Partner Parents Build Lifelong Relationships
And so the school day begins...
On every side of the quadrant that defines the campus of Sielmat Christian School, children in crisp, blue uniforms and ties line up for morning pledges, songs and recitation of Scripture. On the right are elementary grades. Left are the middle school kids. In front are rows of Christian Higher Secondary students, who tower over the tiniest children in the quad, who gather in front of the building to the rear.
The chaos of just moments ago is transformed into orderly morning exercises, the start of another school day for nearly 3,000 children at this flagship Christian school in northeast India. It was the first and is the largest of 42 schools planted across the region and dedicated to transforming lives through Christian education.
In stark contrast to the scene at Sielmat is the tiny school in a heavily Hindu area west of New Delhi, in northwest India. Chingrawali Christian Academy is home to fewer than 80 students, children of the few Christian families dotted throughout this remote and dusty agricultural area. Though only 16 years old, the one-story schoolhouse is plagued with extreme weather conditions that give it the appearance of a much older building with weathered and crumbling cement, peeling paint and sparsely furnished classrooms.
What do these schools have in common? Both are populated by students who can attend only because of generous “Partner Parents” who sponsor their education. And both are run by dedicated Christian teachers and staff who are determined to provide the very best Christ-centered education possible. Finally, these are just two of the Christian schools planted and operated by Bibles For The World, headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO.
Forty additional village schools are clustered mostly in the remote regions of Manipur state in northeastern India, a beautiful, forested region in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains to the north. This region is home of the Hmars, once known as the most fierce headhunting tribe in India, and the ancestral home of BFTW president and CEO, John L. Pudaite.
“My grandfather was one of the earliest converts to Christianity when the Gospel first came to that region,” Pudaite recalls. “My father was charged with the task of translating the Bible into the Hmar language, but he also recognized the desperate need for schools to teach the 3 Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic – and, of course, the Bible to our people.”
Pudaite’s father, Rochunga, and his mother, Mawii, spent years planting churches and schools across the forested hills of Manipur — one of the northernmost states in India. Eventually, they founded a denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of India, which has more than 300 churches, and also began the ministry that is now Bibles For The World.
“But they never lost sight of the value of Christian education,” the younger Pudaite emphasized. “Dad believed firmly that you can transform a nation through education — and over the past fifty years, tens of thousands of once ignorant and poverty-stricken children and youth have graduated from our schools.”
It is a tremendous achievement, of course, and the ministry is grateful to God for His rich blessings on the education program. However, Pudaite is also quick to acknowledge the impact the BFTW’s child and student sponsorship program has made on so many young lives.
“We call our sponsors ‘Partner Parents’ because they really are in a vital partnership with the families of their sponsored children. A Christian education is desperately desired by Christian families, most of whom can ill afford to send their kids to a non-government run school. This is where the help of our Partner Parents is such a blessing.”
Partner Parents provide a small monthly fee — just $34, or about a dollar a day — which provides full tuition, books, supplies, a school uniform, belt and shoes, PLUS regular healthcare for their sponsored child. This is not an after-school or church-based “activities” program. Rather, Partner Parents provide a full time, Christ-centered, academically excellent education that is transformational in the lives of those children.
Whether they attend Chingrawali Academy with 80 students, or Sielmat Christian School, with nearly 3,000, every boy and girl, every teen or young adult, receives the kind of care and attention from loving educators that helps their parents “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Academically sound, the schools regularly place very high on government-mandated testing. But the emphasis on Christian training, adherence to biblical principles, and focus on Scripture memorization is what both parents and students appreciate. And so do their Partner Parents!
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to invest in young lives,” affirms one active Partner Parent. “Our sponsored student had no chance of escaping the extreme poverty he was living in. His village is remote. They have no electricity...no running water. Without our help, he’d struggle to achieve God’s best for his life. But we’re able to change that for him — and he has been a huge blessing in our lives!”
Most students are able to attend nearby village schools, though some spend hours hiking through the hills for miles each day. When schools are too distant, Bibles For The World offers dormitories for students who also receive meals each day, thanks to “boarding” sponsors.
“I never had to leave my family to go to junior high school,” says one sponsor, “so I can only imagine what that must be like for the young boys and girls in these remote mountain villages. That’s why I’m happy to provide for them so they can get the education they really need. My sponsored kids have made as much of an impact on me as I’ve made on them!”
Bibles For The World’s Partner Parents program provides you with the opportunity to invest in the life of a young boy or girl in India who is eager to pursue a Christian education, but whose parents live in deep poverty. While we pray for sponsors for the thousands of students who are waiting, we know YOUR decision to become a Partner Parent will make an indelible impact on one young girl, or one young boy, helping transform them for eternity.
Become a Partner Parent today. Visit partnerparents.org to learn about the children who need your help, the villages where they live and the schools that are caring for them.