Every month we travel to sponsored MEBSH schools to make update reports, and we also visit new schools to assess the level of need. Every school has a situation or a challenge that is unique. We often find pastors and teachers out in the mountains faithfully working with very little resources. We see tough situations, but we also see kids glad to have a school to attend!
As the program grows we find it a challenge to visit each school every two years. Most schools are closed by noon or 1 p.m. so if we have to walk any distance we can only visit one a day. There are 125 sponsored schools (and growing) since it is now possible to easily select available new schools on the HarvestCall website: www.harvestcall.org/school-sponsorship
As gifts to each school we take along our Ten Commandment posters, smaller gospel tracts, New Testament Bibles for the 5th graders, and 101 Bible storybooks for the 3rd graders and for all the teachers to teach from. Sometimes we are able to take shoes or clothing when we have them, which is a great blessing! Since the hurricane it has been especially important to have gifts when we visit.
We also receive gifts from them! Sometimes we get a coconut to drink, sometimes a full meal of chicken or goat, root vegetables and rice is served. Recently we were at a school that the hurricane destroyed and the pastor and his wife apologized over and over that they had nothing to share, not even one egg. She said she only had three cups left from the hurricane, all her dishes were broken. Then the pastor’s wife remembered something and she gave Marie Lucie the chicken! It rode in the back seat with us all the way home! It is not culturally acceptable to refuse a gift.
We have many dedicated and long-term school sponsors. We want to thank each of you for your monthly support to these struggling schools. Your sponsorship means that the teachers get paid monthly and the families are required to pay a lot less tuition, which they can never afford anyway. They always express their thankfulness for the love and support they feel from their sponsors!