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LACC

Latin America Resource
and Training Center
 

New Schools... New Record!
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

New SchoolsSeven new schools this year! What an incredible rush to prepare for classes this year. Thankfully, our pastors and directors planned ahead. The only thing that slowed down the march towards opening was the lack of funds! But God was faithful and all of these schools opened their doors on time.

The final numbers are still coming in, but we’re sure that total enrollment on the 27 school campuses will surpass 5,600 students. This sets a new enrollment record. The seven new schools account for 581 of this total! What’s incredible is that all seven only offer through second grade. The potential for growth in these schools is enormous! This is the Panama model… offer two or three grades the first year, then add a grade each year.

New SchoolsIt’s so easy to lose focus on the individual when we talk of thousands or even hundreds. It is so important to remember that each number represents not just an individual child or youth, but also a father and mother, uncles, aunts and neighbors.

We’d like to highlight two of these schools in particular. One is the Soloy Good Shepherd School, located in the northwest part of Panama, near the Costa Rican border. This becomes our second Guaymi Indian school. We are grateful for fellow missionaries Terry and Julie Bell who have coordinated the construction of the school and to Mike King and the Tennessee Pathfinders who have done most of the construction. The school opened with 53 grateful Guaymi Indian children and families, grades kindergarten through second grade.

New SchoolsPlease pray for this new school and the unique challenges of education in the community of Soloy. Nearly all of the families are non-Christian.

The second is called the Oasis of Peace Good Shepherd School. This school is located in a densely populated suburban area in the outskirts of Panama City. School opened with 70 children, kindergarten through second grade. Some children have already had to leave school. There are some families that desperately need the help of a Latin America ChildCare sponsor. The passion and love that Pastor Alexis and his wife Ariela, who serves as the director of the school, have for these children and their families is so evident.

New SchoolsAriela introduced us to a young boy who has given his heart to Christ during the first couple weeks of classes. She shared, “He used to use profanity, even in school. But God has changed his heart completely!” She introduced us to a little girl and told us that her teacher is tutoring her parents in the afternoon, after the children have finished. Pastor Alexis and Ariela are beginning a School for Parents—a monthly outreach to parents that will offer practical help and the hope of the gospel. Pray for us as we share during the first session in a couple of weeks!

New SchoolsThank you for praying for our schools. In addition to praying for the children and youth, their families and the teachers and staff, we ask you to pray for an urgent concern. We have more than 350 children and youth that are waiting for a sponsor. And this doesn’t count many others in the new schools that are still getting their paperwork in. Please pray that many new sponsors will join the Panama LACC family! If you would like to sponsor a Panama child or youth, please visit the Panama LACC page at www.panama.lacc4hope.org.