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Seeds of Impact

Seeds of Impact

“One seed can start an entire garden. One audible can change the outcome of a game. One constant encouragement can impact a life, which impacts another life, and then another.”

Patti Howard is a retired coach and teacher who found her calling nestled in the hallways of Indiana public schools. Her love of Christ, other people, and sharing about God’s love has made a remarkable impact throughout her community, and especially in the life of Donnie Roark.

Howard began her teaching and coaching career in Mobile, Alabama, and in 1980 she returned to her home state of Indiana. She immersed herself in the lives of her players at Jeffersonville High School as varsity basketball and golf coach and assistant track coach. She was soon introduced to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) through a fellow teacher. Three years later, she took over FCA’s leadership at the school.

Howard often wondered whether she was in the right field as an educator and coach, pondering a job more open to share her faith. But she had a specific placement.

“God said, ‘You are ON the mission field—it’s called public school,’” she said.

In 1987, Howard transferred from Jeffersonville to the rural area of Charlestown as its middle school physical education teacher and sixth and seventh grade basketball coach. She sensed the tug to begin FCA, but didn’t act on it until 1996, when her daughter Micah entered eighth grade. What began as three people at See You at the Pole one rainy morning turned into a vibrant Huddle with more than 120 students just one year later.

“When He’s in something, He takes off,” Howard marveled. She watched God bring kids to Himself and expand His reach into the community through their service projects like Christmas shopping for underprivileged kids and hosting an annual end-of-year lock-in for more than 250 students that included games and a speaker who presented the Gospel.

A POWERFUL INVITATION

A well-recognized face in the halls, Howard invited students to FCA meetings at every opportunity. One of these students was sixth grader Donnie Roark. Because Howard taught his mother years before him, their families knew one another. For Roark, Howard’s familiar face and mutual admiration for sports drew him to her, and he accepted the invitation to attend FCA.

“God said, ‘You are ON the mission field—it’s called public school.”  – Patti Howard

Howard passed on the FCA leadership torch after Roark’s sixth grade year, but the two kept in touch, and Roark became an FCA leader in eighth grade. Later, he joined his high school Huddle. At Howard’s urging, Roark attended FCA Leadership Camp the summer before ninth grade. It became a turning point for his life.

“Leadership Camp was a big deal,” said Roark. “I was still young in my faith, but there it became evident what I was passionate about: telling others about Jesus.” Roark blossomed in his faith through college at the University of Southern Indiana and Indiana University Southeast, and his passion to share God’s Word grew.

In 2014, as graduation crept closer, Roark found himself at a career crossroads and turned to Howard for wisdom. Howard asked him deep questions that uncovered how God was speaking to his heart and helped make connections for his next steps of obedience.

CONNECTIONS

After retiring from teaching in 2013, Howard, along with her husband, Jim, have stayed involved as prayer partners with the University of Louisville baseball team and supporters of Louisville FCA staff Chris Morgan. The Howards invited Roark and his wife Becca to the Louisville FCA annual fundraiser where Roark caught the vision of FCA and realized he could work for the ministry. The Howards rallied around Roark and connected him to Kraig Cabe, former Indiana State Director, and Indiana University Area Representative Dave Hudson.

“Getting the message of Jesus Christ into schools—that’s been the heart of my heart.” – Patti Howard

A DOMINO EFFECT

Little did Howard know that when she invited a sixth-grade student to an FCA meeting, God would use this boy to become a part of His plan to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. Howard bears the fruit of decades of Christ-like service and love in a domino effect through Roark, who is blazing the way for greater ministry. It’s a spiritual trifecta, according to Roark.

“Going through FCA with her gave me a great template for what FCA should be, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and how to live my life,” Roark said.

Recently, Howard returned to her roots at the request of Roark when he needed help coaching a fifth grade basketball team at Jonathan Jennings Elementary School.

“To be a coach puts you in an intimate setting,” Howard said. “It’s the perfect time to incorporate the value of FCA standards. A coach is in a key position to be Jesus to the team.” Howard’s influence has coursed through generations; many of the players she’s now coaching are children of her former students. Her son Zach is a gym teacher, coach and Huddle leader as well.

Through decades of undeniable movement and a heartbeat to share God’s love in the schools, Howard’s faith in God’s sovereignty has only grown stronger. Her passion to devote herself to His grace continues to grow in leaps and bounds. She’s kind, loyal, and she exudes a light that’s infectious.

“You know she knows Jesus,” Roark said. But for Howard, she remains focused on one thing. “We don’t serve a run-of-the-mill God,” she said. “We serve an incredible, amazing God.”

© Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is touching millions of lives…one heart at a time. As the largest Christian sports ministry in America, FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering, and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ. Since 1954, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA’s mission is to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.

FCA is working in communities throughout the United States. As one of many examples, check out here to learn about what they are doing in San Diego, CA.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

What’s It Like to be a Good Samaritan?

What’s It Like to be a Good Samaritan?

How many times have you been to Ethiopia, including this trip?

Kristi: Seven times including two trips for adoption.

Jane: Many, many business trips for my former employment, but this was my first trip solely for the purpose of visiting and supporting the ministry of Yezelalem Minch (YZM). I had met Nesibu and Birtukan on earlier trips. Now I was eager to actually see their ministry in its entirety.

What made this trip different than the others?

Kristi: My 10-year-old son and my mom came, along with my best friend. It was so great to share this experience with them and have them understand firsthand what is so difficult to put into words.

Jane: I was there strictly for the orientation to and support of YZM. I saw firsthand the full operation of YZM. Two of my daughters and two of my grandchildren were with me.

Where did you see God at work during your trip?

Jane: Everywhere, but particularly with the help we were able to get for a sick girl and how that experience impacted all of the members of our group.

Kristi: Literally everywhere. As a leader, I love seeing the trip come together from the first conversations to the ride home from the airport. God’s hand is in it all. While we were there, God brought us to the home of a child who was devastatingly ill. It was so hard to see but God worked through Birtukan and the YZM staff to get her admitted to a hospital to receive life saving treatment.

We did not know that she needed us to come to her home, but God did. I am leaving out a lot of details but one detail that sticks with me is that earlier that day, we read something Martin Luther King, Jr. preached about the good Samaritan. As we were driving this child to the hospital, we learned that her name means ‘Samaritan.’What advice would you give someone considering a trip to YZM?

Jane: It will be the experience of a lifetime; don’t hesitate. You will experience God mightily at work.Kristi: Just go. Say yes, take a leap, and let God work out the details.

Are you planning on another trip in the near future?

Jane: I’m planning to lead another group. Anyone who may be interested in participating should contact me. We’d love to have more people.Kristi: Yes, I hope to lead a trip annually.

Anything you would like people to know about YZM?

Kristi: The devoted staff are the hands and feet of Jesus. They do lifesaving work. They bring hope to the hopeless. They are God’s love in action. It is truly remarkable how they give their lives to the children and how the children are blessed as a result. Walking alongside them as they work is one of the greatest blessings in my life. It is like a window into God’s heart.

Jane: YZM is Jesus Christ in action in Ethiopia! His love shines through in absolutely every experience of the week. I can’t wait to go back.

Want to learn more?

Yezelalem Minch (YZM) is a ministry in partnership with Helps Ministries. Helps Ministries (Helps) is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian ministry headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina. Helps Ministries’ founders recognized a need for a practical and professional, hands-on type ministry willing and able to help other Christian ministries and missionaries in pragmatic ways. Therefore, Helps was launched in 1976 utilizing the spiritual gift of “helps” found in I Corinthians 12:28 to identify the unique purpose of our ministry.

Since then, Helps has started, strengthened, and served alongside hundreds of front-line ministries all over the world.Partnering with the global Church to build ministries, serve field workers, and defend the vulnerable for God’s kingdom purposes worldwide.Our vision is to be a dynamic and innovative, international ministry leader ensuring that Christian ministries and missionaries are empowered and equipped to fulfill their unique ministry calling.

Yezelalem Minch (YZM) is an Ethiopian non-profit, non-government organization providing comprehensive care for orphaned and vulnerable children in multiple communities in and around the capital city of Addis Ababa. Started in 2001 by Birtukan Sinshaw and her husband, Nesibu Kebede, YZM has grown tremendously. There are currently over 1,500 children enrolled in the program.

Eagle’s Carson Wentz Brings Hope to Haiti’s Youth

Eagle’s Carson Wentz Brings Hope to Haiti’s Youth

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is working to bring life transformation to thousands of kids in Haiti through the Mission of Hope Haiti Sports Complex.

Wentz is raising funds for the project through his AO1 Foundation at The Giving Back Fund and says he will personally match every dollar, up to $500,000. The 60-acre sports complex will host sports leagues for 15,000 kids annually and provide programs focused on character development, education, and discipline.

“I believe the sports complex will bring joy, hope, and dignity to thousands of kids and help inspire and develop character in the next generation of leaders in Haiti,” said Wentz.

The partnership with Mission of Hope was forged last year during a trip Wentz made to Haiti with his church. During that visit, Carson learned about Mission of Hope’s plan to impact the community through the Haiti Sports Complex and was inspired to get involved. Wentz returned to Haiti this past April, bringing Eagles team members with him to help with Phase I construction of the complex.

“The vision behind the Mission of Hope sports complex lines up with our foundation’s mission to demonstrate the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need,” said Wentz.

The sports complex will include 10 soccer fields, basketball courts, a stadium, a community park, and a mess hall. Children will also have access to educational tutoring, nutritious meals, and a safe place to study when they are not in the classroom.

By impacting over 15,000 children per year, the Sports Complex will provide the opportunity for children to develop positive character traits and life values.Through mentorship, children will learn the importance of teamwork, perseverance, discipline, and how to become men and women of integrity. Sports create a foundation to develop important characteristics that these children will carry with them the rest of their lives.

“We are grateful for Carson Wentz and the AO1 Foundation’s efforts to help provide athletic training and character development to thousands of kids throughout the country,” says Mission of Hope Haiti president, Brad Johnson. “This is the beginning of building sustainable sports programming that will foster national pride and help change a nation.”

To learn more or make a donation to the Mission of Hope Haiti Sports Complex, visit here.

The AO1 Foundation’s mission is to demonstrate the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need. Similar to Carson’s life motto and the tattoo on the underside of his right wrist, Carson’s foundation stands for “Audience of One.” No matter what he does in life, Carson is living for an Audience of One—Jesus. For more information, please visit here.

Mission of Hope, Haiti exists to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. By partnering with local churches and indigenous organizations throughout Haiti, Mission of Hope feeds over 91,000 children daily, impacts over 10,000 students through education, trains over 1,700 farmers, and provides medical care to over 30,000 patients annually. For more information about how Mission of Hope is working to transform a nation, visit www.mohhaiti.org.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

A Family Vacation with a Purpose

A Family Vacation with a Purpose

Edify partners with those who are providing low-fee Christ-centered private education to children in underserved countries. “Edupreneurs” currently offer robust educational opportunities for children in 10 countries, to provide them hope and opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Yet all these schools face common challenges: few capital resources for expanding classrooms and facilities, a lack of academic and extracurricular resources to provide a strong Christ-centered education. That’s where Edify steps in, financially, educationally and spiritually. My family landed in Punta Cana and made our way to La Romana. What ensued was eight days of service, fun, love, education and joy. You’ll see from the photos and short recaps just that. I’m not sure who learned more: the local children, my family or myself.

On Sunday, we traveled to the Dominican Republic. The villa is beautiful — not what I expected for a mission trip. And then on Monday we toured three private schools run by women who have taken out multiple loans to improve and expand. These schools charge about $15 a month per student — very affordable from an American point-of-view, but a stretch for many families in the Dominican. Edify forecasts 98% payback on their loans in the next three years, having over $8.5 million in loans serviced the last nine years.
We also met Luis Sena, Edify’s VP of Latin America programs. After sharing dinner with Luis, I was anxious to listen to this wise, inspiring man again on Friday.

Tuesday was the first day of summer camp kickoff. The kids sang and danced to celebrate the kickoff. Our camp had a little more than 60 students from preschool-age to 16, with three teachers. The students take great pride in their schooling and value building a community, something our kids back at home miss out on all too often. We split into four stations: technology, Bible, craft and recreation. My nephew and I led the technology station, with half-hour lessons exploring the use of battery-powered technology that uses a tablet because the electricity is very unreliable.

Wednesday was another day of back-to-school camp! The kids did their rotations through the four stations. Today included time spent picking up trash with the students in their neighborhood, which was a lesson for all of us on stewardship.

Met a 12-year-old girl named Penelope, who had a brother who was diagnosed with cancer at age 3 and underwent 25 chemo sessions and a kidney removal. He is now healed and back to normal, turning 5 in October. God is good.

On Thursday the students enjoyed engaging with one another and making new friends. My wife and I were amazed as we watched our kids step up and make true connections and impacts.

On Friday  we hosted Fiesta Day at the school with a jump house, popcorn, and stations for bean bag toss, balloon pop, Plinko, ring toss, Nerf darts, and face and fingernail painting. The kids won tickets at each of the stations and could use the tickets for water balloon toss and whip cream pie in the face. My daughter received the most pies in the face, and all the kids were great sports.

The best part was hearing the students call our kids out (through a translator) for how much they appreciated and loved them.

Saturday and Sunday We celebrated the great week by hanging out at the beach. Then we headed back home on Sunday.

The Edify Family Experience in the Dominican Republic took me away from clients, from work and from business partners. I understand, in our society, that leaving these things behind for even a week can be difficult. But seeking to serve on a deeper level teaches us so much more than we can learn otherwise. It can give us insights, provide us perspective — even help us recharge — as we head back to our professional callings. I encourage you and your families to find your Edify Family Experience mission. Go make a difference. Connect with others. Seek to serve. Written by  a volunteer participant with Edify and their Family Experience Mission.  To learn how you can volunteer for an Edify  mission trip or support their work visit their website here.

Edify makes quality education more accessible to children in developing countries. Millions of children in developing nations will never even have the opportunity to step into a classroom. There are currently an additional 250 million students that are unable to read, write, or do basic math despite having spent several years in school. Edify offers a solution by helping to improve and expand existing, national-led schools that are making an impact. Edify provide loans and training to entrepreneurs who offer quality, affordable and financially self-sustainable Christ-centered education for children in their community. This partnership helps them grow their infrastructure, improve teaching, and incorporate innovative education technology solutions into their curriculum.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

An Adventure of a Lifetime

An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Voke team, ­part of the Jesus Film Project, ­ is on a global search to find one married couple to go on the adventure of a lifetime as ambassadors for the #GoVokeTour. For three months, July 7th through October 4th, 2019, they will travel to locations in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

The couple chosen will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to drive a vintage VW bus cross-country and speak to young people at churches, schools, and conferences. As Voke ambassadors, the couple will model an ‘on the road’ faith adventure, showing youth how they can #GoVoke, ­ a challenge to grow and own their faith as they live out relationships in an increasingly digital world.

“We’re looking for a married couple with youth and ministry experience who feel comfortable in and out of the spotlight”, explains the campaign creators. Strengths such as an authentic walk with Christ, an ability to deal well with others, fun personalities and good communication and time management skills are key. Social media and vlogging experience are also top of the list.

Check out the GoVokeTour video here.

Who should apply?
● Youth pastors, youth leaders or campus­-based youth workers looking to take their ministry mindset outside traditional church buildings or campus borders.
● Volunteer youth leaders who have job flexibility or are in ­between jobs.
● Seminary graduates looking to apply ministry training in innovative ways to build God’s kingdom.
● College graduates looking for non­traditional ministry experience before moving into full time employment.

All travel, training, ministry, and living expenses are covered for the couple related to the GoVoke Tour. Beyond this, there will be a basic stipend.

Start the application process, get more information, or refer a friend here:  GoVokeApp.com. Online applications will be accepted through May 1st, 2019.

The GoVoke Tour is 90 days of amazing adventure. Explore the United States and meet thousands of young people by helping them grow and own their faith!

Voke is a mobile app and comes from the word ‘Evoke’ which means ‘to draw out’ or ’cause a response.’ Voke delivers short films along with suggested questions to help people initiate deeper conversations about life and God with people they care about.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Going the Extra Mile

Going the Extra Mile

A young man came to Bread of Life Rescue Mission seeking shelter. Sadly, we were unable to help him with that, but we gave him a blanket and a warm jacket and invited him to come back that evening for a warm meal. He took us up on that offer. After dinner, Jim, one of our remarkable staff, talked with him. During the conversation, Jim asked the man where he was staying before he came to Oceanside.

Well, it turns out that he was living with his grandparents up in Orange county. His addiction was causing problems, so the grandparents got him enrolled at a treatment facility. After a few days, he walked away from the program, and his grandparents, and headed south ending up in Oceanside.

Jim suggested they call his grandparents and tell them his situation. The young man was sure his family was upset with him for walking away from the treatment center. After talking for a short time, he agreed to let Jim call them.

The grandparents were worried sick when he left the center and had no clue if he was alive or dead. When Jim called them, they were filled with joy and said they would drive here and pick him up.

It would have been easy to just feed this guy, give him a blanket and a jacket, and send him on his way, and say we did our part.

But what I love about Bread of Life Rescue Mission is that people like Jim are willing to go the extra mile and see if there’s a solution outside the box. This young man is one of several guests that have been reunited with family because one of the staff spent a little extra time talking and then making a simple phone call.

For over a decade, the Bread of Life Rescue Mission has been serving the needs of our neighbors who are hurting, hungry, and homeless. We primarily serve a six-city area comprised of Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Escondido, and Encinitas. Year round we provide warm evening meals, food boxes, clothing, personal care items, and referral services. Additionally, we offer our guests spiritual encouragement and facilitate new beginnings.

As a California non-profit religious organization, Bread of Life Rescue Mission provides a nurturing and safe environment that is drug and alcohol free. We are a designated City of Oceanside cold-weather overnight shelter open annually from November 1 through March 31. Our client advocates work together with our shelter guests to lay out specific plans geared towards their individual needs along with referral and tracking systems to help them accomplish their goals. Our services include mandatory drug and alcohol testing. We offer referral assistance to substance abuse programs and sober living facilities. Learn more about how you can volunteer or support Bread of Life Rescue Mission here.

Bread of Life Rescue Mission participates in AARE’s Generous Giving Program. Learn how you can support their work at no cost to you here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

My Boot Camp Experience in the Streets of New York City

My Boot Camp Experience in the Streets of New York City

I first came to Metro World Child a few years ago to attend the weeklong Boot Camp program. I was 17 years old at the time and working towards high school graduation, while faithfully attending my local youth group. I grew up in a small town in Canada and to be honest, my knowledge of Missions and my awareness of Christian missionaries living out the Great Commission was very limited.

Together with my youth group, we had the opportunity to be a part of what Metro World Child does every week in the neighborhoods of New York City: minister to children and their families through inner city Sunday School programs, conduct home visits, build relationships through mentorship, and so much more. I got to learn first-hand the importance of sharing the Gospel and I could see the Great Commission being put into action.

Boot Camp was not just a Missions trip where we helped Metro’s teams do what they do. It was a week of immersion into full time ministry, where we were trained and equipped to effectively reach our own communities through urban outreach and Sunday School programs. During the mornings we learned the different elements to urban outreach and kid’s ministry, and each afternoon we actually went out and did it, together with the staff and volunteers of Metro World Child. We rode along with the teams in their ministry trucks, visited housing projects and inner city neighborhoods, and personally connected with each of the families who attend the programs, even being invited into their homes and spending time with them. Boot Camp gives you the best of both worlds – learning the importance and the “why” of ministry, receive training on how to actually do it by going out there each day and putting our knowledge into action.

My favorite part of Boot Camp was the ministry of home visitation, where each team member goes and visits an area in need each week. During that time, I was able to walk around with the team and introduce ourselves and our programs to the people in the community, go door to door and pray with people, and be welcomed in to homes as if I was a new family member. Being able to do this while also supporting and helping the Metro team was something I really loved being a part of.

During the week of Boot Camp, I know I experienced some of the most genuine and authentic moments I will ever come face to face with. The ministerial moments I hold in my heart were as simple as a child resting in my arms during the program, because the truth is, at home that child never had the opportunity to rest. Another moment that touched my heart was hearing prayers from children as they asked God to help them, and they had genuine child-like faith that we read about in the Bible. It was so special to get to see it displayed at Sunday School.

My heart was filled every time a child would tell me they loved me and thanked me for coming, many of them whom I’d just met but they could see the love of Jesus as He used me to reach them. These things moved my heart because you see, I went to New York to be involved in the Boot Camp program so that I could minister to children and their families. Little did I know that the ones who I was hoping to help would be the ones ministering back to me; that is the power of God that is moving in and through Metro World Child.

After an amazing, life changing week of Boot Camp, my youth group went back to Canada eager to start our own Sunday School urban outreach program. To this day, the image that has been ingrained in my mind was witnessing so many children, standing shoulder to shoulder, all lifting their hands in worship and calling out to Jesus. That picture, and the joy it brings, will stay with me forever.

Metro World Child is a faith-based humanitarian organization committed to serving the underprivileged inner-city children of the world. By sharing the Gospel, showing God’s love and meeting needs, together, we can help break the cycle of poverty, provide hope, build futures and empower children to rise up out of the streets and become tomorrow’s leaders.

Our mission at Metro World Child is to reach at-risk children worldwide with the message of the Gospel, to lead them into their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to the best of our ability, help meet whatever spiritual, practical and emotional needs that arise. As a result, our hope is to see at-risk children raised up to become leaders among the next generation and fulfill God’s unique plan for their lives.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

The Global Learning Crisis: Attending School and Learning are not Synonymous

The Global Learning Crisis: Attending School and Learning are not Synonymous

With the school season in full swing, it is easy to get caught in the whirlwind of school supply lists, making lunches and drop-off lines. Even if you are not in this season of life yourself, it is a recurring norm in American culture.

For those of us in the United States, education is a given. Most children will go to school, get an education, graduate and get a job. However, the reality is in many underserved countries, the state of education is one of crisis.

Recently, there has been a global movement emphasizing education as a basic right. There is a fight to make education free and available to all children. Achieving universal primary education is at the top of the list for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and is arguably the solution to many of the other goals set to be achieved by 2030.

While achieving this goal would be an important step in the right direction, what seems to be absent is the crucial principle of quality over quantity. Attending school is not necessarily synonymous with learning. If we have deemed this a worthy endeavor, isn’t it worth doing well?

According to UNESCO, 264 million children are out of school, and the United Nations estimates that 600 million children are in school but learning little.

So, what do we do about it? Thankfully, there are many organizations whose mission it is to help schools provide education to children around the world. Edify seeks to be part of the solution as well, with our mission to improve and expand sustainable Christ-centered education globally. We know that for lasting change to occur, there needs to be ownership from locals in the process. Therefore, we look to make an impact by empowering teachers through training, helping schools grow through loan capital, improving learning environments, investing in school leadership and offering opportunities for education technology.

More often than not, teachers at Edify partner schools have no formal training themselves – just a passion for seeing the children in their community flourish. When that teacher has an opportunity to learn how to teach from a Biblical worldview, develop classroom management skills, and help students develop critical thinking skills, the learning that takes place exponentially grows.

Additionally, when an Edify partner school takes out a loan to build a classroom with proper ventilation and lighting or to build safe and proper restrooms and sanitation facilities, how much better can a student focus on learning instead of getting through the day?

The future of education

While 250 million children may seem like a daunting number, Edify is committed to transforming the lives of students in our 10 countries of operation. Part of our strategic plan is to impact 1 million students by 2020—and we are getting close! Since we began work in 2010 we have impacted 835,756 students.

We are thankful that there are many individuals, organizations and governments committed to providing children with access to quality education. We need to keep striving for quality and remember that access doesn’t mean success. Will you join us in bringing quality, Christ-centered education to students around the globe?

Edify comes alongside entrepreneurs who offer quality Christ-centered education to children in their underserved communities. Our solution is free enterprise to educate impoverished children. There are hundreds of thousands of low-fee, independent schools started by local, social entrepreneurs who are from the same disadvantaged communities they serve and understand clearly the needs of the children. Join Edify as we come alongside these dedicated entrepreneurs who need access to training, capital, and technology to grow their schools. To learn more about how you can volunteer or support their work please click here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.