"Teachers" was the idea of the Hunters and the couple started Community
Hope School. Initially, they had 10, just 10, students who came from
"severely impoverished homes."
"These children became my own," said Mrs. Hunter, a mother of five. "I
took them to the library, art gallery, museum, swimming pool and park to
give them a taste of life and knowledge. These 10 had never owned a
book. No one ever read to them. They were trapped in poverty."
Chris, an 8-year-old AIDS orphan who lived with his grandmother,
attended the school.
"When I met Chris, his grandmother was bedridden. No one would help him
get ready for school," said Mrs. Hunter.
Most poor children in Africa don't know what they want to be when they
grow up, she said.
"But Chris said, 'I want to drive a car.' As we talked, he saw that one
day he could not only drive a car, but could buy Granny a nice home, and
take her to the doctor. Then Chris decided he wanted to be a doctor."
"Community Hope School has grown to five times its initial size," Hunter
said. "We took 10 young students from impoverished homes, who had no
chance of an education. By January of 2007, we will have 50 orphans and
vulnerable children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa that are
enrolled at CHS."
"Sometimes America is looked upon negatively because of the triumphant
spirit we have here," said Brandenburg. "We don't experience the
debilitating failures, poverty, death and diseases that other countries
do regularly. That can make us somewhat insensitive to what others are
going through. We can't understand why they just don't 'stand up' or
'get over it.' What we need in the Body of Christ is the enthusiasm to
help others, putting theological differences aside. What I like about
'Teachers' is the creativity that's going on to meet the needs. That
more than makes up for mistakes we might make during ministry. I'll take
people doing something any day over people praying endlessly about what
to do, and never doing it."
Teachers from Tyler have visited Community Hope, said Hunter.
"Our intensive teacher-training program was impacted tremendously by a
visit in July from Caroline Frederickson, elementary-school director at
Christian Heritage School in Tyler. She and her husband, Chris, took two
weeks of their vacation time to come and present a curriculum
development and literature seminar. Chris fixed all of the school's
computers, and now we can introduce the students to the world of modern
technology in computer labs and classes."
The children of the urban poor in Namibia are the ones "most at risk" to
be infected by HIV/AIDS, said Hunter. The school's staff of 10 works
daily to protect their students.
"The security these children have at CHS could be the most influential
factor preventing them from engaging in sexual activity that results in
infections devastating communities across Africa," Hunter said. "All
these advances have been made possible through the generous giving of
the people of Tyler and others in Texas."
Patrick Butler covers religion. He can be reached at 903.596.6304.
İTyler Morning Telegraph 2006