We're in the 2nd week of public school now, and the first week of private schools here in Puerto Galera. And, we've been very busy! Time is screaming by! Our team has been looking for youth who are not in school, which can be as easy as seeing who is playing in the streets. God has brought to our attention just under 10 children, who we working with. (There are many more, but we're focusing on a small quantity of individuals to get started.)
We've visited schools and homes, talking with parents, teachers, principals and grandparents. Through these visits, we gathered information to ascertain the real needs. Some need tuition and others need academic tutoring, while others need school supplies. Money is not the leading reason for out-of-school youth, but it is a valid obstacle for some. As educators and missionaries, we can help bridge the individual, unique gaps between kids and campus, providing accountability and encouragement.
Where do you start when trying to find who needs your help? We started with the local pastor/educator who lives in the village. Then, we followed the Holy Spirit's leading, as we talked to kids and parents. Now, we're heading into the long-term next step: academic support. Most of our scholars will check in after school three days a week for encouragement, discipleship, and academic tutoring. Other students will be meeting with us to learn how to read and do math. Our team will be visiting the campuses of three schools, giving the extra support that is needed.
We've begun math tutoring, homework help, reading, and campus visits. We're just in the beginning stages of setting up our learning center.
Our scholars are excited! We have one student who just enrolled in public school yesterday and will start tomorrow. He's decided that school is for him, and we be there to help him succeed.
There's a bit of a fervor in Aninuan right now for going back to school. Out-of-school youth are seeing their friends enrolling and are making a concerted effort to enroll also. We understand that now is the exciting part. The difficult journey will be giving each youth the academic and family support needed to be successful and stay the course.
A theme verse for this discipleship is Matthew 6:33. Seek a relationship with God first and God will take care of your future. No matter how extreme your economic situation, if you invest in your relationship with God, He will show up and provide for you... and in this case, we're privileged to be part of that provision!
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.