Dear Family and Friends, 30 June 2008
The work on the clinic is finished! Except for very minor glitches the work was done quickly and efficiently. We give God thanks and praise for what He has done for us.
The last time that I wrote I promised a new picture. . . and I am sorry to say that as I write today, my camera is in Yako and I am in Ouagadougou. Sigh! But, I will be back here in Ouaga in a week or so and will show you the finished product.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we will have the final walkthrough of the building with the contractor, head mason, and quality control person and if nothing is found that still needs attention, we will pay the remaining payment of 20%. There is 10% of the total which is held for one year as a guarantee of the work and this payment will be made in June, 2009.
Later this week, we will begin moving furniture and supplies into the clinic that were shipped in the container that we received in 2006. This will be exciting work and with many hands the work will be easy.
The final grades are still not released for the primary school children and about half of our secondary school children! We do have through verbal information that all of our children in our primary school passed this year. Considering that the statistics in the public schools are that up to 50% of the children do not pass, the Lord gave us a wonderfully successful school year.
This was the first year for our school to have 6th graders taking the test called the CEP. This is a standardized test with a pass/fail result which allows the student to continue to 7th grade or requires him to re-do 6th grade. In Yako this year, only 30% of the students passed the CEP. But, 27 out of our 28 6th graders passed! The girl who didn’t pass is an older student but she has done well this year in school. She did well on 2 trial tests which were given but unfortunately, did not pass the ‘real’ test. We will encourage her to stay in school though and to try again next year.
We are thankful to the Lord for the results of this school year. The teachers worked hard. The students worked hard. And, the Lord blessed them all with success!
We had 3 orphanage children who took another standardized test, the BEPC. This exam is given after 10th grade and it also determines whether a student can continue to 11th grade or must re-do 10th. Two of our children, Evance and Lazarre, passed, but Augustin did not pass. Augustin is discouraged but says that he will continue to work hard and try again next year.
At the university level in Ouaga, there has been much unrest this year. Etienne has been enrolled in classes this year in the branch of sociology. Many of the university students have been striking/rioting/demonstrating for the past several weeks over the huge classes of students, inadequate resources and facilities, and the low standard of education that they receive. Two weeks ago the police used gunfire and tear gas to dispel the unrest and 3 students and one police officer were wounded. Several students passed out from the tear gas and one boy fell from a second story balcony.
Yesterday, because of the strikes, the university suspended classes until September 15th and all of the students were sent home. There is rumor that this year will be declared ‘année blanche’ which means that there will be no credit given for this year of study to any of the students. Etienne’s studies were not scheduled to finish until August 15th. Please pray with us that the university leaders will be willing to listen to the students and take positive steps towards improving the living conditions of the students and their standard of education.
The Canadians are Coming!
I introduced Miriah, Nicole, and Sabrina to you the last time that I wrote and truly these girls were wonderful blessings to our children. Miriah was here for 2 months and Nicole and Sabrina were here for one month. Each day the girls worked from morning to night, caring for and loving on our babies and talking and playing with our older children.
The talent show that they organized was a huge success. All of our children from 7 year old Ferdinand and Therese up to 20 year old Emanuel participated and we had an evening to remember. The children are now asking whether we could do this at least one time each month.
The ‘Rainy Season’ has started!
Here is Burkina, we have only 2 seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. During the dry season it is really dry with no rain from October to May. During the rainy season it is really wet and this is when our local friends plant and grow what their families will need to eat for the entire year.
The rainy season has started late this year but it has started and we are thankful for this. Our local friends start looking for and praying for rain towards mid-May but this year our first really good rain was not until June 23rd. Many people, planted early in faith, hoping for the rain, and had to re-plant. But still, everyone is relieved to have received 3 wonderful rains this past week.
Under the guidance of Valentin, the orphanage has secured a field a few kilometers from Yako. Our children have planted a field of millet and beans (a small white bean similar to a black-eyed pea). They have planted millet in the corners of our courtyard and in a few weeks, they will plant a field of peanuts. Because of the drought last year and the terribly high prices this year, our local friends are suffering to provide even the bare necessities for their families. Because a bag of rice is now $45, we have temporarily removed rice from the children’s diet. Please pray with us that the Lord will continue to bless us with adequate rains and will give us an abundant harvest this year.
Summary of Prayer and Praise:
We thank God for the completion of the construction of the clinic. Please pray for our nurses as they begin this next phase in the development of our small ‘community clinic’ project.
We thank God for the successful school year for our primary school and secondary school students. Please pray for patience for the university students and wisdom and mercy for the leaders as they seek a solution to the unrest at the university.
We thank God for the rain. Even as I am writing here in Ouaga this morning, there is a steady rain that has been falling for over 2 hours. Please pray that the rains continue to fall over Yako both in the physical sense and the spiritual.
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma