Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wrapping up the Year

It's hard to believe it's November 30th already.  I guess we're getting old because the years are just flying by now.  Sometimes it feels like we aren't getting much done especially looking at the slow rate of change around here.  But, looking back on 2011, we can see lots of progress. 

Several of the churches both here and on the coast have had great success in evangelism and baptisms and discipleship and training of future preachers.  We are really proud to be a part of the work in these communities especially when they comment that the clinic has opened doors and brought new contacts for teaching the gospel.  This next year we are looking at how to incorporate even more evangelism efforts into our clinic areas.

Sheri and I got together today to look at our education program.  This year Sheri was successful in kicking off the diabetic education program (classes and patient education materials), hygeine class and de-worming in several area schools, nutrition classes in our ABC churches, as well as some ladies' bible classes. We are putting together a plan for next year which includes starting our Prenatal/Early Childhood Nutrition Education, prenatal classes, Patient education on gastritis, and the most daunting of all--SEX ED classes for all of our ABC congregations here in the highlands.  Be praying for us all on that one!

Our ABC program has been a success this year as well.  Last year we had a congregation with a very high percentage of failing students.  So Kemmel set up a pilot tutoring program using some recently graduated scholarship recipients.  After tutoring, only one of the students who failed last year failed again--and some even had 80's averages!  Not only that, but they decreased the failure rate by half this year.  The overall GPA for the kids went from 65.7 to 71.6.  This has been a concern and special interest for Kemmel, spending time with the parents and coordinators and asking to turn in midterm grades and trying to pinpoint what the kids were lacking most.   What a blessing to see them succeed this way!

Our scholarship students are also special to us and it was great to see kids pass their classes or graduate.  The parents are always so thankful for the help as education often costs more than a family brings in.  Today, we were treated to lunch by the parents of one of our scholarship students, Marvin Calel Macario. They are a humble family but doing their best to get their younger kids through school and even encouraging their grandkids to stay in school.  We enjoyed a great lunch out and talked.  They told us how they had had an arranged marriage (they're only 63 and 52 years old) and how they had been blessed all these years together. Pedro said, "It wasn't like today where everyone is hugging and kissing before they got married.  Back then, your mom found you a wife and you said, 'alright'.  We all laughed a little and agreed that both methods have their advantages. 

So, we feel blessed to be in this work and ask God to open our eyes to new opportunities to share his salvation with others in 2012.

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