Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back to School - Oct. 08

7 October, 2008

Dear Friends,
Greetings from Burkina Faso!

It is ‘back to school’ time once again! This time comes every year and every year we try our best to prepare in advance but try as we may, we still end up in a crazy rush to get everything and everyone ready in time. School started on October 1st this year. At the orphanage we have 27 children in school; 1 at university, 20 in secondary school, and 6 children in primary school. In the sponsorship program there are 41 children in secondary school and 74 in primary school. In addition, through the special contributions of a few friends, we will be sending 25 more very needy children to school this year. All of these children need their school fees paid, school supplies bought, and school uniforms made.
The Sheltering Wings Primary School will hold five classes this year, first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. Since we only have a 3-classroom school, the fourth and sixth grade classes will be held outside under a temporary shelter. Our teachers are busily preparing their classrooms and are excited about the new school year. Many of the children in the Sheltering Wings School have failed and have been rejected from the public school system. These children have received a ‘second chance’ to continue their education at our school. We believe that every child has a right to receive an education and in providing the right environment, every child can learn.

New Orphanage Children
I would like to introduce some new children to the orphanage to you. “Back to school’ time brings one or more new children to our door needing a place while they continue their studies. And, this year is no exception.
Alexi – 11 years old, orphan of mother and father, fifth grade
Abraham – 12 years old, orphan of father, sixth grade
Barkwendi – 13 years old, orphan of father, seventh grade
Adjertou – 15 years old, orphan of mother and father, first year in technical school to learn to be a tailor
We also have also recently received 5 new babies: Esaii, newborn; Estelle, 14 months; Salif, 3 months; and twin girls, Fatimata and Mariam, 3 months old. Each of these little ones have come with their own stories of tragedy even at their young ages.
Estelle has been placed with us by Social Action. She is 14 months old and her mother is just 15 years old. In desperation, the mother is abandoning Estelle because she cannot care for her or provide for her. The mother is an orphan of both mother and father. Because of the shame of her pregnancy, she has been kicked out of the extended family courtyard and has been living on the street. Depending on the final decisions made by Social Action, we will care for Estelle and possibly place her on the list for adoption. At the same time, we are looking for a family or school who will help Estelle’s mother to stabilize and get her life back on the right track.

Here are photos of Alexi, Barkwendi, and Estelle.

Sponsorship Program
September was the quarterly food distribution for the Sponsorship Program. We are in the process of dividing the children into smaller groups which meet in 5 of our local churches. A weekly meeting is held in each church where volunteers teach the children Bible stories, sing songs with them and interact with them. With this new organization, we see the children each week and can more closely follow their progress in school, talk to them about problems at home or at school, and have a weekly opportunity for evangelism.

Many of our sponsored children live 10 or more kilometers outside of Yako so this new system brings the distribution closer to their homes. Each of our participating churches held their own distribution this month. Most of sponsored children attend primary and secondary schools near their homes. Because of this seeing that every child is enrolled in school and paying school fees is a major challenge. But, our lists are taking shape and in the next one to two weeks, all of the children’s school fees will be paid. These are photos from one of the distribution sites.

Clinic News
Our clinic is slowly taking shape and is now in use by our nurses. There were very valuable medical supplies and equipment stored in our container which have now been moved into the clinic. Things that we still lack are beds and some tables and chairs.
Because of our lack of beds and supplies we are not yet ready to hospitalize a child but we are able to treat all of our children and 2 mornings a week, the clinic is open to children in the community. If a child needs to be hospitalized we refer them to the local hospital or to Dr. Zala’s clinic in Ouayaghuia.

Herman is the little 7 year old that we found in a remote village and who is blind. We have been assured that Herman has a place in first grade this year but still there are a few obstacles to overcome. The school is searching for a family for Herman to live with during the school year and has not yet been able to find one. This family must live near the school and there must be someone to take Herman to school each morning and then return to take him home at night. School will start for Herman on November 1st. Please pray along with us that the Lord will provide the perfect family to care for Herman while he is in school. Herman is the little one sitting between his mother and his father.

Thank you so much for your consistent and loving support of our projects and our children both through your prayers and your financial support. I wake up every morning amazed at the kindness and abundant provision of our Heavenly Father and it is through faithful friends like you that the Lord meets our needs. I rejoice in Him and thank Him daily for your part in what the Lord is doing in the lives of our children here in Burkina.
Love and blessings to you!
Ruth Cox

Prayer requests:
· Please pray for the funds to build another 3 classrooms for our school.
· Please pray for the Holy Spirit to permeate the classrooms of our primary school and for children to invite Jesus into their hearts.
· Please pray for baby Estelle and for a safe environment for her mother.
· Please pray for a foster family that lives close to the school to care for Herman during the school year.
· Pray for the health and safety of our children and our workers.

No comments: