When a child is sponsored through Child Care plus one of the benefits of their sponsorship is receiving all the needed school supplies and uniform, including their shoes.
Typically once we recieve the list for each class, we order all the supplies from a store in the city and have everything delivered to the office/team house. Literally hundreds of books, pens, pencils, and other odds and ends like markers, compasses, coloured pencils ect. As I am sure you can imagine the entire office is taken over by school supplies as we bag everything according to specific grade lists and whether it is for a boy bag or girl. It is very time consuming. Altough I love to organize and enjoy that kind of thing. Inadvertendly though there were times when a boy night have received a princess notebook and a girl might have been given a masculine book. How disappointing that would have been, not to mention embarassing and maybe even shame in the classroom.
However this year, we decided to try something different. God placed an idea in our director Kathy’s heart to try something different. The idea to set up a store where each child could shop for their own school supplies. Some of us on the team were not sure of the idea working. We pictured mass chaos.
But our Honduran staff set up a very well organized store at Pastor Victor’s church. It was organized on tables by type of supplies. Children came at set times by grade and signed in as they came into the store and went table by table to make their selections. On the way out there was a check out where each child’s bag was inspected and the list checked to make sure nothing was missing or anything extra added.
It was wonderful day and a huge success! There were smiles all around..the staff, parents and children. There was pure joy on child’s each face as they got to choose and shop themselves for what they needed. What we were doing before worked. There was nothing wrong with it, but sometimes change is good. Sometimes God has us think outside the box and gives us His sized dreams. This way, I believe gave them a choice, gave them a sense of value, a sense of worth and importance and empowered them.
As for our director Kathy…She described it as the best day ever in her entire ministry career.