I’ve just returned from Mali. I went with 5 people – Rev. Phil Shores (Church on the Rock, Peoria, AZ); Daniel Olson (Phoenix, AZ); Peter Arzouni; Daniel Johansen and Jesse Hintermeister (Baxter, MN) – and completed phase 2 of construction of the School of Hope.
Although still unfinished, the promise and hope that this school building represents has impacted the Muslim community and boosted our credibility – God has given us favor, so we are now positioned for a greater measure of evangelism than ever before. We are desperate for people to help us raise the $10,000 needed to finish that building (3rd and final phase).
More on the School of Hope
Presently, we are working with extremely poor people, and we are involved in the building of a Christian school in the middle of several villages that desperately need it! We have started work on what everyone in that community calls Jigiya Kalanso – the School of Hope. Here is what makes this school special:
- It takes a holistic approach that focuses not only on the intellectual development of students, but also on their character development. Students from Muslim homes will, with their parents’ full knowledge and approval, learn something from the Bible every day.
- Parents, though poor, are required to pay for their children’s schooling. How? Not with money, but by giving for each of their enrolled children 2 days of work a month at our self-sufficiency agricultural project (a place of sustained daily interaction with Muslim farmers):
- Unlike what happens in Mali’s public schools (where they exist), this requirement promotes greater participation of the parents in the education of their children.
- The days spent at the self-sufficiency project are a time of learning new and better methods of agriculture. Essentially, the parents are learning while their kids are in school.
- When harvest time comes around, not only will a tithe be given for the work of God elsewhere, but those same parents will get a portion of what has been produced in the acreage that they have worked in. This helps them make ends meet during the dry season.
- The rest of that particular harvest is then used to support the school.
- And the best part is that we get a chance to transact extensively with those Muslim parents and share our life message and the love of Christ with them.