Below is a letter from our Grace Brethren Pastors in Bossangoa, Central African Republic. Through these men and their churches, Grace Church has a partnership that provides two Christian Schools for orphans. The letter is long enough that its conclusion will be posted tomorrow:
Very dear Brother Pastor of the Lititz Church, Very dear Brother in Christ Mike McCracken and the strong delegation from Pennsylvania, The entire Lititz Church,
We can’t contain ourselves concerning the love you have manifested and continue to manifest for us in general and for the orphans of Bossangoa, CAR in particular. When we hear that your church in Pennsylvania never stops praying for us, and see that you came all the way to Bossangoa to visit us and to take news of our situation back to the Church in Lititz, we know that the heart of your church has been touched by the words of James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Only people touched by this verse have this kind of commitment to orphans and widows. This kind of commitment also brings us the opportunity to speak of Pastor Thomas Elvis Guenekean, his wife Clarisse, and her friends, to whom God gave the vision to start The Association of Evangelical Women of Bossangoa (AFEB).
To thank you for your commitment we would like to underline the results of the generous acts that you have done among us following the recent war here. Thanks to you, Jean Guidibe (pictured) was trained as a literacy teacher for the 2007-2008 Level 1 reading class for our orphans. Because of you we were able to open a literacy class for 50 orphans in 2007-2008. Due to your help these 50 orphans had lunch every day of the school year. Thanks to you, 27 of the 50 orphans in the 2007-2008 program went on to level 2 (23 repeated level 1). Because of your help, Jean Gudibe completed training to teach Level 2 for the 2008-2009 school year. Thanks to your help we trained Sophie Nam-Ozoui (pictured) to teach Level 1. To give you some background, Sophie was the wife of our Deacon Thomas Nam-Ozoui, a dedicated deacon who died 5 years ago. Sophie is as dedicated to the church as her husband was, and following his example, she became a deaconess in March. She is in charge of the orphans in Level 1.
Your help enabled us to welcome 183 orphans into our Orphan Center at Bossangoa this year. That brings our total to 223. We had so many children that we had to turn some of the youngest ones away. We placed 46 in Level 1 and 52 in Level 2, totaling 98 orphans. Many orphans want to be in our classes, but we have to limit the number. We registered the 85 orphans that we turned away in public school, and we verify their attendance.
Be sure to read my blog posting tomorrow for the conclusion of this letter that shows how Grace is meeting people where they are at (even all the way around the world) and helping to move them to where God wants them to be!