Each summer, we invite parents and guardians to the school to watch their children receive recognition for accomplishing the first important step on their education journey – kindergarten graduation. The children wear caps and gowns and are called up one at a time to receive a flower and a diploma. There are also speeches and the children participate in songs. It’s a joyful time full of many adorable, smiling faces. Congratulations to the Class of 2017!
Parents Day is an annual event at the BCI Academy where students are recognized for their academic achievements from the past school year. Parents are invited to watch the students perform songs and take turns receiving recognition. This year the celebration was held in the newly remodeled cafeteria. The freshly painted walls and bright blue floor provided the backdrop for this gathering and there were many smiles from proud students, parents and staff.
We were recently blessed with a pair of interns from South Dakota who spent 6 weeks in Ethiopia sharing their passion for ministry, education, and global missions. The interns created a series of classes based on character traits, introducing a new topic each week.
Grade 1 through 4 students at the BCI Academy were invited to participate in these classes. Activities included arts and crafts, sports, acting, singing and praise. The interns poured into the hearts and spiritual lives of the children, forming a special bond with them along the way. It was a great time of community, friendship, and personal growth and it underscored our desire to help the children develop into strong leaders who can impact their community.
- Loving One Another
Our interns had this to say about the experience:
“The children went from wiggling in their seats (while we talked) about this thing called “determination”, to squealing with delight after an intense game of Red Rover. After that first class, they were hooked. We are excited to see what the Lord continues to do (in) the lives of these children.” – Kayli
“The character classes were my favorite part of the entire experience. They provided us with the opportunity to show the love of Jesus to the children. The relationships that I built with them are some that I will treasure forever.” – Jenna
We have been blessed over the years to receive support from our international family in building a quality school that changes the lives of nearly 500 students each year. We believe that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of this investment, and one way in which we accomplish this is by actively maintaining the building and grounds.
Each year we make updates to the building to ensure that it does not deteriorate, especially from the impact of a long rainy season during the summer. Over the past year, these updates have included new paint for the exterior, reinforcement of the walls and windows, and installation of a new walkway. Most recently, all of the gutters were cleared of leaves and debris to ensure that our school stays dry for the duration of the rainy season, which extends into the fall.
We appreciate the build-the-scenes work that our staff undertakes during the summer and throughout the school year to keep the BCI Academy in top shape!
We are thrilled to share photos of the new Self-Stephens Science Lab. The lab was generously sponsored in honor of Andrew, Luke and Parker Self and Claire and James Stephens. The paint, plaster and epoxy floor as well as plumbing were completed by local contractors and the lab features new tables, chairs and chemicals.
Self-Stephens Science Lab
With construction of the BCI Academy high school addition well underway, funding the cost of the build and meeting our project timetable is heavy on our hearts.
In order to be compliant with government regulations, we must complete phase one of the project by September 1st. This includes construction of the columns, beams, floor, and ceiling for the first of three floors. This is the minimal progress we can make in order to have functional classrooms, and does not include electrical, stairs, or finishing. Without meeting this deadline, we will be unable to offer grades 9 and 10 for the 2017/18 school year and will be forced to turn 80 students away.
This is truly a time where we are walking by faith, with no visual of how we will accomplish this project.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
The cost for phase one of the first floor of the project is $16,600 USD. We will be “selling” bricks for the BCI Academy, and we invite you to join us on this journey as we build the first floor of the high school wing, brick-by-brick.
Please help us spread the word for this great cause by sharing this story with friends and family.
Levels of Support
Will you join us in our race against the clock to keep our high school students in class?
Three ways to give:
By Phone: 1 (888) 269-2719
By Mail: 2267 Fraser Road, Kawkawlin, MI 48631
In the midst of ongoing renovations at the BCI Academy, a local artist has covered the exterior walls of the school with some fun and educational paintings. The paintings cover a variety of subject matter, including math, spelling, anatomy, physics, geography and English. We are excited to facilitate learning in an artful way that also makes the school feel more bright and cheerful. Check out some of the paintings below!
Last November we shared a need with you: ensuring that every child in the program has a bed to sleep in. At that time, we had a number of children sleeping on the floor, many of whom had never known the comfort of a bed. We asked for help purchasing a bed for each child, including a frame, mattress, blanket, sheets and pillows. We just received photos from Ethiopia, and the smiles speak for themselves! Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign, both financially and in prayer.
In a third world country like Ethiopia, a birthday does not hold the same significance as it does in the Western world. Except for in the wealthiest communities in Ethiopia, most of the time there is no celebration. Many don’t even know or track their age or date of birth, since the caretakers are often unable to read and do not have calendars or clocks. A day that should be a cause for celebration often goes by unnoticed.
We are excited to announce that we are piloting a Birthday Blessings program this summer. We have a missions team traveling to Ethiopia from April through the end of summer. The team has volunteered to visit the local shops in Debre Zeyit and pick out a special birthday gift and deliver it to your child. Imagine your child’s delight at receiving this most unexpected surprise!
If your child’s birthday falls between April 20th and August 31st, you may participate in the Birthday Blessings pilot program. The deadline to sign up is March 20th, to ensure birthday delivery.
You may choose to send any amount to be used where needed most, or select from the gift options below:
Clothing – $40
Household Item – $25
Toy – $15
We also invite you to mail a birthday card to the office by March 20th, which our missions team will deliver to your child.
We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity to give your child special birthday memories!
Blessing the Children International
2267 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI 48631
Abu Sara is a farming community located approximately 20 miles from Debre Zeyit. Last year, the community was devastated by a drought that killed their harvest and left them with nothing to grow or eat. Some villagers abandoned their homes, some lost loved ones, and others became beggars.
After seeing what the people of Abu Sara were going through, Blessing the Children decided to help by partnering with Prairie Gleaners, a Christian non-profit organization based in Canada. The gleaners take locally grown fruits and vegetables that would normally end up in the landfill and turn them into dried food and soup mixes, which are distributed to people in need around the world. The organization is run on volunteer time and serves 40 different nations.
Prairie Gleaners readily approved the request for a food container to be sent to Ethiopia. The container took several weeks to arrive by sea to the port town of Djibouti. The food was then loaded onto two large trucks and driven nearly 500 miles to Debre Zeyit. Half the container was distributed to the community of Abu Sara, while the other half stayed in Debre Zeyit.
A staggering one million meals were provided by these dehydrated food and soup mixes, benefitting children in the BCI program as well as those in a crisis state of famine in nearby Abu Sara. In total, 950 families have received the food support.
We are grateful to Prairie Gleaners for turning nutritious produce that would have been wasted into a remarkable blessing for the families of Ethiopia!