Mariam is from a big family that has been Muslim for many generations. She attends Grace School and has demonstrated a deep love of scripture reading. All of the students at Grace have their own Bible. She would read hers loudly at home. Everyone in the family liked it except her uncle with whom she is staying. When he found out that Mariam was evangelizing to the family he asked her to burn the Bible. With the support of many in her family Mariam did not burn the scriptures. She is no longer reading it in front of all the family but has continued her reading and told me that she feels peace when she does it.
I have encouraged her to continue reading it but not to disturb others when she reads the Bible. The Quran is often read aloud- in a specific manner, but Bible reading has more to do with the research of God's will for you and His guidance.
Mariam is in grade 8. Please pray for her and her family.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and not hypocritical.” James 3: 17
This day as I complete this news, the city of Koro is newly powered with solar panels and many in the city are connected to the grid. At the same time Koro is experiencing a painful water shortage. Almost all of the wells are dry. It is a critical situation. Parents have no other alternative but to send their kids to go and find water on donkey carts whether it is school time or not. So many jugs are waiting at the taps to just get any drop of water them.
Youth week lasted from the 11th of February to the 19th. We used Grace School’s mini projector to show the Jesus film and other evangelical films that people like to see. During the week students of Grace were involved in organizing the evangelization field and bible study.
On the 18th of February, the national general secretary of Bible Studying evangelical students of Mali Mr Tiémoko COULIBALY arrived to Koro and visited churches and Grace Private School to encourage Bible study at school. He also visited our new land and prayed for Godly providence for the building project. Students appreciated having him explain to them the new reformed vision of IFES ( International Fellowship of evangelical students) which is: Developing a disciple community of students transformed by the gospel and having significant impact in their schools, churches and societies for the only Glory of God. I particularly appreciated his teaching on why we need to teach the kids to devote themselves to gain their friends for Eternal life while other people try to teach them to give away their lives to bomb out other peoples’ lives. The challenge is there. If we do not teach the kids to live in love and to value life, other will teach them to hurt other’s lives.
At the end of the week, we organized a soccer game between the Medersa School students (Koran based teaching school) and the Grace School students. The Medersa beat us 3 to 2. It was not surprising for us because the students at the Medersa are way bigger than our students. I conclude that we won the game because I am sure the opposite result would have caused more frustration and may be violence.
Thanks to Brandon and Abby for bringing us the soccer balls donated by Josh and Josie. The kids are grateful to you.
Early in February I got to visit some students families they all appreciated the visit and recommend we do it more frequently so that we work together to help the students and prevent major deviation.
Please pray that the students would work harder and be successful in their education.
Please pray that they fully get to incorporate in their real life the service oriented teaching they get at school
Thank you for your faithful support to us. I can do those things because you are supporting the cost. God bless you and provide for you so that you can bear more fruits again to please Him.
Your friend Ibrahima and all the personnel of Grace Private School
I wish you all could watch it also: the six minute video that Ibrahima filmed as he walked around the land where the new school will be built. The seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students stand four meters apart, marking the perimeter. They stand still and patiently as he walks within the human fence, showing the size of the plot, the borders, and the old small building with a tree growing inside that will have to be removed. About two minutes into the film the children begin to sing. With one of the teachers conducting and Ibrahima leading they sing Christian hymns in French, clapping out the beat and filling the dusty flat plot of land with their voices. It is a truly great moment, filled with pride and hope.
We hope to see a school spring up on this land within the next year. The first phase will contain three classrooms and the administrative area on a single floor. The construction will be sturdy enough to allow a second floor to be built, adding an additional three to four classrooms in the future. By having their own building, there is a much better chance that Grace Private School will continue to grow and eventually become self-supporting. The plans and construction bids are in place; all that is needed now are the donations.
This is an amazing opportunity to make a tangible, measureable, important difference. Some of these are children who, without your help, would either be in public school or no school at all, with little hope of learning enough to reach their potential. We all have the same needs right? The same dreams? We want to have enough to eat, to be healthy and strong, to be safe and loved. Especially loved. We want to be valued, to know that we matter to someone. These children know that someone is there for them. Someone that they have never met, from a country that they will never see. But they know that we are here. Ibrahima is there to tell them how much they are loved and how intensely we want them to succeed, to find peace, happiness, and fulfillment, and to reach their God-given potentials.
Please pray for the school and the children. Also, consider making a monthly donation to help us move towards breaking ground on the new school.