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Latin America Resource
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2009 Christian School Congress
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

2009 Christian School CongressTwo hundred teachers, directors and pastors from the 30 Assemblies of God Christian schools in Panama gathered the second week of February in Panama City for the annual Christian School Congress. This annual event provides practical training and continuing education for teachers that is required by the Ministry of Education. The event was expanded this year to provide additional credit for our teachers with the Ministry of Education. We were honored to have the Vice-Minister of Education participating as well as other professors and leaders from two universities in Panama City.

2009 Christian School CongressIn addition, Latin America ChildCare provided four international speakers. Rodolfo Saenz, former superintendent and Chairman of the LACC Board in Costa Rica, spoke on moral development and met with directors and pastors. Mario Canaca, Director of the LACC schools in Honduras, spoke on recent changes to the curriculum plan. Michele Crowe, educator and missionary in Ecuador, spoke on the strategic importance of teaching English as a second language and had workshops with the English teachers. And Dara Brannan, educator and Latin American missionary, taught general sessions and workshops on Multiple Intelligences.

2009 Christian School CongressA highlight of the Congress was a banquet that LACC hosted for the school directors and pastors the last evening. So many have become good friends over the years. A special moment was to hear from the three Christian School Commission presidents that have served since the commission was formed in 1996: Pedro Vanela (2002 to present), Rod Boyd (1999-2002) and Maximiliano Lopez (1996-1999). When it was my turn, I reminded all present of the growth of Christian school ministry. When we started the commission in 1996 there were just 7 schools with about 1,500 children and youth. Today there are 6,000 children and youth in more than 30 schools! I also reminded Pedro and Maximiliano about the time they got lost in the mountains of northwest Panama with Sherry, Stephanie and Jennifer, while returning from Duima. [You can read this story on our website, Mountain Top Experience.]

2009 Christian School CongressWe are so grateful for what God has done through the Christian School ministry in Panama, for the 6,000 children and youth whose lives are being transformed and shaped through the faithful ministry of Christian teachers, and for the faithful support of so many LACC sponsors. Rapid growth has made it difficult to provide help to hundreds that are on the waiting list for sponsorship. There are currently more than 500 children and youth in Panama alone that need a sponsor. If are able to sponsor one of these dear ones, please visit the Panama page of the Latin America ChildCare website.