A School that is part of ACECEN

The Assembly of God “Jehová Shalom” was instituted in Léon in 2005.  The church began to build relationships with people in a neighbourhood close by called Felipe Santana, also nicknamed “Little Hell”.  This neighbourhood is one that deals with a lot of delinquency, and substance abuse. In September 2005, the church started a feeding program. They provided lunch for 150 children every day, as well as offering Bible study classes for the community. Trust was developed and relationships deepened - some of the children’s parents began to come to adult church service in the evenings.  They ran the feeding program for four years and more children came every day. So they decided to survey those who made use of their feeding program, to find out how many children were school-aged, but not attending school for different reasons.  Because of the survey results, the church decided to end the feeding program and start a school instead in 2010. 

Nueva Jerusalen – Jehová Shalom began with 30 preschool students. The enrollment grew quickly to 80 students, with preschool students as well as older children attending grades 1 and 2.  However, the government didn't allow them to open a primary school yet because they didn't have the appropriate facilities, so they went back to just preschool in 2012. 

In 2015, Edudeo HANDS teams helped the preschool by building two beautiful classrooms, and as expected, the number of students increased. Parents are now requesting the school to open primary school, so one of the long-term goals is to have two more classrooms for grades 1 and 2. The Ministry of education is waiting for the school to have the right facilities for them to give the permit. The school has begun to work towards this by doing different fundraising activities such as raffles, food sales, etc.

The need in the community for this school remains great, as difficulties continue in Felipe Santana where a lot of the students live. There is a public school there, but the teachers miss too many classes and few kids attend there. Parents would rather send their kids to Nueva Jerusalen because of the reputation of the church and school providing quality education as well as teaching about God. There is a Catholic school in the area, about two blocks away, but the tuition there is very high, at $30-50, so it is not an option for many children of the Felipe Santana neighbourhood. 

The teachers at Nueva Jerusalen - Jehová Shalom are paid through offerings received by the church as well as donations from some other churches.  They understand that they are looking forward to a future where they will be given a proper salary, but that this is not a reality yet.  At the beginning of the school year parents are asked to bring their children's materials (paper, pencils, marks, color, toilet paper, soap, etc.). The church provides cleaning supplies and pays for utilities.  Extra funds received are used to pay the security guard.  Parents are also asked to supply $2 per child to provide food for the students, and the school also receives donations of food and snacks from others. The school also hopes to set up a cafeteria to sell food and snacks to the church and the community. The income from this will be used to support the school.

The school leadership trusts that these goals will get them closer to becoming self-sufficient through local funds. Even as they strive for this, they have hurdles to overcome. We pray with them that God will bless their efforts and their plans. EduDeo Ministries is honoured to be able to walk this journey with them by supporting them as they improve their facilities, to allow for continued and growing existence in this area that so desperately needs transformation by the Spirit.

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