Ann Sponberg Peterson writes:
As I write this entry, Empowering Learners has just closed its financial records for 2015 and is turning the page into our 2016 efforts. This is now our sixth year!
Thanks to wonderful November and December responses to our Christmas Appeal, combined with an early January running start, Empowering Learners is in fine financial position to take some big next steps.
Special thanks to our friends at First Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa, for allowing me to present at the January 3rd Adult Forum. The conversation was supportive and lively and I remain deeply grateful for the full engagement that is present at my home congregation for this effort – a project which is so dear to so many, and which is making a meaningful difference in the lives of the learners we reach.
In the 2015 holiday appeal letter we outlined our plans to ship yet another 40-foot sea-container to Namibia in late February. Plans are on course. I am awaiting the books order forms to be returned to me from Pastor Eliakim Shaanika (secretary of education for the ELCIN) and from our good friend Petrus Kafidi.
Both of these gentlemen are serving as patrons for two fine schools in the North of Namibia. Pastor Shaanika connects this project to the Nakaheke Combined School in Ongandjera, and Petrus Kafidi connects us to the Emanya East Primary School just a few hundred yards north of the Cordon Fence.
Please know how intrigued I was when I started to research the Cordon Fence – what it is, what it means, what it does – this is the stuff of good blog posts so stay tuned as I write more about this dividing line -- an agricultural veterinary fence which crosses the top of Namibia and Botswana and separates so much.
But back to topic! Working in partnership with the incredibly good people at Books for Africa this next sea-container will be filled with approximately 18,000 books and encyclopedias, along with maps and classroom supplies. After this container crosses the Atlantic – traveling the local route and not the express, stopping in many ports along the way – it will arrive into the Port of Walvis Bay, Namibia. After clearing customs and being repacked, it will be trucked to the North by our colleagues and partners at Bollore Logistics. Truly, our contacts at the freight-forwarding firm are our critically important friends since they advocate for us through the port and customs process.
Being a charitable entity with limited resources we need and rely on any and all advocacy.
By late spring (our time) the shipments will arrive at the schools.
It takes many partners to make these shipments happen, not the least of whom are our steadfast and faithful donors. Thank you, thank you so much. The most frequent gift to Empowering Learners continues to be $100 and these $100 gifts power our efforts more than you can imagine. One hundred dollars puts 200 books into the container, it purchases a used and refurbished Dell laptop from Luther College, and it pays for a full new set of Compton’s Encyclopedia.
One hundred dollars floats our boat and for Empowering Learners it’s a very large sea freighter bound for Namibia. Thank you all. God is good. God is always, always, good.