Earthquake Damage 9/24/19

A Magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck Pakistan on Tuesday, September 24th.  This photo was taken near the epicenter.

Thank God for no loss of life at Christ Public School, but there is damage to the walls and roof overhang.

Amin is very concerned, since children play under those walls and roofs.  It will require $600 to repair the cracked walls.

Please pray for the safety of everyone at the school, and for the necessary funds to become available for the repairs.

Here is a closeup of one of the cracked walls:

 

 

Thank you to everyone who is able to help… and thank you for the prayers.

Amin has posted a brief video on his Facebook timeline:

https://www.facebook.com/amin.issac/videos/1614593895338901/?t=29

 

New Notebooks for the New Semester

Presenting Notebook to a boy.It is time to supply new notebooks to the children for the final semester of 2019.

(The Pakistani school year coincides with the calendar year, with the new school year beginning in January.)

Notebook Cover Design

This is the new cover design… isn’t it beautiful?  The writing is in both English and Urdu.

 

Here is what the cover from the previous term looked like:

Notebook Cover - Old
2nd Term Notebook Cover

As you can see, the new design is a nice change for the children, even though the previous design was also beautiful.

Amin is very thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ that enough notebooks were supplied for the 2nd Term, which is now ending.

Now he needs to purchase 1,000 notebooks for the final semester that runs from 20 September to 20 December. He is requesting us to join him in buying the notebooks for the kids.

The need is urgent, as he needs the money by September 20th.

Stack of Notebooks
Previous Term Notebooks

Every $1.00 received will purchase 3 books, so everything counts. Don’t hold back just because maybe you can’t send very much.  All donations are welcome, and God will help the funds to multiply and be enough.

“I request to all my friends, join me in prayers and send your generous love gifts for notebooks, if possible. God bless you.”

To donate securely through Paypal, simply click on the Donate button at the top right of this page.

“Our work depends upon faith; we are nothing without your love support and prayer support.  God bless you, Friends.”  ~ Amin Issac

Susan’s Video

Image from VideoOne of Amin’s friends, Susan Moss Jenkins, made a beautiful video asking her friends to help fund an air conditioner for Amin and the school. (You can see her heartfelt video on the Donate page.)

As she explains in the video, Amin’s health has been suffering, and the extreme heat in Pakistan is making it difficult for the required medicine to work properly to help him.

The well-done sequence of photos in the film gives many glimpses into the school’s daily life and recent history. Every shot with the children’s sweet faces is precious.

video scene of Amin and orphan girlThis is one of my favorite scenes from the video, because I remember this adorable little girl who found a special place in my heart. She came to the school a few years ago, shortly after both of her parents had died tragically. She was staying with her grandmother, and was so thrilled to be able to come to the school.

In this photo, she was so new to the school that she didn’t have a uniform yet. But her face shows the joy of being loved and accepted, even though she was certainly sad over the recent loss of both parents.

This is the perfect photo to illustrate just how big Amin’s heart is… no matter how little funding he has, or what health challenges he is facing, he just can’t turn away a child who is hurting.

Thank you, Susan, for creating and sharing this excellent video!

Summer Vacation is Something NEW in Pakistan

Pakistan news article about summer vacations
News Article May 17, 2019

Pakistan has changed their school calendar this year. Up until now, schools have operated on a year-round schedule, with only very short breaks a few times during the year.

But things are changing.

Due in part to the changing climate and increasingly hot summers each year, the government is now mandating a summer vacation for all schools and colleges.

In Punjab province, where Christ Public School is located, the schools will be closed from June 1 to August 14 for summer vacation.

Example of a Workbook
Example of a Summer Vacation Home Workbook

But learning will continue while the students are at home, because Summer Vacation Home Workbooks will be sent home with the children. These will contain specific lessons that need to be completed – at each grade level – during the 10 week break.

Principal Amin has asked for our prayers and help in providing workbooks for 250 children, costing $2.00 per child. The workbooks must be procured before the end of this month.

Example of Summer Vacation Workbook
Another Example of the Workbooks To Be Ordered

If you’re able to help, please donate as soon as possible so that Amin will have time to place his order and receive the books prior to May 31st. Amin says, “It’s very compulsory for each child. God bless you.”

As always, Amin and the children are very grateful for all the prayers and support from so many people who care.

Security Cameras Required For The School

CCTV security camerasDue to an increase in terrorist activity over the past few years, the Pakistani government now requires security cameras to be installed in all schools.

Already, shortly after the Peshawar school attack in 2014, all of Pakistan’s schools were required to construct eight-foot-high boundary walls topped with razor wire. Amin’s school only had 6-foot walls at the time, so the needed changes were made.

CCTV cameras were also being highly recommended. Now they are compulsory. Of course, this is a huge expense for a school that depends mainly on donations!

A short news article from three years ago* in the Episcopal News Service website expressed it well. After listing the security measures being imposed by the government at that time, they added (quoting from a Peshawar
church news site):

“ ‘All the Christian educational and other institutions have already taken the so-called security measures but they are highly inadequate,’ Frontier News says. ‘The arms and ammunition, security cameras, walk-through gates, barriers and the armed guards are an expensive commodity, and far beyond the reach of poor and highly vulnerable Christian communities.’ ”

one end of the courtyardPrincipal Amin is required to install 4 Closed Circuit Television security cameras, two inside the courtyard, and two outside the front entrance.  The two in the courtyard will monitor the interior classroom doors.the other end of the courtyard

 

The two exterior cameras will capture video in both directions, up and down the street.School exterior - entrance doors

 

Amin hopes the cost will not exceed $200 to $250. The CCTV cameras are supposed to be installed by April 10 when the school’s registration is renewed.

Besides the cost of the camera system, there’s a $300 total fee for the school registration renewal, with part of it due by April 10th as a deposit. The registration renewal process will continue for 2-3 months.

The registration fee covers things like filing fees for legal documents for all the teachers, having the floor plan (“school map”) drawn of the school, and health certifications.

floor plan drawing
Map of the School

The deadline is here, and more help is needed. Please be praying for this need to be met, and any donations you care to contribute will be greatly appreciated.

Meanwhile, Amin has recently accepted two new students into the school, “very poor children”. His heart is so big, he would gladly take in even more if there was room for them.

Amin posing with 2 new students.
Two New Students

There are now 252 students in the regular daytime classes, and another 55 in the “academy” that Amin teaches after the school session ends. This is a special afternoon/evening program for older students who were unable to regularly attend school when they were younger, and they need to catch up.


* If you’d like to read another, more recent article about school security in Pakistan, here’s one from December 2018: Gulf News Asia

2019 Uniform Day Celebration Tomorrow

poster announcing Uniforms Day

Every year Christ Public School gives uniforms to the orphans and poor children who attend the school, by the grace of God.

Here is a picture from last year.school uniform day

This year’s Fun Fair and Uniform Ceremony will take place on February 28, which is tomorrow night (the 27th) on the U.S. side of the globe.

Amin reports that they have counted 50 kids this year who need a uniform, socks, shoes, a tie, and so forth.  This will cost about $15 per child.

child who needs a uniformHere is a precious little boy raising his hand to indicate that he needs a uniform.

As always, Amin appreciates everyone who is able to help supply the needed funds to carry on the work of educating these children and giving them a future.

He invites you to help one or more kids by “sending your Love” by Western Union, Money Gram, or Paypal.  “God bless you. Remember this program in your prayers.”

It’s never too late to join in, because the needs are ongoing. Books are still being paid for in installments, due at the end of each month.  Then there are teachers’ salaries, food for the lunch program, and so much more just to keep the school functioning day after day.

God always supplies the needs and makes a way, and you and I are so blessed to be a part of the blessing for these children.

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.