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Church and School: Leaving a Lasting Legacy
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

LACC International MeetingWe’ve been in some meetings recently that have reminded us of the incredible impact that our schools are having in the lives of children, youth and their families. Allow us to share three testimonies with you.

We were in San Salvador for a meeting of national school leaders and LACC missionaries to begin planning the 2013 Christian School Congress. The 2010 Congress focused on Transforming the Next Generation. The theme for the 2013 Congress will be Forging Tomorrow’s Leaders. The twenty leaders present pledged their solidarity to leave a lasting legacy!

LACC International MeetingWe will also be celebrating at the Congress the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first school in Latin America in 1963. Some estimate that more than one million children and youth have attended one of our schools in El Salvador. The current national director of the program in El Salvador is a graduate. Countless pastors, government leaders and businessmen were shaped by the ministry of the schools. Today there are 100,000 children and youth studying in more than 400 LACC partner schools.

Good Shepherd Family Center - 2001We were guests at the Good Shepherd Family Church in the Santa Librada neighborhood of San Miguelito. Portland Christian Center built the church building in 2001, a year after they built three classrooms and a teacher’s room at the Canaan Good Shepherd School across the street.

That spark that the Portland team ignited in 2000 and 2001 has erupted into a blaze of growth and impact, not just in San Miguelito, but to communities across Panama. The Canaan School is our largest school with 900 students. What’s more, it has started another school nearby and has given support and directly to a struggling school 100 miles away!

Portland Team Returns to Visit in 2007We were humbled by Pastor Julio’s kind words as he introduced us before speaking. He mentioned the blessing that LACC is to so many children and youth, whose sponsors make it possible for them to go to school, meet Christ and allow them to dream about the future God has for them. He spoke about the schools and classrooms that we have helped to build thanks to so many MAPS construction teams.

We attended the Panama Christian School Seminar in Panama. We usually have around 200 pastors, directors, teachers and other school staff each year. We were able to share about the ministry of LACC and about the 2013 Congress, highlighting the theme verse: “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you” (2 Tim. 1:14, NIV), reminding all present of the incredible "trust" that God has deposited into our hands.

2012 Panama Christian School SeminarIt’s always fun to be able to visit with the different pastors. We spoke with Pastor Alexis and Ariela from the Oasis of Peace Church and Good Shepherd School.  They shared with us about their work on the school in preparation for classes starting. They need to finish up a small classroom for the sixth graders. As we were talking they casually mentioned that there are now eight new families attending the church that have come as the result of the ministry of the school!

One of the speakers at the seminar said the following: “Education is the key to the development of any society. And teachers are the major builders of the nation.” The Christian school has the special place of offering both education and transformation. The church and school working in tandem will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

We say THANK YOU to all who directly support us in prayer and finance. And thank you to all who sponsor a child to go to one of our LACC schools. And thank you to our churches that have provided construction teams to build schools and to all who have been a part of those teams. Together we are leaving a lasting legacy!