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Brent Hamoud, one of our missionaries in Lebanon, reports from south Lebanon on the start of the new school year at the New Horizons Center, which provides an education, care, and the love of God in a community that is marginalized and lacks access to schools or health facilities:
This week kicked off another year at the New Horizons Center literacy program with a group of new students. These children come from Lebanon’s most marginalized Gypsy and Bedouin communities. Each of them faces extreme challenges that prevent an opportunity to experience formal learning; our program is perhaps their last chance to receive a basic education. And basic it is. The first week has been spent with practical lessons on washing hands, brushing teeth, sitting properly at a table, holding a pencil, walking in lines, understanding basic classroom rules, and other general items that are new to this group of first-time students. By all measures it has been a great start with the children showing real excitement for their teachers and school. We’re blessed to have such a committed and caring staff who truly love these young lives.
Our experience is revealing the impact the New Horizons Center has been making these past four years. The new students are all relatives and fellow community members of former or continuing students, and it is easy to see positive influences have rubbed off on their conduct and attitude towards school. Ultimately this is the goal of the center: to impact a few individuals so that they can rub off a positive impact on their community. Through practical teaching and nurturing in Christ’s love we aim to see lives and communities transformed. This year we hope to take the literacy program forward in different ways and implement initiatives that will work towards this goal. It’s been a good start and we anticipate good things to come, not just for the year ahead but the generations ahead as well.
Please keep these children and their families in your prayers, that God would do amazing things in their lives in the coming year! Thank you!