did you choose SAGU and what led you to study education when you first came here?

I knew I wanted to serve overseas and one of the main focuses of SAGU is equipping students out to share the gospel, so it was an easy choice for me. Also, SAGU has such an incredible sense of community that made my classmates, professors, and the staff feel like family.

I decided to study education after going to Africa for the first time right after high school. I was able to meet a few children that had the opportunity to go to school and I saw the difference that it made in their lives. As a teacher, I can not only help children learn, but I can show them the love of Christ as well.

What is your fondest memory of being here at SAGU?

When I think about my time at SAGU, I think about all of the late nights spent at the Guynes desk with my RA team. I spent way too many nights eating Taco Bell and playing Nertz or talking about probably nothing until curfew. I could have gotten a lot more sleep and saved a lot of money on burritos, but I don’t regret one night spent at that desk.

Being an RA was the best part of my college experience, not because I had a title or got a scholarship, but because it gave me some of the greatest friends I could ever ask for. The job itself taught me discipline, time management, and how to be a better leader and teammate. The people in Res Life are what made it so good, though. It’s a family that won’t let you walk through life alone or be anything but your best.

What are your career plans and how has SAGU helped foster your career goals/interests?

I have dreams of using education as a way to reach people in Africa. I know that my professors have given me the knowledge to do that, but also that I could call them at any time if I needed guidance.

Our bachelor’s in Education fostered Kalie’s call for reaching the lost and her passion for teaching. Click here to find out how this degree program can equip you with the right training and resources to help raise up the next generation!
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Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online.

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