April 16, 2013

What's Your Role: Giving the Least of These a Fighting Chance

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In reading through the life of Jesus in the Gospels one can’t help but be struck by the company Jesus kept. His first visitors were not the social elite, but the down and out, the shepherds. Throughout His earthly ministry he was often in tension with the religious leaders, but welcomed the company of sinners, tax collectors - the outcasts of society.

In many ways, EduDeo’s partner in Dominican Republic - COCREF - continues to model Jesus' example. COCREF was started to reach out to the needs of the Haitian children of cane workers who had no legal rights and who were despised by the local people. While tensions between people groups are not currently as bad as they have been, much of the poor in the Dominican remain of Haitian background.

Today, COCREF remains committed to serving the poor. Within these communities are many who are further disadvantaged because of either physical or mental challenges. Children have been expelled and rejected from other schools because of learning and behaviour problems. In contrast, COCREF schools welcome these unwanted children through their doors, seeing the God-given potential that each carries in their own way! The teachers invest in them, love them and find out what their real needs are.

In a recent partner evaluation of COCREF, our International Partnerships Director travelled to the Dominican Republic to meet with them and learn more about the impact that is taking place. They were talking about the image of COCREF and how others in the community perceived the Christian school organization. One school in particular was known to take in, literally, anyone who would come the school. The poor, the sick, those exposed and using drugs, those involved in prostitution…it sounded a lot like the type of people Jesus hang out with.

It’s not easy to run a school like this, but the teachers do the best they can and are supported and enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. The glory of it all is that lives are changing! Students are being transformed! Priorities are realigned. Values turn towards God. And communities begin to see and understand the value of having a Christian school in their community.

COCREF schools may take in the least of these, but these children don't leave the same as they came!  If you look at their high school pass rates, they are at almost 100% - meaning that those who have been written off as not being able to learn anything are being nurtured and taught to the point where they are able to complete high school!

Several COCREF schools are already fully self-sustaining and are now beginning to support some of the other schools in other poorer communities. EduDeo has committed to helping COCREF to continue to shine the Light of transformation in poor communities. You too can support this important kingdom work by signing up to become a sponsor of COCREF in the Dominican Republic!

We would like to thank COCREF for their role in transforming lives, families and communities. What's YOUR role?



Comments:

Michele
Apr 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Great article, guys! (And nice photo choice for the post! ;)

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