More than an Education

It is estimated that 70% of the schools in our region are closed since the recent conflict broke out. Before that, most regions suffered from a shortage of qualified teachers. While the need for education is great–the need for peace and reconciliation is even greater. Without unity, children will not be able to remain in the classroom and peace will not last.

“less than half of school-aged children… were enrolled in school before the conflict erupted… Since then, more than 2 million [people] have been displaced by conflict, and some 400,000 students have dropped out of school.” USAID

The most recent statistics on literacy reports a 27% literacy rate but only 16% of girls and women are literate. But people have a strong desire for their children to be educated–we want to partner with them to make sure they get a quality Christian education.

Our vision for a school came from the dream of others. Our friend Deng urged us to look at a vacant school compound and see if we would consider reopening it as a Christian school. During our last trip to East Africa in March, we did just that.

Our first visit to the abandoned school.

Our first visit to the abandoned school and peering through the window of the science building.

Classroom

Classroom

Dormitory and Water Tower

Dormitory and Water Tower

We could see challenges - but we also saw possibilities.

We could see challenges – but we also saw possibilities.

We left the school that day with all sorts of ideas. The compound is large enough to house a good sized boarding school and accommodate the vocational agriculture training we hope to establish. There is room for adult classes in English, and Bible as well as other discipleship initiatives. There is a large open area in the middle of the buildings that could house a soccer field, and there is plenty of space for orchards and gardens.

An areal view of the school compound.

An areal view of the school compound.

We brought our vision back to Michigan when we returned, and others are stepping forward to help.  Please join us as we begin to pray through this process. Many things need to come about to make it possible to open a private Christian school in the village. The very first of which is that we need to raise our support and move to East Africa.

Here are some ways that you can pray for this project:

  • Pray that we raise the support needed to move (Spring 2016).
  • Pray that we find 1 or more team members to join us by 2017.
  • A lot of paperwork needs to be processed for this to become a reality. Pray that it goes smoothly.
  • We will need to find good Christian teachers who will learn how to incorporate the Bible into every subject taught.
  • Pray for students that will someday study at this school.