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Francisco, Joanna, Nicki, Melanie and Benji
GC3 Magazine 2011 - Issue 1

God said, "Go build your home down in the swamp!" We did, but why? "I want you to make something beautiful out of something ugly." That started with making a road, digging ditches, building a bridge, clearing scrub, and planting trees. Then, as we slowly did that, we saw the "why". People started coming to live alongside us, down the road, and all around us.

"Now what?" we asked, as we tried working with the adults – drunks, thieves, prostitutes, medicine healers etc. Most were set in their ways of idolatry, superstition, fear, illiteracy, oppression and violence.

Then God clearly showed us that the way to help effectively wasto start with their children – the future generation – to train and teach them in Godly principles, help them learn to read, write and understand, treat them with dignity, love them, give them the possibility of a future di erent to their parents.

We needed a PLACE where we could do that. Miraculously, God provided us with the funds to build a multi-educational centre on a large section next to our home. This was completed in 2006.

We currently run various classes, mornings and afternoons Monday to Friday, for children from 3 to 12 years. Our aim is to provide them with quality education - with the love of Jesus

shining through the lives of the teachers. Each week we also run clubs for boys, girls and teens, similar to NZ Rallies. The kids are given fair discipline, taught biblical values, skills and games, all with the aim to bring them to a life-changing faith in God.

Although we realize that it is a long-term task, we see positive changes in some of the students and club kids already, and parents attest to the changes at home which is encouraging for us. The fact that Francisco grew up here is a huge advantage in understanding deeper cultural aspects and knowing how to encourage positive changes in their lives.

We have three children, Nicki, Melanie and Benji. There are many challenges bringing them up in this kind of environment. We are grateful for NZ correspondence schooling for their education but studying long distance is often di cult. Please pray that they may always follow the Lord's guiding in their own lives and that we may be positive examples.

Please pray for the spiritual strongholds of evil to be broken in our community, for kids to truly understand the amazing message of salvation in Jesus Christ, and for God's Spirit to make beautiful lives out of something ugly.

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