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Winter Vacation Extended Due to Cold Weather

Pakistani Newspaper ArticleToday should have been the first day of the new school year for the kids at Christ Public School.

However, due to extremely cold weather, the Pakistani government in that province has extended the winter vacation for both public and private schools.

This is the news article (on the left) that Amin posted in his Facebook timeline.

Understanding the School Year

The school year in Pakistan is different than in many other places including the U.S.  In fact, there are two different calendars within Pakistan, depending on whether the school is a Christian school or a secular school.

Most Christian schools end the old school year and begin the new school year according to the calendar year.  So, toward the end of December, the children are taking their final exams and having the big Results Day event where they learn their test scores, receive trophies for achievement, and are promoted to the next class.

Secular schools, on the other hand, will end their school year in March and begin the new year in April. So when those kids are going back to school in January following the winter break, it is still the same school year (just like here in America).

Winter Vacation runs for about two weeks.  (The Results Day is actually a special celebration that’s held during the break.)  This year, the break is closer to being three weeks long because of the weather delay.

books sorted into stacks, ready to distribute
Books Sorted and Ready for Distribution to the Children

Books for the coming school year are frequently given out on Results Day at Christ Public School, but there was a delay this year due to shortage of funds.  Books were distributed to the kids from December 28th to 30th.

children with new school books     And then, school was supposed to start again on January 2nd, but now it will start on January 7th instead.

Meanwhile, Amin appreciates all donations that have been received so far, and has faith for the remaining funds to be provided, as he will be making the installment payments for the books at the end of each month.

The shop owner was willing to let Amin pay for the books in three installments, to be paid in full by March 31st.

book invoice

The Books Have Arrived

book shopAmin went to the book shop today and selected the books for the new school year, then had them delivered by motor bike cart.

Amin’s entire journey from his rural village to the larger city and back took him from noon until 6:00 p.m.  It was starting to get dark as they approached the school.

A friend was very kind to transport Amin on his motor bike, since Amin currently has no vehicle of his own.  (He sold his motor bike several months ago to help finance projects at the school.)

school books loaded onto a motor bike cartHow did the books get delivered to the school?

It was quite a process. Amin hired a motor bike cart delivery service to transport the books, with Amin and his friend following behind the cart on the friend’s motor bike.

Here is a video of the books enroute to the school.

Books are on motor bike cart and way to school from city. Its evening time and cold. Thanx Lord me and books reached school safe and sound. Lovely scene of city sheikhupura.

Posted by Amin Issac on Wednesday, December 26, 2018

 

Finally, the books are unloaded from the cart and stacked in the school.

school booksThe shop owner wanted half of the purchase cost as a downpayment, but agreed to let Amin wait until December 31st to pay the first half.

The remaining half of the cost is due in two more monthly installments on January 31st and February 28th.

Donations to help cover these costs are greatly appreciated, as well as your prayers.

Principal Amin standing beside stacks of books

The 250 sets of books will be delivered to the students from December 28 – 30 in preparation for the new school year which begins January 2nd.

The books include Homework diaries and note books, as well as the lesson books for the various grade levels.

This little boy was happy to receive his books last year. boy with school books

These children take their education very seriously and know they are extremely blessed to receive an education. We can’t say “thank you” enough to all the people who help make this possible.

Annual Exams and the Results Day Program

girls speaking at the ceremonyLast week the children of Christ Public School took their annual exams for the end of the school term.

Today they held the “Results Day” reward ceremony where the top achievers were given trophies, and every child was given a gift.

It was a wonderful celebration that included various performances including tableaux, dramas, and debates.

Amin thanked his Facebook friends, saying “Hallelujah, Greeting Dear Friends.  We have successful program of Annual result today. Kids performed different Tabloos or Dramas or debates etc. We are thankful to all of you for prayers.”

A tableau, in case you’ve forgotten, is where people wear costumes and pose in a motionless scene for the audience to enjoy. Here are a couple of examples:

children pose in a tableau

children pose on stage

Here is a photo from last week’s annual exam:

Below, the children were completing their test papers last week. It looks like it was a foggy morning in this outdoor courtyard. Notice how some of the students have to sit on the cold brick floor because there are not enough desks or benches.

students are taking an exam

And here are more photos from the Results Day ceremony:

Children spoke or performed while the audience watched.

boys on stage    young kids in the audience

Results Day audience.

Trophies were presented and gifts were distributed.

trophies are ready    boy holding a trophy

boy receiving a trophy    girl receives a trophy

gifts ready to give to the children    trophies being passed out

There was even an appearance by Santa Claus.

Santa showed up

Next week, books for the next term will be distributed to the children from the 28th to the 30th of December. Principal Amin is pointing to this announcement near the bottom of the banner.

banner shows Books Day

Results Day Banner

The books have been purchased on credit and are ready for distributing to the kids.  Amin is very grateful for donations that have been received. He is trusting God to supply the remaining funds, as only a small amount has been received to date.

The first half of the full price will be due next week (December 31), a payment of $1,250. Amin asks for everyone’s prayers, and for  our donations if it is possible.

The remaining half will be due in two “easy” installments, $625 on January 31, and $625 on February 28.

Let’s all help with our prayers, and maybe some of us can also be a part of this miracle for these precious children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Birthday Celebration – 19 Years

Christ Public School celebrated it’s 19 year anniversary on November 29th, 2018. It was a joyful occasion for the kids.

celebrating school's 19th birthday

kids celebrate the school's birthday     school program commemorates the 19th anniversary of the school's founding

The school’s birthday was not the only birthday to be celebrated that day.  Amin’s twins turned 12 years old the very same day. They were born … totally by coincidence, of course … on the school’s 7th birthday.

twins celebrate 12th birthday

Happy 12th Birthday to Amin’s son and daughter, Happy and Mahek!

School Trip Day Photos

kids get ready for the tripThe school trip on November 27th was a great success!  Funds were received just in time, and the children were able to go.

Here are some of the highlights from their adventure in Had Balo ki safari park.

I can’t help but notice that some of the rides and activities are similar to what American kids experience on a school playground, a community fair, or at a neighborhood park or zoo.  Here we take it for granted that our children can do these simple things. But for kids in Pakistan, it is not so common. Parents are not so easily able to share these kinds of experiences with their children.

Principal Amin was thrilled to share the excitement with the kids. He reported that a person welcomed them at the entry gate with a drum.  Here is a short video he took. (Click on the image):

video imageHere is another video of the children enjoying a ride. Amin posted it on Facebook.

children enjoy a ride - video image

More images… see how much fun everyone was having!

              

              

              

              

       

This was a very satisfying trip, enjoyed by everyone! Thanks for your prayers and help in providing this for the kids.

 

 

Kids are excited, hoping for a field trip

kids enjoying Rana ParkWhere will the annual school field trip’s destination be this year? Amin wants to take the children to the Rana Resort and Safari Park near Lahore, near the Head Balloki Reservoir. It’s an interesting  combination of a wildlife refuge and amusement park.

beautiful trail in Rana Park

Lions at Rana Safari Park

The kids are excited, especially because the date has been set for next week, Tuesday November 27th.

However, it may need to be rescheduled for another date if the needed funds have not come in yet. This trip involves traveling nearly 2 hours each way, plus the low admission cost, and other costs such as feeding everyone. It comes to $300 needed in total.  Bus fare has already been covered now, praise God! Now only $150 remains to be donated.

route map to Rana Park

I’m sure we all can agree that field trips are an important part of a child’s education, especially when the children come from poor families who cannot provide some of these experiences for their children.

This is a popular destination for school trips, as the children can be exposed to a wide variety of mind-expanding experiences all in one place. school kids riding on a wagon

There are various kinds of birds and animals to observe.birds at Rana Park

There is a little “train” (without tracks) that can carry people along some of the roads in this beautiful natural setting. There are also many other attractions.swans and boats

I found a couple of YouTube videos (narrated in the Urdu language) that take you on tours through the park. Apparently, these are professionally done episodes of a local TV show.

Even though it’s not narrated in English, you can get a very good feel for what this place is all about and how Amin’s school kids can be enriched by going there.  (All the images in this blog post are extracted from these two videos.)  I enjoyed watching the videos and feeling like I was experiencing this place for myself.

video image

Click on the video image to watch it in YouTube.
Here’s the other one. Watch and enjoy! Get excited along with the kids!

video image 2

Upcoming Hopes and Dreams

Grocery shopping by motorcycle.
Grocery Shopping

Jackets Day was a success, but in order to have enough funds to provide jackets, Principal Amin sold his motorcycle. In Pakistan, that’s your main (only) vehicle… or you might use a donkey cart, etc.  This motorcycle was what he used for transporting school supplies and food for the children the long distance home from the markets.

Now Christmas is coming, and the annual Gifts Day is scheduled for 22 December. The children have told Amin that they don’t need any traditional Christmas presents this year, they just want to receive new books, notebooks or school diaries along with a school bag.

boy with school books

The children are telling Amin “This is our Christmas gift. If we study hard, one day we will be good Christian and preacher of Jesus Christ. Hope after gotten education, we shall too supports many other children like us in the world.”

These kids understand the value of an education! Amin is inviting people to join them in purchasing books for the children because books are “their bright future”.

They need to purchase 250 sets of books, notebooks or daily homework diaries and school bags. It is only around $10 per child for all these supplies (very reasonable compared to in the U.S.).

Other needs are also projected for the remainder of the school year, including a much-hoped-for educational field trip (described in a separate post). Here is Amin’s detailed breakdown of the projected funds required:

projected budget for Christ Public School

As always, you can click the Paypal button on this site to give any amount, either a one-time donation or a recurring amount that will be charged automatically every month.

And whether you can give or not, Amin and the kids always appreciate your prayers.  Thanks, and God bless!

Arline

Cooler Weather is Here, Jackets are Needed

Weather in Pakistan is similar to what we have here in Phoenix, Arizona: very hot in the summer, cooler and nice right now (late September to early October), and then it quickly becomes really chilly – especially at night – by mid to late October.

In Pakistan, only the rich people have air conditioning, so everyone else does the best they can with just fans.  Then winter comes, and jackets are needed – even indoors.

Little kids raise hands for needing a jacket.

Amin posted this cute photo of the “Play Group Class”  (preschool children) raising their hands to indicate they are without jackets.

On September 17, Amin reported on his  Facebook page that the weather is changing very fast due to rains, and the kids are feeling cool.

He is planning to present all 150 kids with jackets on Jackets Day, October 15th.

Here is a picture of Amin praying over the jackets last year before presenting them to the children.

Principal Amin prays over jackets.

The price of each jacket is $8.00, so Amin requested people to pray, and to donate enough for 5 or 10 jackets (or more) if it is possible. “Please share your love for the school’s orphans and poor kids.”

On September 30, Amin reported that one sister in the Lord had promised to supply money for 5 jackets – so now only 145 still need to be funded.

On October 2, this report was posted: “5 more Jackets received. Total 10 jackets received. Still need 140 more jackets. Please pray and donate if you can.”

Amin’s 150 students at Christ Public School range from preschool through 8th grade. Here is an assembly with all the students.

students in outdoor assembly

Notice that they meet outdoors for assemblies, whether it is hot or cold weather.

All of these kids are eagerly expecting to be blessed with jackets on October 15th.

Please pray and also do whatever God lays on your heart and makes possible…

….. as soon as possible…

…. so that Amin will have time to go into town and purchase the jackets that match the school uniforms.

Thanks so much for your prayers and your help! God bless!