Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sad News From our Orphan Schools in the CAR

As you know, Grace Church and Lititz Christian School partners with Grace Brethren Churches in the Central African Republic to provide four Christian Schools for orphans. One of these schools is in CATTIN. We received the sad news this week that the pastor (pictured above) of the CATTIN church passed away. The e-mail came from Grace Brethren missionary, Ginger Hock, to Mike McCracken, who is the leader of our mission team here at Grace Church:

“Hello Mike, This is Ginger Hock from Bangui. I wanted to inform you and the church at Lititz that Pastor LAIDA Alphonse from the CATTIN Church in Bangui passed away last week. He has been ill for a few weeks and we believe it was kidney failure. Please pray for his wife and family and also for the Cattin Church. He was the founder of that church and had been there for many years. He was dedicated to helping the orphans at Cattin and did a wonderful job organizing and helping with the Hand in Hand school. He will be greatly missed, especially by the Hand in Hand kids.”

The next day Mike received another e-mail from Ginger updating us on our Hand-in-Hand orphan schools in the Central African Republic:

Hello Mike and friends at Lititz, Yesterday was sad news but today I’m sending end of year reports on your schools. Emmanuel (Hand in Hand Coordinator) did his end of year visits and came back with glowing reports on our schools. The 2009-10 school year had few problems and we really thank God for the way He blessed this past year. Here are a few facts about your partner schools:

Bossangoa Sembegan – The school is doing well and all 3 teachers are doing a great job. We are actually promoting Jean (Level 3 teacher) to the position of Assistant Coordinator for the Bossangoa area. He will work under Emmanuel visiting and assisting and trouble shooting. This fall we will have 43 teachers and it will be more than Emmanuel can handle alone. Pray for Jean in this new role. One of the notes that Emmanuel wrote about Sembegan is that the teachers are showing the students how to cut grass, till ground for a garden and just everyday living skills. They cleaned up and cut all the grass around the church area.

LaDoumie – The school is doing well and both teachers are great. Emmanuel tested many of the kids and was happy with how well they were reading. The church has a gozo garden for the orphans and they will harvest that after the rainy season.

Cattin – The church finished up (thanks to Lititz) the new school building this last year. It is really a nice school. Both teachers are doing a good job and most of the kids from each level will advance to the next. This has been a real setback with the death of Pastor Laida. Keep praying about who and how we will handle the program this year. His wife is a responsible woman who knows how the program has been running and handles the food so I think we will entrust her with overseeing the school until they get another pastor.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. You are making a huge difference in the lives of many orphan children.

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