You might recall the old broken down school room with no desks and few students. You might remember that ten desks were delivered… then ten more. You might even recall that enrollment soared as parents and children alike saw the prospects for education improve almost overnight!
A few months later and we can report that the parents, so motivated by the arrival of desks, have built two additional classrooms with their own hands. These are adobe structures which provide some shade and space, but are not durable considering the harsh elements of Bubanza. Yet these parents did what they could with what they had – and we were able to move in desks generously donated by many of our friends.
The news of these developments traveled all the way to the governors office. He was so impressed that these families build their own classrooms and showed interest in education. He has never seen this community take initiative like that before – ever!
So he gave a great gift. He offered an additional piece of land to the families of Bubanza so that they could build a proper elementary school. He envisioned a school with multiple classrooms, a principal’s office, bathrooms… And he promised us that if we built it, he would send the teachers and even a headmaster to staff the new school!
So our families, in partnership with Claude, wasted no time in turning this vacant lot into a work site, into the future site for an elementary school that can educate all their children!
You can see the progress just over a few weeks – from foundation to brick walls. The Batwa of Bubanza and Community of Faith are working together to bring an exponential increase in education right into the heart of the community!
It brings to mind a verse from the New Testament – that when we are faithful with little, more will come. Our friends were faithful with what they had… using their hands and local mud to build two classrooms for their children. And God opened wide the doors of heaven and gave them more land and the promise of a full elementary school and staff! More than they ever dreamed of or dared ask for… but we know God to be that generous and extravagant!
Construction on the school will take some months. There are six large classrooms to build, bathrooms and an office, even a multipurpose room and maybe a playground. But we have construction engineers leading the build so it is done right and with the best materials we can get. We are building a school to last with our friends in Bubanza.
We are, together, changing the story of this community. There was a time when school was too far away, children could not walk that far. Now there will be a new school right in their neighborhood… and teachers will be the ones walking to them! God often engineers such grand reversals!
And to think – this all started with a nudge of the Spirit and the impromptu gift of a few desks!