Two weeks ago I was asked to help the students who are now too old for the school in the village. They graduated grade 8 and they are the first cohort of students to do ao. The nearest secondary school is a long walk away and it just wouldn't be possible for the students to walk there and back every day. I had known that this challenge was coming, but I had been so busy with teams all summer that it kind of slipped my mind... so there we were, on the Thursday before school started back, with no transport and students wanting to learn but having no real opportunity. For families in Esperanza, the cost of sending someone to the school and back would be impossible. It's about the same as 8 pounds, or $12 US Dollars a week. The vast majority of the village wouldn't be able to afford it.
I am a great believer in education, and so to think that students don't have that opportunity to further themselves and potentially change their futures due to lack of transport money was pretty grim! So... in desperation, after doing some maths, I turned to the wonderful thing that is facebook to see if people might be able to help me help the students get to school. I really don't like asking people directly for money, but then I remember that Im not asking for me, Im asking for people who cant ask for themselves. When I get my mind straight and realize that we are all a part of this big world together, it helps!
Anyway, the response was amazing! Lots of people responded with everything from one week's transport being paid for, to one year, toongoing monthly commitments being made! I am overwhelmed at the kindness of people thousands of miles away, and at the encouragement that I believe this is to me to carry on! Jesus tells us in the bible, in Matthew that we don't need to worry and that God will provide for all of our real needs - I still struggle sometimes not to worry a little when I see a big need and have no idea how I am going to deal with it. This last week or two has shown me again that God sees the work here and He will provide for his children here - in school transport this time!
Im also excited by the kindness of the motorbike taxi drivers in the village. Im paying them each just under half what they would usually charge to take someone to the school and back, because that is enough to cover their gas and give them a tiny bit more on top - they all agreed that they want to help me to help their village, and that if more money comes in they will get a bit more. Their kindness, when they too are living in poverty, is so humbling. They could of stood together and demanded more, and what choice would I of had? But they know how important education is, and they want to help me help their young people too.
Working together - it's pretty sweet!!!
SO, thank you so much for helping, and for reading, and for praying! I really do appreciate you all!
2 months until Im back in the UK, looking forward to seeing as many of you as I possibly can in that time!!