Teachers for Africa Desert Benefit Community Hope School-Namibia

October, 2006

Tuesday, October 17 6:30-8:30
Bethel Bible Church 17121 Hwy. 69
South Tyler, Texas 75703
RSVP 903 - 839 5007

Religion Editor 10/06/2006

African Children

Due in large part to a strong Texas response, a Tyler couple has dramatically increased their outreach to African AIDS orphans and children struck by debilitating poverty. Teachers For Africa, launched from Tyler in January 2005, will report on the implementation of an after-school program and computer classes in Namibia at a benefit dessert in Tyler on Oct. 17.

Gary Brandenburg, former pastor of Grace Community Church, will speak at the benefit at Bethel Bible Church for John and Suzanne Hunter, who are members of Bethel and who moved to Namibia in 2005.

"There are terrible things happening all over the world," said Brandenburg, now senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas, on Monday. "And what are we doing about it? I respect Teachers For Africa and John and Suzanne because they did something to address poverty in the world, instead of holding yet another committee meeting. They've done something. How many people do you know who would relocate to Africa and attach feet and a face to their prayers?"



Teachers for Africa

Whitney and Suzanne
African Childrens


"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. email: religion@tylerpaper.com
İTyler Morning Telegraph 2006 

Teachers for Africa is a program on the training campus of YWAM Namibia.
ywam namibia
Contact us:
YWAM Tyler
P.O. Box3000 Garden Valley
TX 75771-3000
YWAM NAmibia
P.O. Box 8618
Windhoek, Namibia