Latin America (MNN) — Worldwide Christian
Schools urgently needs more HANDS
(Helping Another Nation Develop Schools) teams to travel to Latin
America between November and the end of December.
Christian schools in Honduras
need help finishing construction projects so that the school year will not be
School needs "to have a
second floor put on their building because they're bursting at the seams with
children," said Steven Geurink, Service Project Coordinator for WWCS.
Another school in Guatemala needs to finish a new
building in order to begin the school year on time in January.
Geurink said WWCS sends out about 40-50 short-term missions
teams annually, and the goal is "to help nationals with their dream and vision
to build Christian schools to reach the people and reach their children with
Because the quality of the public education in many Latin
American countries is very poor, Christian school is the best or even the only
option for many children.
"Many schools in Latin America
suffer from poorly equipped facilities," Geurink explained. "They have anywhere from 40 to 80 children
per classroom, and essentially the education that they have available to them — if it is available to them — is very poor."
Besides providing the children with a good education and a
better student-teacher ratio, Christian school also gives children
life-changing exposure to the Gospel.
"What we try to do is give them an education that not only
has the basics, the ABC's, and mathematics, but is also based on the Gospel,"
Geurink said. "So these children are
getting both things: an evangelistic approach to education, as well as a good,
solid, quality education."
Many Christian school students go on to make a difference in
their community, he said. For example, a
number of students in the Dominican
Republic returned to teach at their
Christian school, impacting the lives of children in their community.
Taking 1-2 weeks to provide a school building plays a
crucial role in this ministry, Geurink said.
"You are providing a space where children are going to be
taught, year after year after year, and exposed to the Gospel. And we just believe it's an extremely
effective means of evangelism, and it's probably one of the best work projects
that a team or church could go on."
In fact, he said, HANDS teams make an impact beyond simply
providing the school building. Each
school and construction project is run by nationals, so team members have a
chance to rub shoulders with and get to know local Christians.
"It's not a one-way street; it's not a donor and recipient
relationship," Geurink said. "You're
meeting brothers and sisters in Christ, and you're coming alongside them to
help them, to work with them. You spend
meals together, you eat and drink together, and you fellowship."
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Christian schools all over the world.