Updated: Aug 18, 2020
August is well underway, and so are two major events!
Read Lemuel's latest e-newsletter below.
(For Part 1, click here.)
18 Aug 2020 Update: Sorry. That was the wrong link for Part 1. Here is the correct link: Click Here.
Last week, you received Part 1 of our newsletter, following up on the water and famine crisis. Here is the promised Part 2, highlighting what is happening right now on the Plateau.
August is well underway, and so are two major events:
Back to School!
School officially opened on Monday (August 10th)!
After the governement announced in June that schools would be opening in August, Almaïs and his staff did some intensive planning and pulled together a special program for July that would prepare both teachers and students for the re-opening of classes.
In addition to planning lessons for the coming weeks, teachers worked with students in small groups to help them re-adapt to the classroom and bring them back up to speed in their lessons. These groups were scheduled both on the Plateau and in Anse-Rouge, so that the program could reach the children right in their own neighborhoods. The school also did evaluation tests to guage the students' current levels.
Obed--who is studying educational science at university--was able to work closely with the school administration and offer crucial support. It was a lot of pressure and a lot of work, but the school staff did an amazing job overcoming many difficulties to be solidly prepared.
It has been a very disruptive year. After only one month of classes, schools closed for 2+ months in the fall due to political upheaval. Hardly had they recovered the lost time when COVID-19 hit, and they had to close again for 3 months.
Now, schools have August-October to wrap up the 2019-2020 school year. At the same time, they must plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year in November! Needless to say, the coming months will continue to be challenging.
"The biggest challenge we face right now is wrapping up one school year and planning the next one in a very short space of time. However, we are greatly encouraged by the success of the program in July. We can see the positive impact it had on the students, which has permitted us to carry on the school year as smoothly as possible."
~School Director Almaïs
Construction that Supports Families
Construction began last week on a community bulk supply "store" at our DDL campus. The project is called "MACOL," which stands for Magasin Communautaire de Lemuel (Lemuel Community Store).
The dream in a nutshell is this: build a local warehouse that can stock supplies in bulk and make them available to the community at lower cost. Not only will the store provide sustainable jobs, but it will benefit families and small business owners (and therefore their clients too) for miles around by providing goods at a lower cost than is currently possible. A portion of the proceeds will also support outreach in the community. But, perhaps a picture will help:
MACOL will begin by selling construction materials (as is pictured in the flowchart of phase one above). In the future, the goal is to offer food and household goods as well. Eventually, we hope to have a micro-credit program to help small businesses get started and succeed.
In the meantime, the jobs created by the construction are providing relief for families struggling through the effects of confinement measures, drastic inflation, and a disintegrating economy. The timing works out perfectly, since parents will have expenses accompanying the start of school as well.
"MACOL is a project that will once again reinforce to the community that Lemuel is here for them--that Lemuel thinks about their situation and seeks to support them where they need it most."
Director of Development Williamso
For the success of the school's July program and a smooth start to the re-opening of classes!
For the provision and opportunity to begin construction on MACOL!
For all our staff, whether in the school or in development. Pray for a spirit of unity and mutual encouragement in the midst of challenging circumstances. Pray that God would provide for each of their needs and draw each one closer to Himself.
For wisdom, discernment, courage, humility, and health for Almaïs and for Williamso in their leadership roles. Pray for them as they themselves grow in their relationship with the Lord, as well as in skillful leadership in their departments.
That as each department seeks to carry out their work with excellence and effectiveness, they would reflect most of all the love and glory of Jesus Christ to the community.
Introducing the Transport Office!
One of our biggest headaches over the years has been managing vehicles. Our isolated location (far from mechanics and vehicle parts) and the terrible roads make vehicle maintenance a full-time job. It's not just routine servicing; it's a constant changing/fixing of tires, bolts, shocks, springs, and axles, to name a few. All you official and un-official mechanics who have visited us know exactly what I'm talking about! :)
Good news! We now have an office with the exclusive responsibility of overseeing the vehicles, working with the drivers, and making sure things are properly operated, maintained, and repaired. Modelene (pictured) is in the office to welcome you and to keep things running smoothly.
"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 1 Cor 15:58
Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom, <<First Name>>! The verse above encourages me (Krischelle) as I read it, and I hope it encourages you as well. Uneasiness and uncertainty are all around us. We don't know and can do very little to control where things are headed. But, we can stand firm, confident, and faithful in our work for the Lord. We pray that God would provide for you and encourage your heart during these days of worldwide upheaval.