“Para Dios todo es posible.” Mathew 19:26
By Christian Dickson
With the sound of flip-flops on a dusty floor and bad Spanish, another year of learning has begun at the Suzanna Wesley School. For almost 15 years, the children at Quinta Linia in Yrubucua have been coming to this little school to learn about the world and God. The history of the school is tied in with the history of the Methodist Church in the area. The school was started because of inadequate schooling in the area, and because the children were beginning to ask questions about their parents’ new faith.
The first facility was a three room building with an out-house. Through the years, with help from the United States and missionaries like the Bakers, we have built the nicest facility in the district — complete with fans and bathrooms with running water.
Today the school has 134 students in kindergarten through 6th grade, three teachers, one teaches aid and a chaplain. A local pastor is our chaplain and has Bible class once a week. All the teachers have or are receiving their education through scholarships from our friends at home in the United States. Many of the children walk over a kilometer to attend class. For most of these kids, it is the first time that they are being forced to speak Spanish and not their native language of Guarani. Many of them are also active in the church, but attend without their parents.
Many of the parents cannot afford to pay for their children’s education. We have, in the past, charged a small fee of $1 a month but more often got produce or work hours instead of money. We still have parent work days. Just last week, Angelica was approached by a mother, questioning the school’s policy of limiting the number of children in each class. She was concerned about sending her children to the public school where there is no power, running water and very little learning. In fact, one of the local public schools has closed. One of the teachers told Angelica last week that a parent came by to say that his children would not be attending class anymore because they do not have but one set of clothes to wear.
Here are the financial needs for the school:
- $3000 for books and materials (in the local public schools they don’t even have books).
- $600 more a month to increase teachers’ salaries.
- $240 a month to help continue teachers’ education.
We are thankful to all the people who have helped with the school over the years. Supporting and praying for a group of people who you have never and/or may never meet is a true testament. We don’t take lightly your involvement and feel blessed to be involved with the school.