Friday, April 7, 2017

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela



 Before we even moved to Africa, Methodist missionaries told us to get ready to pay school fees for children.  There was just no escaping it.  We laughed because we knew we could resist paying school fees.  No—we couldn’t.  Over the years, we have paid for maybe hundreds of kids school fees because how can you not?  A kid wants to go to school and doesn’t have the $10 to $20 it costs to go for a semester?  We help, of course.  However, we hadn’t been here very long when we discovered a way to have a huge impact on education in Tanzania.  There are many, many excellent students graduating from high school who do not have the money to pay for a two-year college program to become teachers and spend a lifetime teaching others.  We have a “teachers’ college” right here in Bunda, and for ten years now, we have been able to help students pay their way to become teachers.  It costs $500 for one student for one year, $1,000 for the entire two-year program and that’s not just tuition—that’s the whole enchilada.  $500 a year pays for tuition, books, housing, food, medical care, uniforms, and exam fees.  An entire year completely covered by just $500.  That student, upon graduation, goes on to teach in Tanzania and will touch thousands of students over the years.  We pick the neediest but able Christian graduates and help them on their way.  Right now, we have three on scholarship who will graduate in May.  The next year starts in August, and we would love to send another three or more, but that’s up to you.  There is a church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that has been funding students for each of the last ten years, and we have graduated over seventy new teachers who are now teaching all over Tanzania.  We are hoping and praying that that church will continue to sponsor this wonderful program, but we could use help.  My wife says, “It’s a great  way to feel as if you are making a difference.  It could be your Sunday School Class or a Book Club that might want to sponsor  a child to become a teacher. Put a good high school student through Teacher College in Bunda, Tanzania.”
                 We have a tax-free foundation “The One Book Foundation” in Fayetteville, Arkansas, that will happily receive donations and ensure that the money goes to scholarships.  There is hardly any greater “bang for your buck” in terms of helping students in Tanzania than sponsoring a student through two years of Teacher’s College.  The students couldn’t go without help and are so very, very grateful.  They come and voluntarily clean up our grounds, pray for us, and send us messages of thanks and keep us informed as to their progress.  Every student has been special.  If you want to make a difference in a child’s life in Tanzania, help us educate needy Christian teachers.  You can give them a future, a career, and create thousands of young hearts filled with the love of learning.  So, if you have a Sunday School class, a Bible study, a youth group, or want to do something yourself, just send a donation to the One Book Foundation, 1910 Old Wire Road, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 72703, and be sure to note that it is for training teachers.  Maybe your heart will be “strangely warmed” as Wesley’s was by making a difference in the lives of poor but earnest Christian students who want to become teachers and spend the rest of their lives serving others.

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