Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One afternoon Rey and I stopped on a bridge to see why a crowd had gathered. It was the rainy season and the Rio Choluteca was bloated and running feverishly. Despite the strong current, a young calf had ventured bravely into the water to meet his mother on the other side, but was being washed down stream. The calf bleated and his mother moaned while the crowd watched, clutching nervously at the railing. “Come on, baby-calf! YOU CAN DO IT!” a little girl yelled. Somehow, after ten minutes of struggle, the calf found his footing and made it to the other side. Applause rang out over the bridge.

Sometimes the children of AFE remind me of that brave little calf trying to cross a strong river current. The number of children who succeed in Honduras’ education system is discouraging. US Aid found that:

“At present, 86% of Hondurans complete sixth grade, but fewer than 45% complete the ninth grade and fewer than 25% complete high school. Only six percent continue to complete a university education. Despite an increasing elementary school completion rate, Honduras has the lowest secondary school enrollment rate in Latin America” (

Elise (and Walesca sometimes) help AFE with marketing and communications.

With no more than a sixth grade education, the cycle of poverty continues, as does the fragmentation of families, drug and alcohol abuse, child labor, and the maltreatment of children. The rate of educational success is even more discouraging within the garbage dump community where many parents have no more than a third-grade education.

When a child leaves AFE (for whatever reason) they forfeit more than educational opportunities. They also leave their Christian community, positive mentors, pastors and a church behind. They decide (or it’s decided for them) to take a path that does not have abundant life as its destination. For this reason, AFE does whatever it takes to keep its students in school. This issue of AFE’s newsletter will highlight some of our new strategies to fight the drop-out rate affecting our community. Please pray that AFE’s children will be like the young calf that entered the river with courage, and kept his eyes on the Father as he attempted such a difficult feat.

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