Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Build Schools for Small Children in Nigeria

I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day. He is a college professor and quite often he has shared with me how important education is to him. “They’re tearing down my old school,” he said. “A college?” I asked. “No,” my friend replied. “My old grade school — the very first classroom I ever sat in — is being torn down . . . and it hurts as much as if I have lost an old friend.”


School is a building with four walls -- with tomorrow inside.

Lon Watters (1914-1995)

June 2018 Appeal 01

The children in Sr. Juliana’s mission desperately need a school building!

I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day. He is a college professor and quite often he has shared with me how important education is to him. “They’re tearing down my old school,” he said. “A college?” I asked. “No,” my friend replied. “My old grade school — the very first classroom I ever sat in — is being torn down . . . and it hurts as much as if I have lost an old friend.”

After our conversation, I began to reflect upon my own childhood — and how important those early years in school are to all of us: our first teachers, our first books, the incredible joy and excitement of learning to read and write. A new world opens up to us — offering hope for our future.

But not every child gets to have that experience — and a letter I received recently reminded me of just how incredibly valuable building a school can be!

The letter I received was from Sr. Juliana Opeifa, a missionary working in the rural community of Iganna in Oyo State, Nigeria. “Iganna is a very poor community,” Sr. Juliana writes, “lacking many of the basic amenities. Most of the people here are farmers and others sell whatever they can find in order to earn money for their families. But their poverty is so great that there is no way they could ever afford the fees for a private school. Yet they desperately want an education for their children.”

June 2018 Appeal 02

Parents and other volunteers begin the work of building!

“They know what a school can do for their children,” her letter continues. “Education offers hope for the future. It opens up a world of possibilities and potential for earning a living to provide for their families — both now and in the future. It can quite literally mean the difference between poverty and sufficiency.”

“The community is committed to the project,” Sr. Juliana explains. They have already cleared the land we have acquired for the construction site. The parents and other volunteers are more than willing to do whatever work they can — whatever is needed. But we do not have the funds necessary for the building materials or to hire workers for the more skilled labor that is needed.”

“In order to get the first classrooms built, we will need an architect and engineer, but we will also need at least 250 bags of cement, more than a dozen tons of sand, gravel, concrete blocks, wood beams and steel supports, nails, roofing materials, and an assortment of other items. We are praying that you can help us.”

June 2018 Appeal 03

Land for a new school has been cleared!

My friend, I am hoping that you can help us help the children of Sr. Juliana’s mission get the school building they need. But perhaps you could also consider helping out in your own community as well. For example, you could volunteer to read to children in your local school district. Many schools love to have older or retired adults help with “story time” for first graders and kindergartners. You could also contact your local school administrators to see how you can volunteer to help with other activities.

While our goal is to raise at least $38,000 to help build classrooms for Sr. Juliana’s mission in Iganna — as well as support our other educational programs throughout Africa — please know that any amount you can send will help give poor children and their families hope for a better future! Your donation — whatever the amount — will not only help create doors of opportunity, but also build “four walls — with tomorrow inside.” Thank you so much for all that you continue to do!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development