By Carolyn Hansen, Associate Pastor
If you were in church this past Sunday, you can ignore this, but if you weren’t I think you’ll enjoy it!
You might remember that in July there was a ceremony noting the achievements of the kids in our literacy program. These are children who can’t afford to go to public school, for any number of reasons. They can’t afford book fees and uniforms, their parents don’t want them in school when they could be working, they may not have a real address, because they’re living in tents on the lake. They have fallen through the cracks and when we began this program, they couldn’t even read—even though some of them were 10 or 12 years old. These kids have now learned reading, so the name of the program has changed to the Presbyterian Institute of Basic Education.
Victoria reported that they are adding three more subjects this school year, Geography, Natural Sciences and Civic Education and Ethics.
How wonderful is that?
Victoria also obtained scholarships for three older students to the vocational school—and they’re learning carpentry!
Victoria also invited Cruz Roja to train the children in first aid!
As a special treat during the summer vacation, the teachers took the kids to the movies. Some of them had never been to a movie, and we are grateful to God for this gift.
Now the church is launching a Child Health Project for these kids. The teachers noticed during the classes that some children do not have good vision. Martin Thorner asked his optometrist to help, and he is charging only $100 pesos each to examine the children and will greatly reduce the cost of any needed glasses. Victoria has also enlisted the help of Dental Express to examine their teeth.
One of the most important aspects of this program is that Victoria also holds Bible and values classes with the parents of these children on Wednesdays. This is a holistic ministry that reaches deep.
As I listened to Victoria’s report, I realized that I never would have known about these new additions to the program, if I weren’t sitting on session. Yet, this is one of the most important things our church is doing. This is truly life-changing.
So, as you give to the church, please also offer up a prayer of blessing for these kids and thank God that He uses your gifts to this church to spread Jesus’ love in our community.