When the Lord calls His children to “walk” in His vision, He often reminds us to use the resources divinely given to us. One such example is found in Exodus 14:15, where YHWH challenged Moses to stretch out the rod given to him in chapter 3. Despite the urgency of their crisis, Moses obeyed, stretched out his rod over the waters, and the children Israel saw YHWH’s mighty power on display at the banks of the Red Sea.
Christiana Russell and Karen Stodghill are no Moses. But, these women have been given resources, and have been called to educate and train youngsters for a combined 65 years. In the Lord’s good providence, Christiana and Karen began working with a select group of Grade 3 students at CW Sawyer Primary School, two months ago. This summer, these two ladies will lead our first Reading Camp in the Yellow Elder community. We want to see this underserved community transformed into “Golden Elder”!
According to the 2003 National Assessment for Educational Progress, all states within the USA estimated that “as many as half of their children, particularly those from low socioeconomic backgrounds…are entering kindergarten programs without the basic cognitive foundational skills necessary for them to succeed [academically]”. The Bahamas is not different. According to The Organization for Responsible Governance, (ORG), a Bahamian-based nonprofit, nonpartisan, civic foundation, the Bahamian public education system “has systemically failed, and as such, jeopardizes the long term economic viability of the country. In fact, a 2016 World Bank study on youth employment in the Caribbean noted the lack of an employable workforce as the top obstacle affecting businesses in The Bahamas.” ORG’s research paints a bleak and catastrophic picture of the social and economic future of the Bahamas if this crisis of a failing public education system is not properly addressed.
Unlike the public school system in the USA, public schools in the Bahamas openly welcome Christians to share their faith. Covenant Life wants to take advantage of this current opportunity. We want to mobilize more Believers in the task of developing future leaders of our island-nation. Imagine if these students become “rods” in the hands of the Lord’s people. Imagine local congregations leading their own communities to spread these “rods” over the waves of crisis and hopelessness that seek to bind the Lord’s people spiritually, psychologically, socially, and materially?
Recently, a Vision Team from PCPC spent 5 days meeting with a diverse group of indigenous civic-minded brothers and sisters in Christ. In response to an appeal from Christiana, this group of 13 brought more than enough school supplies for this summer’s ministry to the future leaders of Yellow Elder. Each person brought an extra bag which contained all of the items in the photo below. To God be the glory!
This Reading Camp is crucial to Covenant Life’s Indigenous Leadership Development Program, (ILDP). Through this strategy, we want to realize Principal leaders from each community, by cultivating Possible, Potential and Proven leaders. This process starts at an early age. Our Reading Camp runs from June 27 through July 12. Please pray for us as we seek to solicit numerous volunteers from among our families, friends, parents, and other like-minded Believers to come alongside us. We want to use this camp to share the Gospel, and to directly contribute to the development of better educated young Bahamians – rods which will become “oaks of righteousness” who will Repair, Rebuild and Restore the people of the Bahamas, one community at a time.