by Joy Casey

Nothing energizes me more than being knee-deep in wiggly, exuberant kids. I can’t always be physically present in our school, Sunday School, and literacy classes, but I vicariously enjoy the children through the pictures and videos our Children’s Director faithfully sends me.

Mana Gammachuu School welcomed sixty children to pre-school and kindergarten. Over the summer the classrooms were refurbished and freshly painted, and the lunchroom was expanded so all sixty children can eat lunch at the same time. Thirty children who graduated to first grade were equipped with school supplies, uniforms, and tuition to continue their learning journey in the village government school.

Picture Day at Mana Gammachuu Kindergarten!

Most of the villages where we have established Christian communities do not have schools. The closest government school is a one to two hour walk away (or more) and most children can’t attend. In the 15 villages without schools and where there is an established church, 553 young children are being taught to read by the missionaries. Sunday schools have been established in all 18 church plants and 652 elementary-age children come weekly to learn about Jesus.

To kick off the new year*, one village church had a children’s conference. About 35 children from Christian families regularly attend Sunday School, but they were encouraged to invite their neighbors for the morning gathering.

The theme was “Giving Thanks,” and Sunday School children were recognized by church leaders for faithful attendance and outstanding participation.

Songs were sung, stories told, and treats placed in each eager little hand. This church places a high value on discipling their children and instilling in them grateful hearts that love Jesus.

*Ethiopian New Year is September 11