The Banjara are an unreached people group of almost 70 million worldwide; they are the ancestors of the European Gypsies. In India, the Banjara live mostly in rural areas, in small villages or “thandas.” Literacy is very low, and most never have heard the name of Jesus. Because they are poor and rural, they are an overlooked and neglected people. Banjara farmers raise just enough to support their families while often living in very primitive conditions without running water, electricity, or other comforts. Public schools are of very poor quality offering education only up to the 5th grade in some villages.
The group that oversees the Aletheia Banjara School is GBBMI (Global Banjara Baptist Ministries International). Aletheia is accredited by the Indian government and currently educates almost 300 Banjara students in classes ranging from lower kindergarten to 5th standard (5th grade). Students study several subjects including math, history, Telugu and English. Students also attended a weekly “Moral Sciences” class where they learn Christian character qualities and Bible verses.
Aletheia Banjara School is the best local educational school for Banjara students. Given that most Banjara children do not receive an adequate education, GBBMI believes this program ministers directly to the felt needs of Banjara families. In addition, students are taught by teachers who model Christ’s love and who teach Christian principles. However, the teachers in the schools have no formal educational training; no experience/training on the basics such as record keeping, lesson planning /presentation, student achievement and progress, all of the things necessary to create a productive learning environment.
I have been asked to go, not as an evangelist, but as an educator. I have been asked to help teachers in this school be better in what they do every day, educating those children who without this school would be left to ignorance.
My trip is set tentatively for October 10-17, 2017. I will be traveling with a group of 6 other people; 5 men and 1 other woman. I have been told I will need to raise approximately $2500 to fund this endeavor. I have been praying about this; asking if this is God’s will for me and asking him to calm my fear. There are children and teachers that with Lord’s blessing, I can help.
If you are willing to help, please see me personally, call me, or email me. I have also created a GoFundMe account that can be found through my Facebook page. Above all, I solicit your prayers that God will provide the necessary funds and that His blessings will rest upon my trip. Thank you and may the Lord be with you all.
In Christian Love,
- Christy Cosper
- Elaine Jackson
- Curtis & Vicky Lackey
- Fitzgerald Family
- Jan Cooper
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