We've been doing our best to keep you updated on everything that's going on here at the Esther School, but we have a unique opportunity to not only update you on a new project, but to invite you to get involved directly. As you may know, the plans for the Esther School include a community library and we have slowly been developing its capacity. Several shipments of donated books have recently filled out our inventory but we are in need of some bookshelves to give them a proper home.

You likely also know about the parent volunteer component of our school. In lieu of school fees, parents of students are asked to donate their time and talents to raise money for the school or assist in its operation. Many of our parents possess skills and talents but have little opportunity to put them to use in the absence of an economy here in the village. One such parent is Jacob, the father to a preschooler, little Mandonna.

Jacob is a model parent and a skilled carpenter but has little chance of selling anything here. He farms and works for the local health clinic, but cares not only for his 2 children but 4 teenage orphaned nieces and nephews and cannot afford to buy materials from town or transport any goods there to sell. Recently, Jacob built a bookshelf with his volunteer hours and materials we provided.

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Jacob at work

Jacob did such a nice job that we would like to hire him to build 15 more bookshelves to outfit the library. For about $80 each we can buy the materials and pay Jacob an honest wage for his time. If you are interested in getting involved, you can simply send a check to the GEMS office (PO Box 7529 Grand Rapids, MI USA 49510). Please indicate "Esther School - Bookshelf" in the memo line. You can also give online at gemsgc.org.

Thank you for your support!

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Jacob with Mandonna