These videos (see below) are ones I took of the school - Lingira Living Hope Secondary School (LLHSS) - the day before I left the island (April 24, 2011). Since its founding in February 2006, God has raised up Lingira Living Hope and made it a light to the islands and beyond. Permanent buildings are going up, enrollment has increased and there is a spiritual fervor and an insatiable hunger for God and His Word among the students.
Lingira Living Hope in February 2007 - one year after its founding. The structure was wood and boards were almost constantly having to be replaced because of termite damage.
Only God could raise up such a school in a place where education is hardly valued and parents struggle so much to pay for their children's education. It is one of only two secondary schools on the 52 islands that make up the Buvuma chain on Lake Victoria.
Me in November 2006 speaking to the students inside their wood-walled classroom.
Before LLHSS, students had few options after they completed the primary (elementary) level. Because mainland schools are expensive and not easily accessible, young island men and women often quit studying and began working. The boys turned to fishing and it was not unusual for the girls to be married off at 13 or 14.
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." - 1 Corinthians 1:27
When the school began, many in the nearby camps prophesied its demise. And up until this school year (which began in February), the challenges (financial, issues with staff, working with the government, etc.) seemed insurmountable. But, this year, after many heartfelt and persistent prayers, we began to see God meeting these challenges in a big way.
The school was recently chosen to receive some government funding and is very close to being approved as a testing center for our top class. (In the past, our Senior 4s had to spend about six weeks at another unfamiliar but "registered" school, away from their own teachers and peers, before they took their final exam at this level. Our kids often got sick and were not treated or cared for properly, thus affecting their results.)
Lingira Living Hope - April 2011 - sustained by God's grace and thriving after five years.
The office and classroom building is no longer wood, but is of permanent brick and concrete and boasts glass windows and solar power. Other permanent buildings are going up, too! Even more students are expected to come for the second term, which begins May 23.
One of the students being baptized in March. More than half of the 13 new believers baptized in Lake Victoria were LLHSS students.
I am excited for what God will continue to do in and through Lingira Living Hope as it fulfills its vision - "Hope for Transformation."
Enjoy the videos! (Sorry in advance for the quality. :( )
Please keep praying for LLHSS - its teachers, students, financial needs, and most of all that God would be glorified in this island school!
P.S. For more about LLHSS, visit the SHIM website, http://www.shimuganda.com/ and the "Educational and Child Development Programs" page under the "Branches of Ministry" tab.