Update on Laura Van Engen

In the last Contact newsletter, IAPCHE reported that program manager Laura Van Engen would be moving to Nicaragua. Below is a brief update about why Laura moved to Nicaragua, what she is doing, and how you can follow her.



Laura arrived in Nicaragua in the beginning of January and plans to stay until November. Her goal in Nicaragua is to prepare for graduate school (to begin August 2019) by improving her Spanish language skills and by getting exposure and experience in community development work in Latin America. She plans to pursue an advanced degree in Anthropology, Community Development, or Peace Studies. She hopes that interviewing practitioners and beneficiaries and participating in community events will help her select a meaningful path of study and practice.

Laura will be living on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, in Bluefields, an historically isolated, ethnically diverse, and under-resourced city. Bluefields is the capital of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region (RACS) and hosts two universities: University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast (URACCAN) and the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU). Laura has already visited BICU and will be assisting with their English program; she plans to visit URUCCAN soon to learn about their community development and intercultural communications programs.

Prior to her travels to Bluefields, Laura had the unique opportunity to visit an IAPCHE member institution, the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI) in Managua. IAPCHE will be reporting about this inspiring visit in the March 2018 monthly update.

Laura has expressed gratitude to those IAPCHE members who have reached out to her or inquired about how she is doing. She can be reached at the email address: laurabluefields@gmail.com and hopes to maintain a blog about her experiences at: www.lauravanengen.blogspot.com.

Welcome To Our New Website!

As you may have noticed, the IAPCHE website has been updated. After several conversations with our members, the board of directors, and events necessitating a transition, we have completed our new website and are excited to share it with you.

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Some key differences from our previous website are:

  • Modernized look
  • Easier profile management 
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Improved news and newsletter system
  • Streamlined donation page
  • Streamlined access to all our resources such as articles, publications, and journals

This improvement will make your browsing experience more enjoyable, as well supporting IAPCHE's purpose to inform, equip and connect members.

International Conference for Christian educators to be held in April 2018

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The 2018 International Conference for Christian Educators, dubbed "Modelling Christ's Love and Hope within Professional Practice" will take place on April 11–13, 2018. It is organized by IAPCHE Asia-Oceania and Bethlehem Tertiary Institute of Mount Mauganui, New Zealand. Practitioners involved in all areas of Christian education such as early childhood education, primary and secondary teaching, social work and other disciplines in the Asia-Pacific region are invited to participate in this action-packed event filled with networking, collaboration, fellowship, and celebrating. It's an opportunity for Christian Educators to:

  • Connect and learn from each other through breakout small groups;
  • Fellowship, collaborate and brainstorm ways to innovate Christian education and engage Christianly with social, cultural and spiritual issues of our day; and
  • Be inspired by keynote presentations from national education leaders.

The conference will be held at the ASB Arena, Mount Mauganui, New Zealand and conference registration is currently open. Discover more information, including registration costs, or view the tentative conference schedule. If you would like to register for this conference, go to the registration page.

Come and be blessed.

IAPCHE Office Staff Update: Student Interns

The IAPCHE network office is reconfiguring its office staff in this new calendar year. With Laura Van Engen’s move to Nicaragua, she becomes an on-call consultant for director Shirley Roels and the rest of the IAPCHE office staff. The continuing office staff include:


From left to right: Sung Woo, Ewura Esi and Kaitlyn

· Sung Woo Lee graduated from Calvin College this past December, a change his parents celebrated from their ministry post in Jordan. He has worked closely with the director to develop the new IAPCHE website with its integrated membership renewal. Sung Woo completed studies in psychology, philosophy, classics, and international relations. As he moves to other full-time employment, IAPCHE hopes that he will remain an off-site advisor about the website.

· Ewura Esi Brookman-Amissah continues as an intern with principal responsibility for IAPCHE news whose home country is Ghana. Look for her work in the monthly updates and Contact, our quarterly newsletter. Ewura Esi is a Calvin College senior studying international relations, communications, and marketing. 

· Kaitlyn Kline joins the IAPCHE office as a new intern. During the next month she will coordinate the individual membership renewals and then continue to support the director in the use of network financial resources. Kaitlyn is a Calvin College senior from Indiana who is exploring the field of international development studies. 

The IAPCHE network office benefits substantially from the energy and expertise of these current students and recent alumni. They allow each generation to learn from the next!