|In the book of Exodus, YHWH gives His name: I am that I am (alternatively "I will be what I will be". Exodus 3:14) He points to His auto-existence. He defines Himself by His being. In the Gospel of John, Jesus also offers many "I am" statements: I am the Living Bread (6:51), I am the Light of the World (8:12), I am the True Vine (15:1). Surely, our God's definition of Himself points to an order of being first. The doing comes from that being. We do not become worthy or beloved by doing. This truth should cause us to walk differently through life than our societies would have us. This self-identity of being points us towards rest, towards assurance in Him and in our creation in His likeness. He gave us the Sabbath to be still. He gave us community to be embraced. He gave us creation to be surrounded. To receive these free gifts, he didn't require that we… Read more »|
November – School-Based Training
|As the school holidays get up and going, we are trying something a bit new in Rwanda. Rather than bring teachers or school leaders to a large training facility, we are going right to their space, and conducting school-based trainings. In the past 2 weeks we have facilitated 4 half-day trainings, at 4 client schools. Our main focus has been on 'learning and teaching in English'. This is a topic that is often requested by school leaders and is an area of HUGE need as the country continues to struggle with the transition to English as the language of instruction in schools. Virtually all students are learning in a language that is not their mother tongue (and more than likely not ever spoken at home) and teachers are expected to teach in a language foreign to them. The changes have occurred very quickly and almost everyone is finding it difficult to keep up. The school-based training is quite simple, it provides an… Read more »|
|In Spanish, "the street" is used to communicate a figurative and physical place of commerce and errands. It is used in contrast to "being home"--for which the connotation is usually safety and family. It is used in phrases such as "Jenny isn't home, she's still in the street" or "Fausto works all day in the street and still makes barely enough to pay rent." The "street" culture--that is, what happens as students walk to and from school, run to the store to buy cooking oil for mom, or sit on their porch as the sun sets-- is often in direct conflict with the teachings of God's love and plans for them. I believe there is hope for redemption of our culture, but world-wide, there are macro-cultures that speak of consumption, gratification, selfishness and power that battle daily with our call to community, stewardship and denying of self. Ruth Delgado, director of Colegio Cristiano Mundo de Saber ("World of Knowledge") shared with us… Read more »|
Edify is on the Move!
|Edify is on the move! This summer Edify began pilot projects in two new countries in Africa: Liberia and Burkina Faso! We are so grateful for our partners in Liberia and Burkina Faso who have blessed us with enthusiasm and local expertise to help expand and improve Christ-centered low-fee schools. Here’s a quick snapshot of our progress to date in Liberia. Liberia ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world (174 of 186 on the UN Human Development Index) and the Liberian people suffered greatly during a fourteen year civil war that ended in 2003. Since 2003, the affordable private school market has doubled in size. Low-fee, good quality proprietor owned schools have been encouraged by the current President of Liberia, Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. When our partner, Foundation for Women – Liberia awarded the first schools loans, the Vice President of Liberia was in attendance to… Read more »|
Glimpse from the Field
Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
|This past month, Edify sponsored 20 participants from 10 partner schools in Rwanda to attend the 2nd annual ACSI roundtable conference. ACSI stands for the Association of Christian Schools International and is a Christian educational organization that supports the personal and professional development of Christian educators. Further, they "provide vital support functions for Christian schools, encourage Christian values in Christian schools and focus on developing the child spiritually" (ASCI webpage,2013). The Edify Rwanda team sits on the planning committee for this annual event. The idea of an integrated Christian education is fairly new in Rwanda, and the content of this conference extraordinarily relevant. The schools we work with are largely made up of committed owners who want God to be honored and students to hear the Truth in their classrooms, but require support to fully realize this goal. The theme for this year's event was " Filling our Schools with God's truth", inspired from Habakkuk 2:14. The main topics at the conference… Read more »|
|The Gospel reads: John 1: 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth*! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. *Nazareth has Portuguese and Spanish spellings of Nazaret and Nazaré Having lived in two Nazaré(s) myself (Bairro Nazaré in Salvador, Brazil and Villa Nazaré in La Romana, Dominican Republic), I can say I know better—good things do come from Nazareth. And, like Philip, I extend the invitation to come and see. People who come from a Nazaré know that much good comes from places that get dicey after dusk. Much good comes from places where loud music mixes with commerce in the streets, where neighbors know each other well enough to love each other.… Read more »|
Introducing Godfrey Lugoloobi!
|Please join us in welcoming Godfrey Lugoloobi to the Rwanda team! We are thrilled to have him on board and cant wait to see how God will use him in his new position as Christian Transformation and Project officer (CTPO). Godfrey has been working with Edify as the team leader for our Cornerstone Leadership p Academy intern program over the last 6 months and brings with him a wealth of experience. Meet Godfrey! From 2009 to 2013, Godfrey served as a Mentor, leadership coach and English teacher at Cornerstone Leadership Academy. Godfrey is a part of Africa Youth Leadership Forum (AYLF) a movement that forms the youth wing of the Prayer Breakfast Movement in East Africa and organized Leadership Seminars in different Universities in East Africa from 2009 to 2013. He was the country coordinator for his university prayer breakfast movement… Read more »|
School vs. Education: The Difference Matters
|"Education is a life-long process. Education is not limited to a classroom, a structured period of time, or formal instruction. Education can take place anytime, anywhere, in the middle of a full life, in formal and informal ways. It takes place In the midst of creation, society, culture, and work. The stuff of education may be described as the cultural trinity: Truth, Beauty and Goodness." This was taken from a recent blog post by author and speaker Darrow Miller. He shares about the critical difference between an education that engages the mind and instills virtue in the heart versus "schooling" that often carries the connotation of a building where learning may take place. At Edify, we make loans so that school owners can improve the quality and size of their buildings. However, we spend even more energy on helping school leaders offer a transformative education by integrating Christ-centered curriculum, investing in school… Read more »|
Inside School Walls
|You can read a lot about a person by with what they choose to decorate their walls. Photos of family members might suggest close ties, wooden carvings might point to the likelihood of a world traveler residing there. Similarly, you can read a lot of a school's values by what the director and teachers choose to put on the walls-- student art, a mission statement, inspirational quotes, bible verses, etc. In the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Education requires schools to have an exterior wall or fence enclose school campuses. Edify has partnered with several schools to provide access to capital to finish such walls which also help to create an environment of security and peace where students can learn apart from busy thoroughfares and commerce. In AMO --a holistic method of teaching built upon biblical foundations-- teachers learn that a Christian education can be a wall itself. Earlier in August, I sat with a table of school teachers as we discussed… Read more »|