Who am I?

My photo
Monrovia, Liberia
I live in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa with my wife and youngest son. We are recently arrived in Liberia where we are serving as missionaries with Evangelical Church Missions working under the Liberia Evangelical Mission. For most of the last thirty years we have served under ECM in Bolivia, South America. We are the happy parents of four children and the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tutoring Center

A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
"Is it tougher to toot
Or to tutor to two tooters to toot?"

We won't be teaching any young tooters to toot but we are making preparations to open the Santa Cruz Tutoring Center in February. One of the great needs in the neighborhoods where we have churches is someone who can help school kids with their homework and give them a safe place that they can go. In many homes the children are left alone to fend for themselves when not in school because their parents (or in too many cases just their parent, usually the mother) are working. There is little or no time to help with school work and, in some cases, parents perhaps are unable to do so because of their own lack of education. And so we are working to offer help to school children in the neighborhood starting in February when the Bolivian school year begins again.

The project is under the direction of Bryan and Molly Canny and is a working out of a dream that Molly has had for some time.

The first concrete step toward making the dream a reality came this last summer when the Fort Valley GracePointe church sent a work team here to pour concrete. (Yes, the bad pun was intended!) An earlier post shared about their work here and what a blessing they were. With them, and with the finances they provided, the basic physical structure is being put into place. We now have a tinglado (covered space),

bathrooms (almost completed)

and a room for a security person to live in.

While they are sparse by US standards, they will provide a good beginning for the tutoring center. As finances are available we will continue to build and eventually have classrooms as well.

The vision for the center is to offer homework help each afternoon Monday - Friday along with a snack and a Bible lesson. Also two mornings a week English classes will be offered to high school students.

The planning for this program has been a combination of input from missionaries and Bolivian brothers and sisters.

Oscar, a school teacher, is giving of his time and knowledge.

Elías has been invaluable in getting the physical site ready.

Snack time at a recent organizing committee meeting.
We are now in the stage of announcing and planning a general meeting for all those who might be interested in volunteering time for the center. Without a lot of volunteer help the center will not be able to function. we are trusting that God will call and the right people will respond to this invitation to show love to the children of this particular neighborhood and to their families.

She's a little young, still, but cute as can be!
 You can be of help too. While I generally resist the idea of turning Ch'airo into an opportunity for fund raising I am going to give in this time. If you would like to help sponsor one day's snacks for the children, a gift of $10 would cover much of that expense. Also the hope is that one time a month the families of the children can be invited to a meal. A gift of $50 would go a long way in providing food and an opportunity to meet the parents of the children. There are other needs as well. Between now and February chairs and tables will need to be purchased, partitions made and other supplies purchased. Any gifts can be sent to:

Evangelical Church Missions
9421 West River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55444

Checks should be made out to Evangelical Church Missions and it should be indicated that the gift is for Bolivia Tutoring Center.

Above all, do pray for this new ministry. In a sense it is like walking in the dark because we have never done anything like this before but we are trusting that God will give us, and especially Bryan and Molly, wisdom that only he can give.