Good News in October 2022
Thank you for your prayers and financial gifts! Because of your support, there is wonderous improvement in the physical and spiritual lives of Zambian and Malawian villagers. November marks the giving season and a time to remember what your compassionate giving has and will accomplish.
All Good News!
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, (Philippians 1:3-5, NIV)
Nine years ago, ELI started a small library inside the Susu Community two-room schoolhouse. Within months, people walked miles to check out books. While a bicycle was used to carry books to remote schools, ELI soon recognized the need to build an independent library. ELI’s supporters responded, and transformation took place! Today a beautiful, solar-powered library welcomes all, new wells give clean drinking water, and what was once fallow land now produces harvests for food and income.
The library strengthens the community. The skills gained through the library’s adult literacy and vocational training programs have resulted in learners starting small businesses. Child and Teen programs bring about social change, creating a culture of reading and encouraging positive behaviors. Pastoral conferences, community gatherings, outreach, and information access are essential components of ELI’s libraries. And that bicycle that carried books to remote areas? It was replaced by a motorcycle that regularly brings books and teaching supplies to 18 villages (over 9,000 students)!
Not long ago, only a handful of villagers had ever held a book in their hands. Literacy was rare. Most had no idea that there was such a thing as a library. Fast forward two years. The ELI team faithfully visits villages twice monthly, sharing books and educational activities. Many parents who had not seen the value of formal education, started sending their children to school regularly. Today when the ELI team arrives at a village, children cheer and jump and there are smiles all around! Parents saw the changes and potential in their children and started asking for literacy programs of their own. Today there are 24 adults enrolled in literacy classes!
In the capital city of Lilongwe, a small storefront library has opened. Within days, the small room was overflowing with people of all ages eager to read the marvelous books and use the educational resources. A too small library is a wonderful problem to solve.
As word of ELI's activities spread, a young mother approached ELI Director Jacob H. and asked for help for her daughter, who had been born with deafness. Dorothy lived in a world of silence and isolation, as there are no resources available in the village for special needs children. Dorothy's story touched all our hearts, and the ELI team prayed how we could best help this little girl. Prayers were answered.
A school for special needs children in Lilongwe accepted Dorothy as a student, and is teaching her and her mother sign language and other life skills. Day by day, Dorothy participates more and more in village life, and the entire community shares the joy of Dorothy's parents at this miraculous transformation. Your prayers and donations opened this door.
From a few bookshelves in a rural Zambian village school, to a ministry that establishes libraries and learning programs that serve thousands of people, ELI’s success could not reach such heights without the compassion and support of generous donors. There is still work to do, and during this giving season, we invite you to consider a regular monthly donation for operating costs such as facility rent, office supplies, mailing costs, and stipends for staff in Africa. To meet costs, we ask and pray for 60 donors to commit to a $40 monthly gift.
The cost of Dorothy’s schooling needs is $200 / week. As of this newsletter, all funds earmarked for her education have been depleted. Without additional funding, her education is on hold.
As always, designated funding for one-time needs is welcome.
If You Give A Child A Book
with apologies to Laura Numeroff (author of If You Give a Mouse A Cookie)
If you give a child a book, she is going to want to learn to read.
If you teach her to read, she will ask for more books.
If you find more books, she will catch the reading bug and ask for a library.
If you give her a library, she will become hungry for learning and will want to go to school.
If you find her a school to attend, she will ask for learning supplies.
If you give her learning supplies, she will grow to be educated and want a good job.
Once she finds a good job, she will gain an improved life and will help those around her.
If she helps those around her, she will want to give a child a book.
If she gives a child a book, he is going to want to learn to read.
- Kathleen A.
ELI Board of Directors and professional children's librarian.