School suffers storm damage

By May 13, 2009

(MNN) — A Christian school that serves over 450 poor children recently
received severe damage from hurricane-force winds. 

The storm "took the roof off, knocked down a couple of
walls, and left everything in pretty bad shape because of the rain and wind
damage," said IN Network's president and CEO, Rody Rodeheaver.

The storm also damaged the kitchen, making it very difficult
to prepare the hot lunches that the children receive as a part of the child
sponsorship program. The storm damage
rendered three classrooms unusable, so several classes were  combined, leading to overcrowding. Also, the destruction of some outside walls poses a security risk to the

The school, "La Rosa de Saron," serves the population of the
"La Playa" slum community in Barranquilla, on
the north coast of Colombia. The approximately 2500 residents of the slum
are refugees from fighting associated with the drug traffic in the interior of Colombia,
Rodeheaver said. 

The area suffers 80 percent unemployment, and 75 percent of the families are led by single mothers. 

A team of people will travel to rebuild the school for ten
days in June. Since the school was
unfinished even before the storm, they hope to add the finishing touches as
well as repair the damage. 

"Our hope is to not only restore the school but to complete
it at the same time," Rodeheaver said. "We're getting the roof put back on, but there's a lot of work to be
done in the interior of the school to get it back into shape, to get it safe
and repaired. There's plasterwork and electrical, and some plumbing stuff that was
messed up." 

It's crucial to repair the school as soon as possible. "It's a beautiful place for children who have
nothing to receive an education," Rodeheaver said. 

The school is also a beautiful place for children to learn
the Gospel, which they do every day in chapel. "Many, many of these children have come to know Christ, and their
lives have been eternally changed," Rodeheaver said. 

The Christians who run the school also make an effort to
share the Gospel with the children's parents, who are usually single mothers,
or even the children's grandmothers. They invite the parents to attend church in the school building on the

The school needs $24,000 to repair all the damages and
finish construction. If you would like
to contribute or join the team to rebuild the school in June, click here

Pray that the school will be able to obtain the resources necessary to rebuild and continue serving these children.  

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