One of the joys of being the third wave of missionaries here is that we get to see the fruit of the labor of years of work here. One such "good fruit" came to our door the first months we were here and over the year and a half, we have built a relationship with John.
John's father died when John was just a few years old. His mother remarried and was relocated to the DRC. During his primary years, he was back and forth between Bundibugyo and the DRC, staying with different families. He had all but given up on pursuing secondary education as he had no means of paying school fees or family to support him. However, met with the local pastor Kisembo Akleo who directed him to sit for the CSB entrance exam. He scored in the top tier and as an orphan, he qualified for an "Orphan/Vulnerable Child Scholarship". These scholarships still continue today as 10 sponsors are matched with new OVC candidates each year. He continued to do well throughout CSB under the care of Kevin and JD Bartkovich and continued support of the Pierces. He and several fellow CSB graduates finished their primary school teaching degrees and have returned to Bundibugyo to impact their home community through education.
John is now the Headmaster of the two year old PicFare Primary School. Currently, they have 197 students in preschool-grade 4. Their stick and iron sheets structure occupies the entire plot they pooled money to purchase. Recently, the owner of the adjacent plot offered to sell it to the school. So, on a Sunday afternoon while Aunt Jess watched the kids (thanks, Jess!), Travis and I walked for three hours with John to PicFare to talk with him, see the PicFare community, visit the school, and pray about "giving a hand" towards the purchase of this adjacent land.
It was a blessing to us to walk with John and to see the fruit of years of love, labor, sacrifice, and prayer by those who have come before us. The investment made into the education of many, many youths is now paying dividends. And those dividends are now making an investment into the youth of today.