Good News in January 2021
Happy New Year from all of us at ELI. Through God's grace and provision in 2021, we will continue to share the Gospel, establish libraries and develop literacy programs in Zambia and Malawi. In both Zambia and Malawi, there is a waiting list of villages asking to be included in the mobile library program. We look forward to sharing exciting news about the expansion of these programs and the official opening of the new Susu Community Library.
The newly established Malawi Mobile Library program (currently serving three rural villages) is only three months old, but has been enthusiastically received. Each village chose someone to serve in the role of "book monitor" to supervise the care of the books and develop a check out system for the books and other resources. EL Malawi Director, Jacob H recently sent the monitor's hand written records (no electricity or computers in the villages) of the readers and the books they selected. Previously, books were not available in these villages and local schools have few if any. But now, Sarah, Goodson, Zefa and Wisdom as well as many others are checking out books of math, science and ancient civilizations to augment their school studies. Others are enjoying the classics and other great books familiar to all of us. Please take a moment to read the records and think about someone 10,000 miles away and living in a very different world, yet enjoying the same adventure story. Seeing the names of these individuals and their book selections brings to life their desire to learn, and expand their understanding of a world outside their own. Many schools in Malawi were again closed in January of this year and the mobile library program is meeting a tremendous need. Please pray with us for this exciting new work and the financial resources to expand this program.
Susu Community Library, Zambia
EL Zambia Director Mr. Kenneth reports that the team is busy fitting out the library with new bookshelves and other furniture in preparation for a March opening. A modern library in rural Zambia is a marvel and this exciting news has gone viral! Multiple high schools from as far away as 50 km have inquired how their students can access these sought after resources. Arrangements and schedules are being discussed so these schools can visit this modern and up to date library.
Mr. Kenneth also reports that the number of students attending village schools enrolled in the mobile library program include 3821 boys and 4034 girls. That's a whooping 7855 students! There are currently 3276 books plus educational games, puzzles and Bibles in circulation, but may more of these resources are needed to adequately supply these children and teachers. Thanks to a Board member's birthday fund raiser and a gift from Sanctuary Bible Church (Carmel Valley, CA), a second motorcycle will soon be purchased and more village schools will be added to the mobile library route. The opportunity to read books on many subjects has dramatically impacted the education of these children, and village schools are reporting that their students have higher test scores in many subjects.
D is for Dragon
Many of us as children had a favorite story that we would enjoy hearing or that we read again and again. ELI has inquired of our directors about the favorite stories among the children so that we can supply multiple copies. We can relate to wanting a specific book only to find out it has been checked out! D is for Dancing Dragon is a favorite! This book brings China’s history and culture alive by describing customs, art, music, foods, and Chinese New Year’s celebrations.
How wonderful for these children to learn of another country’s customs and culture!
Susu Ladies Literacy Class
In the November Good News, we featured the story of the Susu Ladies Literacy class. These hard working women were praying for sewing machines, so they could use their new literacy skills to start a small business and support their families. A grateful thank you to all who funded this life changing program. Three new treadle sewing machines have arrived in Susu and sewing classes have started.
The next book box shipment will include two special and encouraging gifts for the Susu Ladies. Donna (a new ELI friend) created three beautiful aprons for the women to wear when they are baking their scones. A special gift to bless these enterprising ladies.. Also, they will receive two innovative sewing project books contributed by a talented seamstress from the Salinas Valley (CA). The Susu women are very excited for this valuable tool that will help them learn how to make and sell different items. A new business is beginning in Susu!
ELI welcomes volunteers of any age, and we are happy to introduce Amelia ( age 10) and Jeremiah (age 7). Their mother recently collected a large donation of gently used books, puzzles and games. Jeremiah became the puzzle inspector - assembling the puzzles to be sure all the pieces were there. Amelia was the book inspector - checking for marked pages as well as wholesome and interesting story content. The next book shipment leaves in two weeks, so all their hard work is appreciated. Thank you Amelia and Jeremiah.
A very grateful thanks to all our prayer and financial supporters. We appreciate your partnership in bringing the joy of reading and education to rural villages in Africa.