Leaving a Lasting Legacy
By Marion Schaper
After the sudden death of my husband, Frank, a retired teacher and MSI Director, in December 2021, I received this unexpected letter from Paul, a young teacher in Indonesia:
Dear Mom Marion,
My heart breaks. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I’m so sorry I couldn’t meet you and Dad Frank. I remember we used to write to each other when I was still in the TransformNation program. I promise to honor his legacy. I will keep serving the Lord through educating children. Dad Frank’s spirit burned strong like a young man, even though he was a senior. Because of your love, Mom and Dad, I received an education, and now I can teach children anywhere God sends me.
Paul was one of the first students to gain acceptance to the TransformNation (TfN) Program and we had the opportunity to sponsor his eight years of teacher-training. Let me recount how God entwined these two lives, Paul and Frank, together.
Although continents and generations apart, both of them had an overwhelming desire to become teachers but had to overcome financial constraints to fulfill their dream. Paul shared in a letter to Frank, “Becoming a teacher has been my dream since childhood… because I understand the blessing of a teacher.”
Frank emigrated from the Netherlands with his family as an 11-year-old. He was only able to complete 3 years of schooling before having to leave to help his family financially by getting a factory job. While working, he went to night school to continue his education.
At age 22, we met on a blind date. He said he only agreed to it because I was a teacher. After we married, he was able to study full time to finish high school and teacher’s college.
During his 33-year teaching career, he became an advocate for education in impoverished countries and was especially excited when Mustard Seed began training teachers. Frank jumped at the opportunity to sponsor Paul.
Paul (in blue) with his students in the Papuan Highlands.
Paul, born into a Christian farming family with limited resources, recognized that he “would never have had the opportunity to become a teacher without [Frank’s] support.”
What a blessing to hear these words from Paul as he trained: “I’m praying that I will become an excellent teacher and give my heart to the children I teach.” Frank’s legacy lives on in Paul and the countless number of children he will teach.
My prayers are with Paul as he fulfills his commitment and spreads the love of Christ to his students.
A guitar club started by Paul.