The following blog was written by Hannah Van Dyk, one of EduDeo's Key Relationship Managers.

A few weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to travel in the Dominican Republic & Nicaragua and was able to visit with the teachers & students we are privileged to work with. When I came home, a lot of people asked me what I did while I was away, & I had two answers: I sweat a lot (a welcome change from the snow in Edmonton), & I listened to stories.

Stories from parents who have seen their children changed by Christ-centred education. Stories of schools who are living out Christ’s call for us to be servants by starting meal programs & medical clinics in their schools for their students and the greater community. Stories of principals starting schools in areas with a deep need for education and the gospel, and seeing how God’s hand has helped those schools thrive. 

But no story stands out in my head quite as much as the story of four girls & their robots.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Thanks a Million" 0 comments

In 2014, we shared the story of Michael. At the time, he was a grade 12 student at Mwase Day Secondary School in Lundazi, Zambia

"As a result of HIV/AIDS many children are left without parental care. Christian schools are grace-giving schools, and CCAP is putting a priority on serving children who are orphans due to the HIV/AIDS crisis. These children cannot pay their school fees or the cost of their uniforms, and in Christ-centred love CCAP strives to meet the education needs of these students. Michael, an orphan, is a student who has been blessed with scholarship assistance to support him through high school as a CCAP Education Beneficiary, in partnership with EduDeo Ministries. He prays to God for his sponsors to continue with the same spirit, even to others so that the Great Commission can be fulfilled, “Go and Preach into the World….’’ Mark 16:15. His ambition is be a teacher so that he can help others in future - children like him."

Recently, Michael reached out to us through our Facebook page. He continues to work towards his ambition, and says:

"Thanks to the support I received from you when I was in high school at Mwase Day in Lundazi, Zambia, I passed with flying colours. Now I am at the Copperbelt University studying BSc Chemistry Education under government sponsorship. I am really grateful for the support. Thanks a million. Without your help I wouldn't be at this university today."  

We love hearing from students about how their education has changed the course of their entire life. Your support of this quality, Christ-centred educaiton is making a real impact for so many like Michael - thank you!

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Corbett and Fikkert are Right! 0 comments

This blog was written by Walking Together Learning Leader Roy van Eerden who is working with co-leader Diane Stronks and key Guatemalan educators as part of the Vision for Christ-Centred Education - Guatemala Walking Together project.

When Joel Luis thanked us for making a change in his country, Nico said, "Well, they haven't done anything yet." Unlike the donors to AMG who typically tour the schools and camp, this was our first connection, of course. It made for a good laugh. Truth be told, when it comes to the Walking Together program, it is the teachers and administrators who will make change in the country. We walk alongside, provide some expertise, and try to ask the right questions. Today we started that process.

The purpose of this trip was essentially to build relationships and set a vision. To that end, today was a good day. We met with eight principals/coordinators to run some protocols that they could take back to their schools, but also gave us a framework for discussion.

We had made a good start to the day and decided it was time for a break after about two hours. Sadly, it was during the break that one of the principals, Ligia, recieved word that her father had passed away. After Ruth arranged for a ride for her, and we spend some time in prayer, we decided it was best to carry on with day. Your continued prayers for Ligia and her family are welcome.

It was exciting to work with this group of educators so committed to making their schools the best they can be. They thought critically about what strengths their schools had, what challenges they face and the beginnings of dreams for the future. What was particularly striking was that when we visited the schools, they talked about parental involvement. Today, they spoke of the need for greater involvment from parents. That this is a priority for them not only speaks to their commitment to good education (as Diane pointed out, the research shows that the best schools are ones in which parents are integrally connected), but also the vision for what their schools could be.

Innovative education strategies was mentioned several times today, including doing projects. It was too early and we didn't have time to do any planning on this, but it is exciting to think about the possibilities of project-based learning as a way to engage parents, in terms of making an impact in the community perhaps.

When it came time to wrap up the day, a theme that kept emerging was that it was good to name the strengths of the school. It gave them reason to be thankful, but also hope for what they could do. That is exactly what When Helping Hurts is about. It was exciting to watch it happen first-hand.

Diane and Ruth will head up the conversation about strategic planning. I look forward to seeing where God leads in this. For now, it has been good to gain a greater vision of His greatness in seeing the ways in which his people bringing hope and life to those in need.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kidnapped! 0 comments

This blog was written by Walking Together Learning Leader Roy van Eerden who is working with co-leader Diane Stronks and key Guatemalan educators as part of the Vision for Christ-Centred Education - Guatemala Walking Together project.

About an hour drive outside of Guatemala City this morning, we arrived at Bethel school in Patzicia. As usual, we were welcomed warmly into the school by the administrators, but also by the children as they were having their break. We exchanged many handshakes, high fives and fist bumps. The bell rang and after a few more greetings I asked, “Es tiempo por clase?” Several said “Si,” but I guess they didn’t want to leave me as I found myself surrounded by about 15 second graders who pushed and pulled me into their classroom. The teacher, Gabrielle, seemed okay with this intrusion. I practiced my Spanish a bit but, honestly, I don’t remember much of what was said, just taking it all in. I told Moses, the principal, at the end of the day that my heart is in elementary school, and that was such a wonderful way to start the day.

Moses has been at Bethel school for 17 years, Principal for one, and has lived his whole life in the village. He was so excited to show us around the school and have us meet the children. Back in his office he shared how the school has changed physically, such as covering the play area and adding a computer lab, and in terms of a change in the mindset of teachers as they are more committed. They see teaching as a calling and this inspires them to put in more effort. The effects of this were obvious as we visited the classrooms. He was also excited to show us the trophys that the school band has won. It is one of the best bands in the district.

Aura is the administrator who coordinates all the AMG programs such as the lunch program and oversees the facilities. She began at the school as a secretary and moved into her position two years ago. This is a school that obviously works at raising up leaders from within.

Next we were off to Camp Canaan. Every student in grades 4-12 has the opportunity to spend one week at this AMG-run camp. Husband and wife team Joel Luis and Orfa Meza have been running the camp since they started clearing the land and built the meeting hall/gymnasium and first two cabins in 1984. The passion with which they speak of guiding and nurturing the children into a life of discipleship was exhilerating. Joel Luis shared several stories of children who have been impacted by the camp, and in every case his main focus was on how they made an impact on him. Tears came to his eyes with every story, such as the young girl who thanked him because she could sleep on a mattress for the first time in her life. For Joel Luiz this was another testimony about how we need to look to God as provider, to trust in him, and how blessed he truly is. “That is why we stay here!” he said.

Joel Luiz also took great delight in telling me that the chapel was built entirely by women. The joke is that the men are just the mules as they had to bring all the materials up the hill to the site. In fact, one of the women was nicknamed "Dynomite" as she flick a pretend whip and yelled, "Come on Luiz, get those materials up here! Hurry!"

Another beautiful day filled with beautiful people reflecting the deep, deep love of God.

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