In Colombia, public schools aren’t as common as in developed nations and those that do exist provide humanist, communist or New Age philosophy. With a growing burden for education, we pioneered Christian education in Spanish with Ekklesía School in 1981. For years it covered preschool through elementary but, in 2003, we opened the first junior high course with plans to extend the grades through high school, adding the following grade each year.
Ekklesía School has been approved by the Colombian government for a curriculum based on Biblical principles and values. It focuses on the formation of a child’s character – including prevention of moral deviations. All the teachers are not only Christians, but have been trained in the Christian philosophy of education. The school has been extremely well received by the community, but we have had to turn students down due to lack of space.
Ekklesía School is located on six acres of land on the edge of the city. It currently has 3 levels of preschool and full elementary and Jr. high schools. In the 2006-2007 school year it has 125 students, coming from 25 churches in Cali.
Our goal is to form godly character in the children by encouraging them in their relationship with the Lord Jesus, teaching them Biblical principles that will strengthen their faith, and, at the same time, maintain a high academic level. We receive favorable reports from the parents about their child’s improved behavior and growth in the Lord in just a matter of weeks after entering our school. Many parents have been strengthened in their own faith because of their children’s example. This only encourages us to continue to invest in these young lives to prepare them to impact our society in a position way being salt and light to the nations.
Since there are government regulations concerning educational costs, education is an economic challenge for many families. With a minimum wage of approximately 200 US dollars per month and with more than one child, parents just cannot afford to put their children in school. The monthly cost for one child in Ekklesia School is $40 US dollars and this does not include the $250 US dollars needed to cover the yearly tuition, books, materials and school uniforms. Most parents can pay $10/month, but we need to raise scholarships for the rest of the cost. There are 30 children needing your help.
A one time gift of $250 will pay for a child’s tuition and initial expenses. Another $300, or a monthly donation of $30, will provide a partial scholarship for a full school year. Your sponsorship will greatly contribute to the education of these children in need.
San Lucas health department was founded in 1994 and provides education in preventative medicine as well as outpatient services in biological alternative health care (boosting immune system). Since so many of the people are poor, many cannot afford to pay or buy normal prescription drugs. This form of care give them the best opportunity for long term well being through diet, proper nutritional and alternative measures. With the limited facilities, some patients have to be seen in their home or in borrowed doctors offices, causing lost time and additional expense due to staff travel. With the expanded facility this lost time and expense could be utilized to serve more patients.
The man who threatened Julio Ruibal’s life, continued to threaten the lives of the leaders during five years after Julio’s death and harassed the work after that. Since his property is on a lower level of the hill below Ekklesía’s property, he dug underground caves into our property around the base of the poles holding the electricity cables making them unstable and dangerous. It is imperative that the electricity cables be brought in and distributed underground to assure safety and diminish the possibility of vandalism.
The school has operated under Ekklesía Colombian Christian Center until the present. However, new laws have limited churches to religious meetings, demanding that schools have a separate legal representation. Because of this, we are in the process of founding a Colombian foundation, Colombia Foundation for Family Care. This foundation will be able to give legal coverage to the school as well as the other ministries in which we are involved or will be developing.
We are in great need of expanding our facilities for the school and health departments. We have architectural plans drawn up and the proposed building expansion will allow us to double the number of students in our school, allowing us to add high school grades along with the required major computer and science laboratories, art room and a larger library with computers. Land needs to be purchased for new entrance, parking lot and playground for the school. Because Ekklesía is located on a steep hill, water control, and retaining walls are extremely important, and are particularly expensive. This building will also allow us to extend our health department significantly.
All of the above improvements are included in the phase one – building project.
Safety and security is a major concern in Colombia and a wall needs to be built around the property. Additionally, there are other retaining walls that are required on the property. While not all of these of these are not absolutely necessary for this project, they are projects that must be done as soon as possible. This is phase two-additional work required listed below.
In 1985 Julio C Ruibal Ministries (a 501 c3 nonprofit corporation) was founded in the United States and registered in the Colombian banks to help fund and guide Ekklesia’s development. This organization provides access to supplemental operating funds and minor development monies. It could be used for the receipt of funds and provide detailed reports of the use of the same.
Costs for the projects are as follows:
PHASE ONE – BUILDING PROJECT
Completion of existing facility
|PHASE TWO – ADDITIONAL WORK REQUIRED
Perimeter Wall around property