Tag Archives: Buen Pastor

Helping School Kids Blossom In Ecuador

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By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

IMG_0750Filled with joy, the young boy ran out of the classroom, down the stairs and found his father in the school courtyard. He held the bag up high like a boy showing off a trophy or a new video game. During the next hour, he clutched the bag tightly as though it contained treasure.

What was in that bag? Gold? Money? Candy? No just basic school supplies. Pencils, erasers, paper, markers, etc.

IMG_0737For many kids, these supplies would be met with modest appreciation. But here at the Buen Pastor Inglesia Elementary School outside of Quito, Ecuador, they represent valuable gifts that kids will use for school, homework and creative fun. Many of the families simply cannot afford school supplies.

In late August, ER staff had the opportunity to visit the school, which was ramping up for the 2016-17 year. 50 kids showed up to register for classes and each received a bag of IMG_0738school supplies. There were smiles all the way around, from the kids to the teachers to the administrators. The supplies will allow these kids to start the school year on track. Keeping the kids and their families motivated and confident can make the difference between staying in school and prospering, or dropping out and getting stuck in a cycle of poverty.

The school has grown quickly in recent years, thanks partially to classrooms built by short-term ER volunteer construction teams. IMG_0744ER’s Paul and Susan Fernane have shepherded several teams of hardy volunteers who enthusiastically laid block, poured concrete and built walls and roofs, all while loving on the kids and families. 390 kids now attend the Kindergarten through Grade 5 school.

Buen Pastor’s Ramiro Baez took the opportunity to fire up the kids and challenged them to be ready to start classes. He then shared his passionate vision for the school and the community with ER staff. He desperately wants to see this generation of IMG_0751kids flourish.

Despite the recent attendance growth of the school, the added classrooms and higher quality of education, needs remain. The school is  short about 50 desks as they begin the year, each costing about $50 to build.

Interested in supplying a desk or two for these kids?  Click here and designate your gift “Buen Pastor Desks”.

Many thanks to ER supporters and volunteers who have generously poured into kids in places like Ecuador. Learn more about Buen Pastor here.

Volunteers Pour Into Families, Build Classrooms For Kids

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By Paul Fernane

ER’s Paul Fernane directs short-term teams in the Americas, with a majority of those trips taking place in Ecuador where he is stationed. Below, Paul shares the recent impact created by a team from Washington state.

13432242_10209580415128723_2131413342038100721_nThe team from Kennewick Baptist Church did an awesome job of strengthening their relationship with our partner Buen Pastor, an organization that serves impoverished people in Pifo, Ecuador. The team worked alongside ER staff and spent some special moments with them throughout their stay. The staff opened their homes, shared meals, challenged the team and created memories.

IMG_20160624_155146603_HDR - CopyER’s Jose and Teresa Jimenez, who also pastor a church in nearby San Carlos, hosted the team at their home and enjoyed having the team help with their Community Kids Clubs.

The team spent time in three different communities and brought joy to the kids there. It is fun to see how spending time with kids and playing simple games like Duck, Duck, Goose, providing a craft and Beanie Baby can brighten up a kid’s face.

Kennewick 2016One of the most impactful time was when the team visited three families that earn their living recycling items from the Quito garbage. The first visit was hard. Margarita, the wife and mother of the first family, was physically and emotionally abused the night before we met. We had to meet her at the Quito Family Resource Center because she had to leave her home. The team had brought food, clothes, hygiene items and a soccer ball for her children.

IMG_20160629_092111909_HDR - CopyHowever,  the team demonstrated warmth to her that morning and that meant so much more than the gifts. The team visited two more families that day and delivered the items and demonstrated heartfelt love to them too.

The classroom construction took shape during 10 days. Pastor Ramiro said no group had tried to do three classrooms before and complimented the team for giving such great effort. The classrooms will be a huge blessing 13502008_10209580404768464_8992857601217032962_nto the high school when classes resume after the summer break.

The team is already brainstorming about what to do in 2017.

Want to bring a team of volunteers and impact the lives of at-risk families in one of the 10 countries where ER serves? Our short-term teams typically spend 7-10 days doing educational support, sports camps, home/school construction, light maintenance and health screenings. Click here to learn more.