HANDS Teams now build schools in Africa

By March 26, 2008

South Africa (MNN) — Although
the practice of apartheid ended in South Africa years ago, its shadow

Worldwide Christian Schools' Dale
Dieleman is the Field Director for Africa.
He says they are part of the solution, planning to help with an
elementary school in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Field partners Pastor Johnson Mncube and his wife, Nomsa, run
a small Christian school called "Africa Outreach" in one of the poorest
neighborhoods in Soweto.
The school began in 1993 with ten children from church-going families in
the neighborhood, and it has now grown to accommodate more than 70 students
from the greater community.

The rapid growth requires larger
facilities, so WWCS will be sending a building team this fall to help. Dieleman explains, "Hearing Pastor Johnson's vision for this school and seeing
how it is appreciated makes it evident that his commitment to the community is
strong. WWCS wants to be as supportive as possible in helping Pastor
Johnson realize his dream of providing the first Christian primary school in
this neighborhood."

Dieleman says because they're
coming alongside this pastor, they're
also building into the Christian witness of the school, further uniting the community. "It's a small, small taste of what the
Kingdom can be like when brothers and sisters in Christ can come together and
do something for the next leadership generation. It has a lot of symbolism, as well as the
literal brick and mortar aspects of it."

However, the effort
is not without its own challenges. First,
they need people. Dieleman says, "We're
recruiting for it now. [We] just got the final figures in, in terms of what the
costs would be, so the strength of the U.S. dollar plays a huge factor. We're looking for a first team opportunity to
go in October, perhaps November as well, and then spill over into 2009."

According to WWCS, teams
are limited to 10 people for logistic challenges. Team member limits,
therefore, require specific skill sets of each member to maximize project
impact. Funding is also a hurdle. The total cost of the project envisioned is $80,000. Click here if you're interested in helping.



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