The FPC/Bolivian/Korean Mission began in 1996. In 1993, Rev. Ik Bai Moon opened the Eden School for grades K-12, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with support and financial assistance from the Suhnam Presbyterian Church in Kwangju, South Korea. The Eden school is the center piece for Rev. Moon’s missionary work.
In the year 2000 (21 years ago), FPC began donating scholarships for Eden students. Since then we have given the gift of an education to 1,800 Eden students. Such a gift makes a huge difference in both the life of a student and their family. For the last 5 years, the cost of a full scholarship has been $400. Inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic has now increased the cost of a full scholarship to $600. This is a hardship to many parents, as Bolivia is the poorest country in South America.
COVID-19 hit Bolivia hard. Places of work and all schools were locked down, on and off for the past year and a half. With the current pandemic, many Eden School students are unable to pay tuition. And, in order to abide by social distancing guidelines, the Eden School is operating at half capacity with 350 students (full capacity is 650 students). However, they still require the same number of teachers because all of the classrooms are occupied, with fewer numbers of students in each class.
The teachers are happy because they can teach again and the students are happy because they can learn once again, but the tuition per student increased so that the teachers could all be paid. The teachers are caring people, who see the students every day. They pass on their Christian values and instincts to their students and it is the teachers who ultimately receive their salaries from the scholarship money we donate for the children’s education.
Our FPC Mission budget funds, normally used to buy medical, dental and vision supplies for our summer mission trips, was redirected to the Eden School for operating expenses this year. Many FPC members, PW Circles, and several Church School classes have generously sponsored Eden School students in past years. If you would like to participate this year, towards providing an education to a Bolivian student at the Eden School, the Bolivian Mission team would gladly accept your donation. A full scholarship is $600, but partial scholarships are very welcome. Your scholarship donations serve the students, their teachers and their families.
Please make your check to First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh and make sure to write “Bolivian Eden Scholarship” on the memo line. If you contribute online, indicate that your donation is for Bolivian Eden Scholarship in the comment section. Donations need to be in to the church prior to December 31, 2021.
Thank you! And please keep praying for Rev. Moon’s recovery from COVID-19 and his ministry in Bolivia.