As you may know, the Sister Church sponsorship programs are run through the local schools, in partnership with a local pastor. Schools in Honduras are required to have religious teaching and the school administrators are thrilled to have a local pastor come in and teach once a week. This is a blatantly Christian program. In fact, it’s a full-on, non-watered-down, Sunday school program that is being presented to children in public schools.
The Sister Church program also feeds children through their schools. It constitutes a 2-day per week school lunch program. Every child in the local communities where these programs operate is enrolled. And amazing things are happening.
There has been a 40-80% increase in the number of years these children are attending school. Prior to the program, many of them were fortunate to attend school for a total of 3-4 years. Now, most are going to school from K-6th grade.
In Guacutao, the sister church of Edgewater Alliance, things have taken a particularly impressive turn. When the Sowerses first moved to Gracias, Allen referred to Guacutao as the dark side of the moon. It was very isolated and the final seven miles of the trip took an hour to drive, due to the incredibly rough road. When Edgewater became involved, more children started staying in school. Edgewater Alliance began making plans, as they desired to make it possible for the children they sponsor to stay in school beyond elementary school. Middle schools are uncommon. They were looking at setting up a service to transport the children in the back of a pickup to the closest middle school - a drive of about 45 minutes. Amazingly, the government took notice of the number of children in Guacutao who were completing the 6th grade, and a middle school went up on the dark side of the moon!
That’s pretty spectacular. Right? So what’s the problem? The problem is that Sowers4Pastors simply doesn’t have the manpower to add this to their already packed schedules. Without divine intervention, Allen, Trish, and Russell don’t see how they can pick this up. At the same time, they don’t see how they can say no! The logistics are pretty significant and they don’t take on a new program lightly. They want to be sure that any new program would have the impact the current programs are having.
Forces are at work that will likely take Christian education out of the public school systems at some point in the future. Plus, if Sowers4Pastors waits five years, that means five years worth of kids would never have the opportunity to hear the Gospel presented by a pastor in their school. They would also miss out on the benefits of the feeding program and the all-important years of education. This is a big honkin’ deal!
RJ is only five, so he isn’t quite up for the job yet. I asked. So, your prayers are needed.
- posted by Christi