By Vanessa Mosharaf
(DALLAS, Texas) — Members of Pleasant Terrace Baptist Church illustrated a giving spirit when they donated $15,833 to Buckner Children and Family Services to further the ‘Bantu project’ that will benefit hundreds of Ethiopian families starting this fall.
Rev. T.J. Norvell, pastor of Pleasant Terrace, said the gift came from the proceeds of the sale of their church building to Centro Cristiano Elohim Iglesia Bautista. Buckner was one of three recipients of the proceeds.
Pleasant Terrace now uses the fellowship hall for church services, while Centro Cristiano Elohim uses the sanctuary, Norvell said.
“The people are very glad that Buckner got part of it,” he said.
Perhaps not as glad as the people who will receive the money, said Randy Daniels, vice president of Global Initiatives for Buckner. “It’s a God-send to say the least.”
The Bantu project is an educational center for preschoolers through 8th graders that is currently in development in a small community in Ethiopia.
Buckner International has partnered with a network of churches from East Texas called the E-Team and the Ethiopian government for the center which should open by September, Daniels said.
“Its primary function is to operate privately as a Christian school, but one that is open to the public and will serve even the poorest families in the community,” he said. “In addition, it will have other programs for community development such as adult literacy classes, and after-school ministry for children who do not attend the school.”
The site will also have a group home for about 10-12 orphans who will attend the school.
The goal is to reach beyond the school, Daniels explained, to lift the community through creating jobs, job training and a better healthcare system.
“The long-term vision is to have 15-20 of these centers throughout Ethiopia,” he said. “The Bantu center will be a model for the rest.”
The Pleasant Terrace donation helped to relieve some of the home-stretch money stress, Daniels said. “The timing was perfect. We’re at the tail end of the project and we were looking for more money to finish.”
Daniels said his team will look to the future when this project is complete.
“With the plans ready for the next three Ethiopian education centers, the need is for people with a passion for children and education to partner with us.”
For more information on how to support Buckner’s work in Bantu, Ethiopia, contact Randy Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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