Sunday, October 2, 2011

Poverty = Bad / Education = Good!

We hate poverty. We especially hate poverty that is caused by a lack of educational opportunities - like the poverty that the people in El Yalu, Guatemala experience on a daily basis. Did you know that: 

- Only 42% of rural Guatemalans finish primary school, half the rate of urban children and 2nd lowest in the Latin America / Caribbean region 
- Guatemala is last in literacy rates in Latin America, and only 68% of rural indigenous young-women are literate

Ridiculous right!? These stats and more are the reason why Gregg and I are riding in the Ride for Refuge fundraiser NEXT WEEKEND to raise money for the educational scholarship program at Mano Con Mano. We in America have truly been blessed with decent, free public school through 12th grade. In Guatemala, public school is far from free for most families and is only offered until 6th grade. 6th GRADE! Think about how many opportunities you would have, and what your life would be like now if you had only gone to school through 6th grade. Scary right?

Currently our team is about 60% of the way to our goal of $3,000. This will provide scholarships for 3-6 kids (depending on what grade and program they are in). Thankfully we also have 5 teams in Canada riding and raising money and collectively we have currently raised $11,500 or 57% of our $20,000 goal. If you would like to help us provide an education and a future to 20+ kids from El Yalu that want to continue their education beyond 6th grade - please check out our Ride for Refuge page HERE. Any amount will help! We would also love your prayer support - for Gregg, I, and all the other riders next Sunday, October 8th, and for the kids in Yalu who are finishing up their school year and working to pass all their classes so they can be eligible for another scholarship next year. 

Besides the obvious benefits of the scholarship program, the education program at Mano Con Mano is focused on an even more important goal - to tangibly reflect Christ to this community. I'll end with a verse that I hope blesses you all.
2 Cor. 9:11-15
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.  And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!