Making their Mark
This year we are encouraging the orphan children to really focus on their school work by offering an end of the year reward for anyone who earns an average of 75% (15/20) by the year’s end. Since many of their caregivers did not receive an education, it is hard for them to encourage the kids to do well, or even to excel in school. We have been talking a lot about excellence with the kids, doing our best at all times, in every area of life. We have also challenged them to memorize ten Bible verses by the end of the year which not only puts the Word of God into their hearts and minds, but teaches them valuable skills they can use in school. Knowledge retention, Portuguese wording, concepts and phrasing are all part of memorization that can assist them in other areas.
So far we have seen a good amount of success! Of the children that can attend our twice monthly meetings, nearly all have memorized at least 3 verses already, and most have almost got the 4th one done as well. The children are faithfully keeping all of their tests for us to look over and we have seen lots over 75%. Of course there are always a few stragglers, but we definitely see improvement over last years marks! The kids who live further away are also doing well in school, but are struggling to do the memorization without the encouragement and group practice. Pray we can figure out a way to assist them as they work towards their goals.
Of course we don’t just want them to have good marks for the sake of the good marks, but rather to show them that striving for their own personal level of excellence, in everything they do, is valuable and worthwhile. We also hope to be able to award Children’s Bibles to everyone who memorizes the scripture verse set by the end of the year–having your own Bible here is a very big deal especially one in understandable Portuguese and with pictures.