You know those powerful moments in life when you feel God reach in and intervene in a way that is almost too awesome for words – those times when something falls together at a magnitude that can only be explained as a “God thing”? We are having such a moment right now in our ministry and are still in awe over the unbelievable way in which God has responded to our prayers for our high school building project.
The cost for the three-story addition was more than $150,000 USD. This was an overwhelming task, which we broke down into three phases. The minimum amount of progress we could make in order to open the first floor of the building in time for the 2017-18 school year was the foundation, walls, and roof. The total cost of this bare minimum structure was $16,600.
With less than a month remaining before the doors were set to open for the new school year, just over $2,700 had been raised. A panic was beginning to set in – how would we keep our high school students in class come September?
Then, a call came from Pastor Tadesse, our Ethiopian National Director. Bethlehem School in Debre Zeyit had been released from its overseas management team and was being offered to another NGO in the area. No land lease, no tax; just the incredible gift of a school. The question posed was – would we support the acquisition of Bethlehem School and subsequent expansion of our ministry? It did not take us long to answer “yes!”
The Ethiopian government informed us that due to our strong record of success with the BCI Academy – with particular attention to financial responsibility – we were chosen from 20 NGO’s to take over management of Bethlehem School.
We prayed for months to have the funds to build the addition just to keep our high school students in class. God responded by putting an entire school in our hands.
It is an understatement to say that we are overwhelmed by His provision.
Bethlehem school is home to 1,000 students. Not only do we have another building to use to expand the BCI Academy, we will now be responsible for an additional 1,000 students, tripling the reach of the ministry. This is an enormous responsibility and the task of preparing to open the newly acquired school in a matter of weeks has been daunting. We are so proud of our Ethiopian staff for their tremendous effort in making all of this possible.
Our management team has been busy interviewing and hiring 45 teachers and staff members, cleaning the building, and making repairs to bring the school up to operational form for the new school year.
Our work on the new addition to the BCI Academy will continue. We will complete the pedagogical center, one of the requirements that had been set forth by the government, and will also have space for additional classrooms. We will be able to save money on this project by making the addition one story rather than three story, since we now have space available at the Bethlehem School.
In response to the good news of receiving ownership of the Bethlehem School building, Pastor Tadesse quoted Luke 12:48: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
We ask that you please keep the ministry in your prayers and pray for our Ethiopian staff and our nearly 1,500 students who are now a part of the Blessing the Children family.