As some of you may remember me mentioning in my posts and Instagram photos about the Namibian school system, grade 10 is no joke. When exams roll around, students camp in tents for days as they prepare for the paperwork that will determine their futures. For many, failing these tests is not an option. Once you hit a certain age, repeating the grade is not a possibility. In fact, students then have to take an alternative route to prove they have what it takes to receive passing marks as a tenth grader.
Just this past week, my students from Odibo received their tests scores. Thanks to whatsapp, I am able to continuously communicate with one student who has become more like a brother. He passed! Following that message, I received an additional text from a coworker letting me know that 71% of the tenth graders at Odibo Combined School would be going on to the eleventh grade! My heart rejoiced for these learners. I know how difficult these exams can be for them. I know the adversities they face each day. I know the words that make them feel less than good enough. Yes, my heart rejoiced.
News like this reminds me why I am called to serve God through the education spectrum and mission work with younger generations. The two go beautifully together and offer an endless list of ways to bring glory to God and teach others about the grace we receive each day through Christ's love on the cross. When I made the big job switch, I knew that I would in the future use the breaks to serve in some form of mission field, but I did not know when or how soon.
El Salvador came to me at a community group meeting a few months back. My church, Bayou City Fellowship, had recently posted their global outreach opportunities for the upcoming year, and I knew instantly that my time would be best spent using my Spring Break in a different country. From there, I applied and was placed on an outreach team that will go and serve the people near San Salvador, El Salvador.
Myself and about twelve others will team up with Compassion International and serve alongside our sister church and additional churches within the community for a week. This will be a time of loving on one another through VBS and various outreach opportunities. In addition, some volunteers will get to visit with the children that they sponsor through Compassion. How truly special is that? I can't even imagine the excitement that both the sponsors and the children being sponsored feel on that day.
As these upcoming months approach quickly, each individual is expected to raise $2,600. So far, I have already been blessed with prayers and donations, but still need more to meet my goal. I ask that you prayerfully consider helping to benefit this mission, these children, and my team. This can be done through prayer, contributions directly to me, or tax deductible donations via Bayou City Fellowship. On top of that, I ask that you come with me and be a part of this journey through blogs that I will post leading up to our departure and also during/after my trip.