When this year started, we obviously anticipated our ministries, such as Project Valor, to continue as usual, with only a few changes and improvements. One of those changes was having a new location for the bi-weekly tutoring program. We had just about settled into the place feeling like home when we had to shut it all down in line with the government response to the pandemic. We weren’t the only ones thrown off by this- in fact it took most schools here at least another couple of months before they were at a place to start sending school work home to students.
The kids who benefit from the Project Valor scholarship program not only get help with paying their school fees and with things like purchasing school supplies and uniforms, but they also receive lunch at the tutoring program and have their travel both to and from school covered. In light of this, we were able to redirect the money we were no longer spending on lunches and transportation to be able to put together care packages for the families of all of the Project Valor beneficiaries. The packages included both staple food items as well as some common household supplies to help meet the needs of these families who were already disadvantaged before the pandemic came along. We were able to go out to do this more than once, and could extend the offer of these kinds of helps to others beyond just this group in some of the most struggling communities thanks to the generous and continued donations of Pure Joy Missions’ supporters.
Regarding their schooling, although we have been unable to re-initiate in-person tutoring times, we have been in regular contact with all of the teens, their parents, and their teachers. For those in need of it, we were able to cover some of the cost of network data to enable these young people to participate in online learning and complete any school work that required internet access. We have also sent out weekly devotional videos via Facebook, in lieu of the devotional times that would have taken place during the tutoring program and have been available to try and offer any other help they have requested.
We are now in the midst of preparing for next year’s programs - getting students registered for Project Valor, finding sponsors to pair with them, and developing plans for both possibilities of schools reopening or remaining closed. The Lord alone knows what 2021 will hold for these all these kids, but we continue to pray for and work towards the best outcomes for them. Thank you for being a part of this work done in the name of Christ.