Monday, November 21, 2011

Count Down to Graduation

The clock is ticking. 20 days remain. In 20 days, something the community never expected will occur. In 20 days something WE at AFE had hoped in faith was inevitable will be...

On December 10th nine excited young men and women will throw their caps in the air, and they will graduate high school.

Graduating high school may seem a small thing to us in the United States. It is almost expected of us and our c
hildren. Not so here. Not in a community with a third-grade education on average. Not in place of hopelessness like the garbage dump.

It will happen in the ballroom of a beautifully constructed science museum dow
ntown. The affair will be formal. Their parents will receive a hand-made invitation, delivered to their door any week now.

The young men and women, with the world at the feet, and the light of aspiration in their eyes, will walk in front of their friends and family with pride and receive their diploma.
It will be an event unlike any other. In the spiritual realm, it will be a huge victory. Because children and parents who have given up, have thought: “Why should I continue in school? What´s the point?” They will know that it is possible to
go to college and better your life, because of the courageous stance of these young champions.

*** If you would like to contribute to this event to make it EXTRA special
for our 11th graders, you can do so with your credit card online at: AFE´s Cart. Please write choose the option of "You Choose" and write AFE Graduation in the note.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Place to Lay Your Head

---Report on 121 Community Church Mission Trip with Orphan Outreach, by Bob Beams---

Several months ago, the leaders at AFE discovered the Castro family (see blog: "You Are Not Alone") To review, the alcoholic father of this family had burned down their home and abandoned the family. They were all living in the garbage dump using old plastic or anything they could to keep out the rain. They ate what they found in the trash and felt constantly threatened by the men in the dump. None of the kids were in school and all scavenged through the trash daily to find recyclable to sell to middlemen.

AFE found a business group from the United States called "LMSPI" to come and build a home for the family. Additionally, all of the Castro children are enrolled at AFE, learning in the after school program, and attending church on the weekends. When we arrived on our trip we found the family had no furniture and were sleeping on the concrete floor without even one blanket. We built three bunk beds with new mattresses, a table and some benches and shelves. It was a huge joy to see them lay down on their beds, flip around to find a comfortable position, with big smiles on their faces. It was so wonderful to know that tonight, for the first night in ages, they would have a good night's sleep. Believe me, the impact of this experience--and also the experience of the whole week---will never leave us. Our lives have been enhanced richly, deeply, and eternally.

To learn more about taking a mission trip with Orphan Outreach, visit: OO Mission Trips

Online Yearbook

Many have asked if there is an online database with pics of every AFE student. This is harder to do than you would think :)

However, here are our most current pictures of our current AFE students: AFE Yearbook on Picasa. Enjoy, and remember to pray for them!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why Books IN SPANISH are the Greatest Treasure

By Adam Macenczak

Last semester, I was given the opportunity to teach PUBLIC SPEAKING to our High School students. To make it more interesting (and less intimidating), I decided to mix up the assignments and have them speak in front of different crowds. One of those assignments required them to read a children's book to our kindergarten class at AFE. Yet, as the teenagers at AFE went through our library here to find a book to read to younger children, they encountered a surprising difficulty. Of all of the books we have at AFE, the majority of them are in English!

What has happened is that when teams visit from the States, they often bring donations in the form of books---but in English. The motivation has been to offer books that can help our kids learn English, but these books have quickly taken over our library. And in Honduras, children’s books are unfortunately, a scarcity.

This need has been weighing heavily on my heart. I think back to when I was a child and all of the books I had at my fingertips. These children are missing out on such a wonderful and necessary component of their education. We want to offer them the kind of library that we had growing up and give them the opportunity to open their eyes to a new world. The love of reading is often where the love of learning begins.


AFE does not have the funds to makeover the library. At this point, we are lacking the most basic need...the books. We want to ask you to consider being a part of this project and help our kids receive new books in their language. WE NEED BOOKS FOR ALL AGES: beautifully illustrated books for children…more challenging books for early readers, and classic novels for the older children.

If you would like to participate in this way and donate books, we currently have two "drop zones" where you can bring them (or mail them):

6015 Old Stone Mountain Rd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30087

2485 Scenic Highway South
Snellville, GA 30078

Or, if you are further from Georgia, you could bring them with you on your mission trip! Even just one book will be able to help many of our children.