Good News in April 2021
ELI is excited to share wonderful praise reports from both Zambia and Malawi. The Lord is blessing our library programs and the various income generating projects that benefit the people we serve. The 19th century Irish missionary, Amy Carmichael, who served orphans in India penned, “The soul and body go together.” This is also an ELI conviction, and we are thrilled to honor the many requests for Bibles by including both children’s and adult Bibles in our book box shipments of resources for our library programs. The Bible – bringing the good news of the gospel to those in far away places. We trust you will enjoy and be encouraged by April’s good news stories and pictures.
In our March newsletter, we launched the Drive Sweet Susu Produce to Market campaign to raise funds for a much needed delivery truck. And we are off to a great start! We’ve received generous donations and only $ 10,000 remains to fully fund this purchase. A reliable truck will transport the abundant crops of watermelon, maize, cabbages, tomatoes and oranges to market. The traditional cart and oxen means of transport limits the distance to local markets and is slow, and renting a truck is expensive and unreliable. The watermelons are ripening, and Susu village is grateful for this abundant crop, which will provide income to help support library operations and provide food for the community. Please consider a designated donation towards this campaign. All donations big and small are appreciated and your gift will bring a life changing blessing to this hard working community.
Mr. Benson's Story
Mr. Benson is a farmer, who lives about four miles from Susu. One day while walking home from market, he saw children at the community school playing with jump ropes. He was so surprised as jump ropes are not readily available to the children living in rural communities. He asked the children how they had acquired the jump ropes, and the children replied that they came from Susu Community Library. Mr. Benson didn’t know there was a nearby library, and was delighted when a villager introduced him to the new facility.
Mr. Benson enjoys reading, but did not have access to many books. He would borrow books from friends to learn how to improve his farm, but there were very few and he wanted to do more research. Benson was thrilled to find not only books on farming at the library ( more needed), but also a variety of books and stories; his favorite being Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington. He enjoys this biography because it highlights the author’s struggle for an education and his joy in helping others. Benson also read the biography of Dr. Ben Carson which he found to be very encouraging; that a man who struggled with school could become a neurosurgeon. What hope we find in the courage and accomplishments of others!
Farmer Benson enjoys the library so much that he walks the four miles at least once a week to read and enjoy this quiet place to study. He too is spreading the word about this amazing library hidden in rural Zambia and the resources available to children of all ages and adults from different walks of life.
It is your prayers and gifts that provide educational and inspirational materials for those with a hunger for knowledge and education. ELI thanks you for your generosity to build the library as a learning center for all.
Library day in the Malawi villages of Dima, Mphonde, and Chimutu is a much anticipated event. Days in advance, the village book monitors are in contact with ELI staff to confirm the visit. The children and their friends from other villages are ready for story time and the incredible opportunities to create with crayons and building blocks, as well as playing net ball and jump rope. It is harvest time and the parents are hard at work in their fields, but the children are instructed to participate in all the activities. The parents are witnessing amazing changes in the children’s interest in learning.
Kathrine (EL Malawi staff) reports on the most recent visit. “The weather was sunny and the roads have dried sufficiently to drive directly to the first village.” Kathrine, who is also a pre-school director is very encouraged with the progress of the village children in basic learning skills. Most of them have been unable to attend school for several months, and the library program has been the only educational opportunity.
Every visit, Kathrine has story time, which the children enjoy so much. In addition to books, many educational charts are available and the children listen intently. Studying the life cycle of the grasshopper was fun for them, as they know grasshoppers well. They are eager to answer the questions even when quizzed the next week.
One of the children’s favorite books is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Kathrine says that the children “love it very much” and they are learning colors, shapes, animals and vocabulary. Pronouncing the words was difficult at first, but the village book monitors use the lessons and there is significant progress in reading skills. The children now hope their schools will open soon.
Jacob and Kathrine note that the requests for adult literacy classes continue. If the adults are not working in the fields, they see them standing near the reading activities and carefully observing. After the last reading class in one of the villages, Jacob writes, “Several village women gathered their courage to ask if they could have a chance for education, so they could read and write and do mathematics.” Jacob’s heart was touched as he listened to their stories of how illiteracy affected every aspect of their lives. For now, they enjoyed looking at the children’s picture books, but they desire the opportunities for a different life that literacy skills can offer. As the Lord provides, adult literacy classes will begin in each of these villages.
Libraries, literacy and educational opportunities; how are they possible for people in far away and remote villages? Through you! Your prayers and financial generosity make a difference in the lives of thousands of children and adults that you have never met, yet you care. ELI is grateful for your gifts and ask that you would prayerfully consider becoming a monthly donor or sending a one time gift - perhaps in honor of your mother or another special woman in your life. Please designate if your gift supports the Drive Sweet Susu to Market campaign. May you be abundantly blessed as we share the pictures and stories of lives touched by your kindness.