Posted on Dec 3 2008 in International Homeschooling by
Note from HEAV: Our thanks to HSLDA for forwarding this report to us.
In September of 2008, ten international homeschool leaders joined HSLDA’s annual National Homeschool Leadership Conference. The following is taken from Mike Richardson’s presentation at the conference and describes his family’s ministry though Vida Nueva Ministries.
In the mid-1980s, Mike Richardson ran for the Georgia House of Representatives. During his campaign, a small group of homeschool families invited him to speak to them. Through that contact, Mike became close friends with Daniel, a local high school teacher and homeschool father.
Daniel and his family had a tremendous impact on the Richardsons. It was through Daniel’s teachings as well as his example in daily life that Mike and his wife Pam decided to begin homeschooling their three children in 1986. (Seven of the Richardsons’ ten children are still at home.)
Mike credits Daniel for his accomplishments in the Spanish-speaking world:
“The things that I learned from “sitting at Daniel’s feet” have become the basis for any success that we have had in our ministry to Spanish-speaking families throughout the world. Daniel, not Pam and I, is the one who truly deserves the praise for the homeschool work throughout Latin America. His faithfulness in mentoring one person has brought many rewards in the kingdom of God.”
Ministering to the Spanish Speaking World from Mexico
Mike and Pam Richardson have lived in Mexico for the past fourteen years and have orchestrated a national homeschool conference in Saltillo. Seven years ago, they began a second homeschool conference near Mexico City. In 2008, the conferences had a combined attendance of nearly 3,000 people, from 22 of the 32 Mexican states as well as several other countries.
Richardson will tape each speaker and have the speeches transcribed, translated, and re-taped. These tapes are sent free of charge to families throughout Mexico who request them. He is also involved in providing translations of several books on home education including books by Gregg Harris, Mike Farris, and Chris Klicka.
Since 1996, the Richardsons have published a bi-monthly Spanish homeschool magazine, “El Hogar Educador,” which currently ministers to 4,500 families in 32 countries. The newsletter offers many tips on homeschooling and raising a Christian family.
The Vida Nueva Ministries Gives Hope to the Poor
The admission to the homeschool conferences and the newsletter are free, so that the expense will not discourage many families who have very little money.
“Vida Nueva Ministries has changed the lives of hundreds of families, giving them hope for the future for their children,” says HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka. Recalling his past experience as a speaker at the Saltillo conference he continued, “Families came to me with tears and heartfelt thanks for Mike Richardson’s homeschool ministry. They testified to how their children were being blessed. Without the Richardsons’ providing free registration at conferences, free tapes, and a free home education newsletter, homeschooling would be an impossibility for these families.”
In the past, HSLDA has supported the El Hogar Educador by providing them a printing press to meet their needs in the area of publishing a Spanish newsletter and Spanish books.
Richardson’s El Hogar Educador is fulfilling his two-fold goal for the ministry: serving as a conduit for the gospel, and supporting homeschool families. Homeschooling is providing an answer to the poor education in Mexico and is enabling families to work together.
Mexican Legal Homeschooling Climate
Mexico is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the worldsecond only to California. In Mexico, parents can homeschool their children without any significant interference from the governing authorities, and they praise the Lord for His blessing in this area!
Not Without Challenges
Despite the positive homeschooling climate in Latin America, leading the homeschool movement in Mexico has not been without its challenges. The past year has been very challenging for the Richardson family and their ministry. They have passed through many highs and lowstragedies and triumphsand these ordeals have truly been the most mentally and spiritually challenging trials of their lives.
However, the Richardsons desire to not live a mediocre lifebut to live life to the fullest, serving God with their whole hearts. They appreciate your continuing prayers for their ministry and family as they seek God’s guidance and direction.
For more information about homeschooling in Mexico, see www.hslda.org/hs/international/Mexico.
You can provide financial support to the homeschooling movement in Mexico by donating to the Home School Foundation’s International Homeschooling Fund. For more information, go to http://www.homeschoolfoundation.org/funds/international.asp.