Last Friday was my last evening in Rolla, Missouri.
I had been there for two weeks working in the home office of My Father's World.
I was able to see (and get to know better) sweet friends that are knit together by the Lord and our common threads of a love of Jesus and gratefulness for MFW.
This trip was extra special because I really felt like I got to know the heart of MFW better.
And for me, the heart of MFW is Marie Hazell.
You rarely see Marie's picture or hear her speak at conferences, but if you look at the cover of your teacher's manuals, with simplicity and humility, you will see her name.
As you use the curriculum and understand the long term vision, you will invariably see her heart.
I received a first glimpse when she shared what was in her heart and mind as she wrote "Exploring Countries and Cultures," or ECC as we all call it.
Marie said, "When I wrote ECC, what I wanted the children to learn most of all was that God loves all people."
ECC was our first experience with MFW and I can testify that this indeed is the heart of the curriculum.
ECC very thoroughly teaches physical geography, but Marie masterfully guides you and your children through each country and shows you all the wonderful people that God made and loves dearly.
It's more than learning country names and coloring flag sheets.
It's about really seeing all the people that God loves and calls His people, believers in Jesus, to love.
Her heart for missionaries, her compassion for the lost and her passion to see all people with the Word of God in their heart language is at the foundation of all she does.
The work that God has called her to has inspired others to come along side and help.
With MFW profits, God's Word for the Nations is able fund translation work.
Every morning before starting work, the MFW staff prays for one another.
But first, always first, they pray for a specific people group or team working on a translation.
Everything at MFW is viewed within the larger context of how they can spread the Word of God to people who are hungry for it.
The My Father's World curriculum is simply a tool.
It's a tool for parents to help them achieve their God-given goals for their children.
It's a tool to provide a great, solid, biblical foundation for our students while freeing up our time to focus on other areas of ministry the Lord has for us.
And, it's a tool for funding translation work so the Word of God can be read.
It's also been the passion, focus, and labor of love of Marie Hazell for nearly a decade.
I am grateful for the opportunity to see the depth of her love for the children in all our homes.
For those of us committed to using MFW, please know that the heart behind it is genuine and real.