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Francisco and Friends
By Rod Boyd

Francisco and friendsAixa, the director of the school, started to cry as she recounted the following story: “Brother Boyd, we didn't know what we were going to do. Classes were going to begin April 1st. We didn't have a classroom for our new 2nd grade class. We didn't know what else to do but pray. And then you told me that a group from the United States wanted to come and help us build a classroom. God answered our prayer!” That is the story behind the El Buen Pastor School at Doleguita–one miracle after another.


The small school in 1995 had a not so
small boy--Francisco, third from the left

Francisco and friendsThe school started in March 1995. They received their permissions late and therefore started classes late. This had a detrimental effect upon the registration. They started with just 16 students total in their kindergarten and first grade classes. It was a tremendous trial for the school. Neither Aixa nor the first grade teacher, Dorita, were able to receive a salary the whole year. Yet as I visited with them, they both radiated the satisfaction that comes from a pure motivation in serving God. Dorita is also the English teacher–the best in Chiriquí I was told by more than one person.

Dorita told me: “I think God knew we needed to have small classes, because of the special kids He gave us.” She then shared the story of Francisco. He was having terrible problems in public school--understandable for his size; he was ‘head and shoulders’ and then some above his classmates. Finally he was expelled. His mother came to El Buen Pastor School at Doleguita. They lived within a few blocks. The school agreed to try to help Francisco.

Francisco and friendsBut Francisco didn't like the school. During his first week, he declared to the teacher that he was going home. He was almost as tall as she; and certainly weighed much more! The teacher didn't know what to do other than begin to pray. She asked the class to join her. Together they thanked God for His love and prayed for Francisco. When they finished, they opened their eyes and saw that Francisco hadn't left. He had never before heard anyone pray specifically for him. He quietly took his seat. He was a different boy from that day on.

Francisco especially enjoys singing Christian songs in class. Because of his love for these songs, he always insists that others join him--at school, at home, in his neighborhood. Francisco has made a difference at Doleguita--both in the school and church. His uncle now attends the church. Francisco has recruited new students for the school. Now he wants to be a pastor. Dorita has no doubt that he'll be a great one.

Thank God for dedicated Christian leaders and teachers like Aixa and Dorita at Doleguita! And thank God for people like you who give to and pray for the ministry of Latin America ChildCare in Panamá. Thank you for giving kids like Francisco a chance in life. Pray with us that many others will be touched by the gospel.