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LACC

Latin America Resource
and Training Center
 

CIECAD 2010: Christian School Congress
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

Go to CIECAD 2010 Highlight Video

More than 400 teachers, directors, pastors and national leaders from all seven Central American countries and the Dominican Republic gathered for the first ever CIECAD Christian School Congress from June 2-4 in San Salvador, El Salvador. The Congress as held in the facilities of Christian Temple Church and the San Benito Christian School in San Salvador. The theme of the Congress was Transforming a Generation, based upon Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

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Larger group photo

John BuenoJohn Bueno, Executive Director of World Missions, was keynote speaker. He shared the story about how in 1963 a young boy who was selling newspapers on the street corner in San Salvador inspired him to open a school for poor children in the city, the first Assemblies of God Christian school in Latin America. Today there are more than 400 such schools in 21 Latin American and Caribbean countries, ministering to nearly 100,000 children and youth. More than half of these schools are in the seven Central American countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Planning for the Congress began almost two years ago. The Central American Schools Commission—comprised of national directors and LACC missionary coordinators for each country—met three times to consider promotion, budget and program details. A local committee was appointed in El Salvador to coordinate the planning and logistics of hosting the event.  Our national leaders did a tremendous job of promoting and rallying their delegations.  Each country received a quantity of registrations based upon the number of schools in the country. 53
5
161
59
44
18
45
10
7

402
  Guatemala
Belize
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Costa Rica
Panama
Dominican Republic
USA and LACC

Total

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Latin America ChildCare was the primary sponsor of the event. Interest on an endowment left to LACC paid the basic registration for the participants that included food, materials and ground transportation in country. School book publishers also provided sponsorship that covered the cost of the final banquet. International travel (air and bus) and housing was paid by each country delegation from personal, school, church and local LACC funds. We’re grateful for the sacrifices that so many made to attend this Congress.

The program consisted of evening services and morning devotionals for inspiration, general sessions in the morning and afternoon workshops. Most of the general session speakers were our national superintendents, national school directors and LACC missionary coordinators from the participating countries. Other educational specialists joined these to teach workshops. We were pleased to have two professors from the education department at Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL) teaching workshops.

Rod was able to share a general session on the Vision, Compassion, Action and Compromise required to see a transformed generation.  Participants were reminded that the Christian school, as a ministry of the local church, must follow the same three-part ministry of Jesus outlined in Matthew 9:35-37 to preach, teach and show compassion.  Each member of the Christian school team, from teacher to director to pastor to national leader, must be committed to this task.  Rod also taught two workshops: Strengthening Specialized Programs like English and Computer and Models for School Financing and Administration.

We were blessed by the participation of children from three different schools in El Salvador.  They shared songs and traditional dances from the country.  Current and former students, many of whom are serving at one of the schools, honored John and Lois for the contributions that they had made to their lives.  It was a very touching moment as the group of children and adults gathered around the Buenos to pray for them.

The local committee set up a short tour for the late afternoon on the last day so that country delegations were able to see more of San Salvador and the surrounding area. The Congress concluded with a banquet the last night. It was quite a festive event that featured a tasty meal, preaching, recognition of committees and speakers and the presentation of the certificate of participation and an 8x10” photo for each person. A five-minute highlight video was shown; it’s always a hit to show the participants in action! This is the video at the end of this article.

Participants were challenged to do their part to transform a generation. The important link between local church and school was emphasized, reminding each one that the school is a strong ministry arm of the church. Most of the children and youth that attend are from non-Christian homes. The church and school intentionally reaches out to these children and families.

Each of the country delegations left motivated for the task and asking when the next Congress will take place. The Central American Schools Commission will review all evaluations and will make a decision about future Congresses. Perhaps it will be in 2013 when El Salvador celebrates 50 years of school ministry!

We would like to thank all who prayed for this important event. God answered our prayers!

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CIECAD 2010 Highlight Video

 

Visit our Vimeo video page to view the video

or

You may also click on this link to play the mp4 file on your computer
(This is a large file that takes time to download/stream.  You may also
right click the link, then choose save as to save a copy on your hard drive)