The International School of Carpina has classes for students in preschool through ninth grade and currently has over 120 students and 25 teachers/staff members. It is a unique school in the area that offers a variety of programs not offered anywhere else. Perhaps the biggest draw to the school is the native English speaking teachers from the US and England who teach an intensive language program. There is no other school in the area that can boast that. In addition to the general subjects (math, Portuguese, science, history, geography, Physical Education, English, Bible) offered there are a variety of elective programs presented for all the grades – something else that is not available at many schools around here. There are dance, swimming, soccer, art, and karate classes available for all grade levels.
One of the major setbacks for most missions organizations is inadequate funding. The International School of Carpina opened in 2006, in part to help raise funds, but also to reach out to the community in a brand new way. It sounds like a contradiction – fundraising by community outreach - but it’s an answer to prayer.
The cost of upkeep at the Alcance, the ministry headquarters, has always been astronomical. The building is in constant use which leads to steady need for upkeep, from paint jobs to remodeling. These are costs that have been extremely difficult for the ministry to pay for. The seminary’s tuition and funding from supporters in the US helps, but has never paid the whole bill. The International School’s income looks to be what will finally cover the expenses of the building.
The main prayer requests at each church have always been prayers for jobs. The school has providing many new jobs for teachers, clerical workers, maintenance, janitors, cooks, and more. As the school grows the need for help grows and the church members are the first people who are asked.
The upper-middle class in this area is growing and World Renewal Brazil has generally been more of an outreach to the underprivileged. The ministry isn’t looking to use this group of people for their money, but to reach out to them in a practical way. There are many people who care about the education and nurture of their children, but don’t see how church or God fit into that picture. We emphasize Christ and Christian character in all of our classes (not just the Bible class), in our assemblies, in our teacher meetings, and in our special programs.
We witness Christ’s change in our lives by sharing our lives with our students and their parents, especially by bridging the gap between the classes. There is a huge division between the have and the have-nots in Brazil that we strive to break down through the school. All the staff is on equal ground from the janitors to the administrators and the students see that. There are kids on scholarship and students who pay full price who receive the same education and attention. The school seeks to introduce these students (and their parents) to Christ and to provoke them to change their communities by being more generous and caring members of society.
As value of the US dollar is declines, there is more of a need for the ministry to be as financially self-sufficient as possible. As the school grows there is the goal that funds will pour from it into various other areas of the ministry, especially the Living Stones projects. In the future the school will be directly supporting church planting through sponsoring Living Stones church plants, while it continues to raise future church planters and Christian leaders.