Carmencita is 10 years old and is in 4th grade at Christ the Savior Lutheran School in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Her favorite subject is grammar. “We get to talk a lot, read a lot and make drawings.” Carmencita is a happy little girl with a big dream of being a doctor. She takes care of her dolls, rubbing their tummies and giving them a “pill” when they don’t feel good. If only life were that easy when her dad got sick!
At the beginning of the pandemic, Carmencita’s father had to be hospitalized. While in the hospital, he contracted COVID-19 and died very suddenly. Now her family had no food and no home. All was lost! Even though their hope for physical things was waning, their family still had hope in Jesus. Claudia, Carmencita’s mom, says “I knew that God was always with me, sending many blessings through neighbors and church members who opened their doors for us to live.” The Lord also provided a job for Claudia by giving her a place at the market where she can sell fruits and vegetables.
Carmencita knows that Jesus is her strength: “Jesus is always by my side anywhere I go. He helps me and He is the one who gives the blessings to me every day. I look forward to the day when I will see my dad again.” Carmencita is smart and has a heart of compassion. Our prayer is that she will continue to grow in faith and achieve her dream of becoming a doctor.
Your generosity helps Carmencita and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
As a young girl, Gloria lived with her grandparents in a small village in Guatemala. She had no hope of receiving a formal education and therefore no hope of getting out of poverty. Her family simply could not afford to send her to school.
When she was 11, Gloria and her grandparents met a Lutheran pastor who was traveling to her village along with Jim Jorns, a missionary from Kansas. Jim and his wife, Edie, were serving the people of Zacapa, Guatemala which was far from Gloria’s village. The Lord stirred in the hearts of Jim and Edie to invite Gloria to live with them.
Gloria lived with the Jorns family and attended the Lutheran school in Zacapa as the first recipient of a LeadaChild student scholarship. Gloria recalls, “Every night before bed Jim taught me English.” Gloria completed her education and began serving as a teacher in Guatemala. She married a student at the Lutheran school, Hector Conjura. Hector completed his education and studied to become a pastor. The two served together in Guatemala, until the Lord called them to serve as missionaries at Grace Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL where they served for many years.
Gloria says, “The Lord used LeadaChild to save my life. You have to believe and trust what an education can do.” She still talks passionately about the power of a Christian education, saying, “It is only possible through Jesus. Learning about Jesus is the most important.” Gloria lives her life in gratitude for all the Lord has done for her through LeadaChild.
Your generosity helps students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
Hillary is 18 years old and is a senior in high school. She attended Christ the Savior Lutheran School from Preschool through 8th grade. She remembers as an elementary school student that she loved learning. “I wanted to discover everything the teachers were teaching me!” Her love for learning has not diminished.
When Hillary made the transition to a public high school she missed the pastor’s daily devotions and being in a Christian environment. To continue growing in her faith, Hillary has been intentional about staying involved in church and youth group.
In high school she sees some of her classmates who don’t know Jesus. She sees how lost they feel without a relationship with the Lord. Even when she experienced the pain of her parent’s divorce, she did not feel lost. Jesus sustains her through every difficult time. Because she experiences the presence of Jesus with her at all times, Hillary shares the hope she has in Jesus with her classmates. She is quite the evangelist!
The opportunity to get her education at Christ the Savior is a blessing. “Going to the Lutheran school changed my life. I will have more opportunities than those who did not go to a Christian school because I see life in a different way.”
Your generosity helps Hillary and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
Jonathan is 13 years old and in the 6th grade at Our Savior Lutheran School in San Salvador, El Salvador. His favorite subject is math. Outside of school, Jonathan loves to hang out with his friends and play soccer every chance he gets. He also loves his family and can often be found after school delivering a cup of hot coffee to his dad who works as an auto mechanic close to their home. Jonathan and his parents live in very humble conditions, sharing a small one-room home. They share a kitchen and bathroom with 4 other families.
Despite his struggles with anxiety, Jonathan dreams of being a soldier and a doctor. He hopes to be able to combine both of those pursuits into one career. Jonathan says his education at Our Savior is helping him prepare for his future as a physician: “I have to memorize a lot of things and that will help me to remember everything I need to know to be a good doctor.” He also wants to use his position to share Jesus with his patients: “I will tell them to pray to Jesus. He is the one who will help you as you go through the pain. He is the one who can really heal you.” Jonathan is a caring young man who is and will continue to be used by the Lord in mighty ways.
Your generosity helps Jonathan and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
When he was 10 years old, Josue started first grade. Why did he start school so late? Josue could not attend school because his father needed help farming the fields. For his family to survive, everyone must help do the work, even the children who should be in school.
Even though Josue was allowed to start the first grade, he was not able to finish because his help was needed again with farming. Josue is now 12 and his desire to learn has continued to grow. A friend told him about the amazing teachers at the afternoon school program at Sola Gratia Lutheran School, and Josue asked his parents about going to school. Because his parents want a better future for him, they agreed for Josue to work the fields in the morning and attend school in the afternoon. Now, Josue is not only learning how to read and write, but more importantly he is learning about the love of Jesus. Attending school will allow him to one day achieve his dreams of becoming a teacher. Josue says, “I want all children to know how to read and write.”
Your generosity helps Josue and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
Mabieles is 13 years old and attends the afternoon school at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Sora, Panama. At the afternoon school, Mabieles was learning about Jesus and as a result, desired to be baptized. Just before the world shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, Mabieles asked her parents for permission to be baptized. Her parents did not go to church and didn’t see a need for Mabieles to be baptized. Because of the strong presence of the Catholic church in Panama, they told her, “If you ever do get baptized, it will be in the Catholic church.”
During the pandemic, Mabieles and her parents experienced the love and ministry of the church. The members from the church were able to help Mabieles and her family with food and other basic needs while her father was out of work. Her parents also witnessed the love of Mabieles’ teachers as they delivered new lessons and picked up completed ones each week. Her parents witnessed Mabieles reading the Bible and continuing to learn more about Jesus.
Finally, her parents agreed that Mabieles could be baptized. They said, “We could no longer deny her love for Jesus.” On the day Mabieles was baptized, her parents also brought their younger daughter to be baptized. Just shortly after, Mabieles was also confirmed in the faith.
Your generosity goes a long way in helping Mabieles and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
Miguel is 10 years old and in 4th grade. He attends public school in the morning and Sola Gratia Lutheran School in Santiago Zamora, Guatemala in the afternoon. His favorite part of going to Sola Gratia is the library. He loves books! “I want to read all the books!” It isn’t just the books though, Miguel loves coming to school. “The teachers are kind. They help me learn and get better at math. Oh, and I really like doing crafts.”
It doesn’t take long in talking to Miguel to discover his love for animals, his desire to take good care of them, and his dream of becoming a veterinarian. At home Miguel has rabbits, dogs, cats, and fish. He says that even the fish greet him when he comes home.
Miguel is growing in His love for Jesus, especially when he reads about the resurrection. “It is the greatest story!” When Miguel was 5 years old his dad was bitten by a snake. He got very sick and had to go to the hospital. Miguel says, “I stayed home praying for my dad until he came home healed. Jesus helps us all the time, especially when we are going through difficult times.”
Your generosity helps Miguel and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
Moses is 16 years old and is a high school student at Concordia Preparatory School in Bakwu, Ghana. Before coming to Concordia, Moses did not know Jesus and had never had the opportunity to attend school. He says, “I was in deep sad. I felt so sad seeing children go to school or come from school because I also needed to be like them.” Moses had a dream of being a pilot one day. To realize his dream, he understood that he would have to have an education. Because of the work of the local church and school and the partnership with LeadaChild, Moses received a scholarship to attend school.
Moses came to know Jesus as his Savior during a class where the teacher was teaching on the Word of God. Walking with Jesus has helped Moses to know that He is secure and protected in His Savior’s arms. Moses holds tightly to his faith and to the knowledge that Jesus loves all people. He says that the love Jesus has “for all humankind is now a part of me, which has helped me to live peaceably with my family members,” many of whom are still part of the Muslim faith.
Your generosity helps Moses and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
Nimsy is 11 years old and is in the 5th grade. She is the oldest of 3 girls, and lives with her family in Santiago Zamora, Guatemala where she and her sisters attend the local public school in the morning and the Lutheran school in the afternoon. At Sola Gratia Lutheran School she is being tutored in her school subjects and is also learning about Jesus. She believes that going to Sola Gratia will help her to achieve her dream of one day being a chef. She loves to cook for her family and to present a meal to them that looks delicious to eat. She also dreams of traveling and flying on an airplane. She knows that being a good chef will help her be able to travel and see the world.
Nimsy’s life is not easy. She has a medical condition that causes her to have pain and weakness in her legs, making some days impossible for her to even walk. She says “I get afraid sometimes when I can’t walk or run like the other kids. When I am weak or in pain, my mom and I kneel to pray and to read the Bible.” A Scripture that brings her a lot of comfort is Psalm 23.
Nimsy has a strong faith! She knows without a doubt that Jesus is not only with her, but with all the children. She loves to read the story of when the disciples wouldn’t let children near Jesus. Nimsy recalls Jesus’ response, “Let the children come to me.” Nimsy is one of those precious children who is growing every day in her love for Jesus and others.
Your generosity helps Nimsy and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
PaOun (pronounced PaOwn) is 7 years old and attends the afternoon school at Ray of Hope in Battambang, Cambodia. Life for PaOun and her family is a daily struggle for survival as they live in abject poverty where food is scarce and disease is everywhere.
To help meet the financial needs of her family, PaOun begs on the street each night for food and money. She is just one of the many thousands of children who live life this way. But there is hope! PaOun is now receiving a Christian education! She is learning about Jesus and being tutored in her many school subjects. At Ray of Hope PaOun has a clean uniform to put on each morning when she arrives, and is sent home in clean clothes (laundered by helpers during the day) each evening. At Ray of Hope PaOun is fed 2 nutritious meals each day before going home to return to begging on the streets.
From the moment she arrived at Ray of Hope, the staff has been dedicated to giving her the care of love she desperately longed for. PaOun loves learning and being with her classmates. Her smile lights up the room and is proof that the love of Jesus is making a difference in her life. She is no longer destined to a life of poverty, but to an abundant life with her Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Your generosity helps PaOun and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
One Sunday, Theodora was found in the church at Kpagogo, Ghana. When asked what brought her there, she said, “In school, I have learned many things about Jesus who loves me. I have come to church so that Jesus will help me.”
The Pastor called Theodora’s father and shared with him his personal story of converting from being Muslim to being Christian. He also asked permission for Theodora to continue attending worship. While her father clung to the idea that “all religions are the same because we all worship one God,” he reluctantly agreed for Theodora to attend worship.
During the next few months, Theodora shared with her father what she was learning in school and at church about Jesus. He liked the Child’s Garden of Bible Stories and was pleased by the knowledge and wisdom his daughter had gained. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, Theodora’s father, too, was blessed with faith in Christ. He said that the Muslim faith forced him to do things he could not do.
Theodora has been taught the Scriptures, baptized and confirmed. It was on her baptism day that she took the name Theodora, which means, “gift of God”. She participates in youth activities, leads the children’s choir, and reads the Scriptures on Sundays. Theodora is now bringing her grandmother to church.
Your generosity helps Theodora and other students around the world know the hope we have in Jesus.
In 2001 Christ the King Lutheran Church in Merotte, Haiti had a dream to better share the love of Jesus with their community. Because of the high need for quality education in Haiti, the church leaders began exploring the possibility of building a school where children could learn academics, and even more importantly, learn about the love of Jesus. It seemed a win-win!
A Lutheran church in Kansas agreed to partner with Christ the King in the building of a school, and shortly thereafter Concordia Lutheran School was open for enrollment. It was just a few years after opening that Concordia reached out to LeadaChild so that more students could learn and come to know Jesus in a deeper way. Today, Concordia has more than 350 students in preschool through high school.
Concordia has been flourishing since Ruth Louissaint became the principal in 2014. She has been working hard to ensure that students receive not just an education, but a quality Christian education. The proof of the hard work of Ruth and her team is evidenced in many ways, one of which is the results of Haiti’s nationalized testing of those completing the 9th grade before they can move up to high school.
The average across the country of Haiti is a 76% pass rate of the nationalized test. At Concordia Lutheran School, the pass rate is 100%! We are so proud of Principal Ruth, her dedicated team of teachers and hard-working students at Concordia!
Your generosity supports Concordia Lutheran School and other schools around the world, giving hope for both a temporal and eternal future.
In the 1960s, the Lutheran Church was looking for a volunteer to serve for 3 years as an agricultural missionary in Guatemala. Having grown up on a Kansas farm and having studied agriculture in college, Jim Jorns was the man for the job! Jim and his wife, Edie, decided to uproot their family from the plains of Kansas for a 3-year adventure.
Jim spent time teaching people farming techniques, while Edie taught the local children about Jesus. Jim and Edie noticed that many children did not have go to school. One of those children was 11-year old Gloria. Gloria ended up living with the Jorns family so that she could attend the Lutheran school near their home.
As the time drew near for the Jorns family to return to the United States they wondered what would happen to Gloria. In a meeting with the local pastor and church leaders someone asked, “What about building a boarding house next to the school?” Together with family and friends, the KS District LWML, LLL groups, the funds were raised and the boarding house was built. It housed 15 girls and 15 boys. Upon their return to the States, Jim & Edie looked for people, churches, and groups who would give $10/month per child, and LeadaChild was born.
Since that day hundreds of thousands of children have received a Christian education, and with that they have received the HOPE of both a temporal and eternal future. To God be the glory!
Your generosity makes dreams come true for many students around the world as they come to know the hope we have in Jesus!