Quote of the week: "The hardest part about university is learning those multiplication tables." -overheard from a college student who will remain anonymous
The Little Rays of Light Preschool has 57 children aged 3-5 in attendance. These families don't have to pay tuition or have to buy a proper uniform to for their children to attend. For many, this is the difference between being able to afford preschool or not.
In America, preschool is a great way to give kids a head start. In Nicaragua, it is the difference between a child failing out by second/third grade or making it through primary school. It is absolutely essential to a child's academic success.
Our preschoolers are blessed to have crayons, paper, pencils, and even toys to play with. This is not the case in other preschools. Several of the kids come just for the toys because they don't have any at home.
Some of the kids come just to eat because there is a guaranteed hot, nutritious meal each day. They bring little containers with lids so that they can take home what they don't eat and have it for their dinner. When we serve fun "extras" like ketchup, cheese, eggs, or chicken, we are greeted with the biggest smiles and requests for more.
They walk 1-3 miles, or hitch a ride on the handlebars of Mom's bicycle, to and from preschool or each day. Sometimes this commute is done in full 100 degree sun and sometimes it's done in torrential rain.
Yes something is even more important than the academic and nutrition benefits of preschool. These kids are learning about God every day. They hear Bible stories and they feel God's love when their teachers hug them and praise them. So many of them come from broken and abusive homes where God is not a part of the family. Thank you for making this preschool program possible to serve so many in our community!
We try to be intentional about reaching out to the moms of the preschoolers as well. We hold classes where we talk about family issues and how to resolve them Biblically. We also teach practical skills that these moms can use to earn money while caring for their children. This year, our focus is on hammock weaving. Yolanda and Ryan are teaching this intensive class each week. We hope to have some beautiful hammocks for sale soon from these new entrepreneurs.
We have had an overwhelming response to the water tank project. Currently, 10 water tanks have been sponsored!! So many, in fact, that we had to order them and wait for delivery. The lucky recipients don't know who they are yet, but we will be presenting this gift in the next week. We are choosing families from the church based on their lack of water and physical ability to collect and carry water to their homes. There is still time if you'd like to bless a family in need with the gift of water.
But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Matthew 19:14
*Written while sitting in a kiddie pool in the middle of my living room. It's getting desperately hot.