Back 2 School
Updated: Sep 21, 2018
With September begins a new school term! While for some this is the final term of the year, for others it's only the beginning of a brand new school year.
Caia and Malaika, for instance, are embarking on a whole new adventure! Our first desire was to put them into Amano Christian International School. At this point in time though, we realized that it wouldn't work out logistically (even if we moved half way in between we'd still be driving an hour either way to school or ministry) unless we sent them as boarding students (which of course we didn't have peace about as our girls are still so young). So, we made the decision to send them to a local international school known as Simba. The bonus about this decision is that they didn't have to wait until January to begin as Simba's school year begins in September (this is not so common in Zambia where the school year usually begins in January)! Another bonus is that swimming is a mandatory part of the curriculum - which of course the girls are totally "cool" with especially as this season is progressively growing sizzling hot!
On the other hand, NGM Royal Academy and Back 2 School are winding up the school year with the third and final term.
NGM Royal Academy (see above photo collage) is the school name we chose to remind children that they are royalty as joint heirs in Christ Jesus in the Kingdom of God. We often say, school is more than Math, English and Science. If we only teach them these we have failed. Our school exists to make the most of every opportunity to share with children about Jesus. Math, English and Science may help them in this life but only Jesus can give them eternal life.
We thank God for sustaining this school for the sake of even a few children in the midst of challenges. During a meeting with the teachers in August we calculated that last term the school started with 42 students and ended the term with only 32. We pondered the reason why enrollment was down - here are some excerpts from our meeting minutes to fill you in...
Why has enrollment gone down over the last couple of years? (we used to have well over 100 students)
Since the mining companies came in, some villages shifted further away and many families are now cautious about their kids walking to the school due to all the heavy truck traffic (Solution: Parents have said they will help contribute towards hiring a bus).
Others heard rumours that the school was no longer open (Solution: Teachers will go out into the community and share with the parents about the school).
Others failed to come because of the school fees (Solution: Students will not be turned away; teachers will have meetings with parents on an individual basis and determine what they are able to give as well as sign some students up with Junior B2S and when there are families with more than 1 student attending school, they will be given a discount when needed). These solutions will help in instances where step-sisters like P_____ and G_____ can both attend school even when their father is willing to pay for his birth daughter alone.
***we don't want to turn any children away because it's not about money for profit but children for Jesus!!!
Just as the Good Shepherd left the 99 to find the 1, we feel entrusted with those children who have "wandered" from our school. We want to go and find them and give them the opportunity to continue to learn. Math, English and Science - yes - but also Jesus! He encouraged us through His conversation with Peter to feed His lambs! (John 21)
While there have been hiccups along the way, the children are still coming. Currently 27 have showed up this term and teachers are still expecting more to come! In the midst of challenges, God still moves and touches hearts. When talking with the teachers they shared about a mother who came to them and said she was so pleased to see her daughter's behaviour change for the better since she started coming to the school. The teachers also mentioned that this year students from families of another faith started coming to the school even when they are aware it is Bible-Based/Christ-Centred. One of these children is especially growing in love with Jesus and His ways.
Back 2 School (see photo collage below) is NGM's ministry that helps children return to and finish school. In the beginning we only helped youth in the community by offering them school fees, uniforms and supplies. As time went on, though, we were convinced that that wasn't enough. Again, Math, English and Science may help in this life but only Jesus will help both in this life and in the life to come! So, we ended up having Back 2 School children (Grades Six to Twelve) move to the ministry base. Now NGM not only helps them with school fees, uniforms and supplies but we also have opportunity to provide them daily with nourishment, to monitor their studies regularly and, best of all, to give them Jesus by discipling them through evening prayers. We see this ministry as an amazing tool in raising up a new generation on fire for Jesus! When they are introduced to Jesus they are being propelled into their God-given destiny which when accumulated amongst them all will have an incredible influence on the development of Africa and in turn will impact the entire world as well!
Currently we have twenty-five Back 2 School students staying at the NGM base in Chiwala (a few more may still come)! One year we had 300+/-! While the numbers are low at this time, each individual is precious and of unfathomable value! We thank God for the seeds being planted in their lives and know that He is working in them stirring up their gifts and talents and skills to be used in amazing ways for His glory! This term there are 4 B2S students writing their Grade 7 exams, 1 writing his Grade 9 exam and 6 writing their Grade 12 final exams! Please remember all in prayer!
Back 2 School Alumni
To avoid making this post too long, please "stay tuned" to hear updates on some of our B2S alumni in our next update!
Above are photos of the precious Sunday School children (a.k.a. God's Tribe). We will share more about them in our next letter as well!
We Value Your Prayers
Thank you for remembering all these prized and treasured children in prayer! All have a bright hope and future in Christ Jesus! Together as we touch their lives with the LOVE of God, they in turn will impact this world for Christ! Our hope and desire is to not lose any one of these precious little ones whom God has given to us. Please intercede on their behalf that none would be lost and that we can give them the BEST that God has in store for them.
All along a desire of ours' has been to raise up the school to one of an international standing so that it would be "self-sustaining" while at the same time reaching out to those in need. We see this as the marrying of the two ministries (NGM Royal Academy and B2S) as it would be a Christian boarding school offering places to those who normally wouldn't be able to afford to go. Please pray that God would rise up labourers to help us see this come to pass in Jesus' Name!
May you be blessed - may we all be blessed - with the faith of a child to live out Kingdom lives and to see the Father's will done here on earth as it is in heaven!
We love you and always enjoy hearing from you - please feel free to send us your news (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)