Taree Primary Students help build school in Uganda
On Presentation Night, 2015, the primary captains of Taree Christian College presented Peter and Lynette Hester a cheque for $2500 toward the building of a Christian school in Uganda. By the end of the week, the amount had risen to almost $3000. The students had been moved by the story of this school and its needs and individually and corporately given sacrificially to the project.
The story began with a visit in 2014 by Peter and Lynette Hester to St. Anne’s primary school. The principal, Anne, the students and the community offered a wonderful welcome and shared the vision of their Christian school in a needy community. Already the school had built a wonderful reputation but also attracted opposition.
Taree Christian College primary department with its leader, Jason Reed, caught the vision of adopting a sister school in the developing country of Uganda and in 2014 the school raised the funds for a water tank. This provided fresh water for the school instead of the student body trekking several kilometres to fetch and carry polluted water.
The students were further moved by the need for classrooms and, in particular, classrooms with concrete floor so that the students were not subject to the perils of jiggers. There were amazing stories during the fundraising period. Mr. Reed instigated a program where the learning of multiplication tables was rewarded by parents with donations to the project. One child offered all his birthday money. A teacher matched all the contributions of students dollar for dollar. A paper plane competition organised by the school leadership provided a fun way of generating more funds. Parents shared generously but it was largely the work of the students and the result was amazing.
The policy of New Hope International is that donations raised should be matched with a commitment from the local community in working together to see the vision become a reality. This involves baking the bricks and doing the hard work of construction.
The project was hugely encouraged by a visit from Juliet Galiwango following the Dare to Serve conference in Sydney.
“… inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these … you have done it unto Me” Jesus
NHI Summer Training Report – 2015
by Helen Blanch – Education Director – NHI
What an inspirational and encouraging time was experienced by the twenty three delegates who attended this year’s ETLS training seminar at Morling College in Sydney from January 5-9, 2015. The delegates came from the Philippines, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Thailand, PNG and Australia. There was a wonderful unity among us as we shared in worship, mealtimes and training sessions . Our NHI Finance and Administration Director, David Ferguson, his wife Debra and daughter Bethany fostered an atmosphere of generous hospitality where everyone was well cared for. Each delegate had come out of acommitment to be more effectively involved in what God is doing through Christian education in his world.
Presenters (Bob Frisken, Catriona Wansbourgh, Sue Skuthorpe, Neville Pollard, Lynette Hester, Helen Blanch) greatly appreciated the way in which the delegates interacted with one another and the course material. Each of the three groups was a shalom learning community where truth was grappled with in relation to how it would shape their practice both in their own schools and in other cultures. The effectiveness of the learning is was reflected in many of the comments of the delegates, just to note a few- “Working in small groups allowed meaningful relationships to be formed and trust was built which enabled us to engage at a heart level.” I have learnt so much from the educators, from the learning experience provided and the rich fellowship with Christian educators from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures” ,”leads me back to the very heart of true education”. Series Three has just had been rewritten in 2014 and the Series three group were again the ’guinea pigs’ to provide feedback on the material. This group, through their engagement with the material and their enthusiasm, have been a real encouragement regarding the effectiveness of the course material. The group was able to design excellent programs for the Nepalese primary curriculum that were shaped by God’s truth and contained many diverse teaching and learning strategies.
The night program focused on Christian education in a cross cultural context around the theme, ‘What on earth is God doing?’ Bob Frisken shared the vision of NHI and delegates were able to move around in groups to pray for the four main regions in which NHI is working -Africa, South Pacific, Asia, Australia/New Zealand & Papua New Guinea. This included prayer for people who are now implementing ETLS training in these nations and other mission groups such as Transform the Nations who work in Christian education. Lynette Hester organised a fun game to illustrate the issues that arise when you seek to communicate cross-culturally. There was much laughter and bewilderment which illustrated the deeper communication problems that occur. The highlight was the ‘Sueprah’ evening (a ‘take-off’ of Oprah’s interviews!) where Sue Skuhorpe interviewed a number of people who had the opportunity to tell wonderful stories. Naxxie and Jojoe Ebarle who were doing Series One and lead the Exegesis Christian school in the Philippines and Jan and Ken Wigley who assist in the development of the Iris Christian school in Nepal, were able to share the stories of how God brought these schools into being and their role in fulfilling the vision. Dave and Barb Langford, responsible for the NHI community development work, shared the vision and model of how NHI works in Uganda. Amanda Harris, from Green Point College, shared the story of her school’s involvement in Professional Development using modified ETLS material in the Free Wesleyan schools in Tonga. All delegates were truly inspired and blessed and gave thanks to the Lord for his goodness and greatness.
One of the most inspiring aspects of the training were the number of delegates who have embraced the vision to be involved in equipping teachers in developing countries both now and into the future. Besides the ones mentioned, Johnny Albert, the NHI Coordinator in Vanuatu and Director of the Education Authority of the Vanuatu Presbyterian Church, who attended the new Series Three, has been implementing ETLS training for the teachers in those schools. Jason Goh, who returned this year to do Series Two, is currently training the teachers in his school, The New Light Christian School, in Series One. Aligrou Laeka, the Director for education and Training for the United Church in PNG who did Series One, is envisioning how ETLS training can be implemented for their school teachers.
The Gospel of Christ is the hope of our children and the nations. We are inspired by what God is doing through Christian education globally amid the pain and suffering that many children are experiencing. The Lord is raising up dedicated Christian teachers to embody the hope of Jesus. Schools are being established in many different developing countries and an important key to their effectiveness in the Kingdom of God are Spirit-led teachers who are called and equipped to raise up children to be responsive disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ both in Australia and overseas. Generations of children can experience the grace of God in Christ and act redemptively in a broken world to bring change to their nations. The ETLS training program certainly engendered this HOPE for the future.
Taree Christian College Partner with Ugandan School
(written by Juliet Galliwango National Director NHI Uganda)
I hope all is well with you. I have attached a report about the completed water tank project at St Anne Preparatory school donated by Taree Christian College. The school decided to buy a poly fibre tank which is more durable and can be transfered to another location considering that the current buildings are temporary. It has been a greatly needed project and has made a huge difference in the school especially the health of the children and staff. We greatly appreciate Taree Christian College for this life giving donation and New Hope International for coordinating this project………..(to view the report, click on the Ugandan flag above)
Green Point Christian College NSW and Tonga
Four teachers from Green Point Christian College (GPCC); Tom Anderson, Amanda Harris, Denise de Witte and Michelle Taunga, travelled to the main island of Tonga to speak at a Teacher’s Conference in January 2015. They were given an amazing opportunity to teach Chapter Two of the NHI Effective Teaching and Learning (ETLS) Series One Course to over three hundred teachers of the Free Wesleyan Church Schooling (FWCS) system…………(to read more, click on the Tongan flag above)
Women 2 Women Project
(written by Barb Langford – Community Development Coordinator along with her husband Dave)
Women are an important part of any community, whether here in Australia or in a developing country. When they come together across the oceans it generates some exciting results. A group of Christian business women in Kampala, Uganda formed the Women of Destiny (WOD) with the aim………..(to read more about this exciting project in Uganda, click on the Ugandan flag above)