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BOB and Carol Kuiken

posted May 22, 2010, 8:52 PM by Jason Quick   [ updated Nov 2, 2011, 5:47 AM by Sites Admin ]
~ Deanna (Jenkins) Nichols, '89


What does it take for God to direct in the hearts of His people for service? The answers come as varied as the faces and fingerprints of those He chooses. For some, He calls out with a loud voice, by prompting or through conviction. For others, He whispers softly through circumstances or in the longings of a heart’sdesire. He is even known to speak through the words of a child, as was the case with the Kuiken family in the early 1980s.

During their family’s vacation to Manila on a trip to see Carol’s parents (SIL missionaries serving in the Manila guesthouse), God spoke through Bob and Carol’s eldest daughter Christi (then age 10). Their 10-day visit to the Philippines happened during Christmas, and Faith Academy had not yet dismissed for the holiday break. The family was able to visit campus and attend an elementary school performance directed by Kay Abelman, Little Lambs and Butterflies. Bob, Carol, Christi and Stephanie were mesmerized and shortly following the performance Christi asked, “Daddy, wouldn’t you like to teach at this school?” Before vacation was finished, the family started praying.

Bob was teaching at a Christian school in Arizona so over the course of several months, the family sought God’s guidance through prayer. In 1983, God very clearly showed them He wanted them to pursue serving at Faith Academy. One evening as the family was shar- ing devotions together, another question was raised.

“Can you imagine how Abraham must have felt when God directed him to leave his home and go to a place God would show him?” The children responded, “I think that God might be asking us to do what Abraham did.” It took a year to apply for Wycliffe and raise
support but the couple were accepted in April and left for Manila on June 25, 1984 with their four children, Christi (9th grade), Stephanie (a 7th grader), Melody (3) and Timothy (6 months).

Although their first year was difficult financially (Carol says they were in the red by Christmas), in January support arrived and they have seen God provide faithfully their entire 25 years of service. Communication with friends and supporters back home was important. Bob and Carol committed to write newsletters monthly and have consis- tently held to this, a task many of their supporters appreciate and respond to regularly.

Teaching 4th grade his first year at Faith Academy, Bob went on to teach 6th grade for 13 years and has taught 5th grade since. His desire to involve kids in the learning process has motivated many students to consider Social Studies and Math as useful and fun sub- jects. As an extra curricular activity, each year the kids in Bob’s class build rockets with a Launch-off for parent and sibling spectators on White Field.

Carol has been a beloved piano teacher, teaching hundreds of MKs and Filipino friends. Although she has up to 50 students at a time, she still finds time to be involved in Women at Faith and often participates in Hospitality Nights, hosting new staff and families. Lately it has been rewarding for Carol to see certain former students go on to pursue music careers in performance and teaching.

Although the Kuiken children are now adults, some with families of their own, Bob and Carol continue serving God in the Philippines. They want to continue making a difference in the lives of others. A verse which has important significance in their lives today is Galatians 6:9, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”  Thank you Bob and Carol for your faithful work at Faith Academy these past twenty-five years. Your love and attention to MKs is far-reaching and the rewards are eternal for Christ’s sake.