DES MOINES, Iowa—After raising money for four months to assist a school in India, junior high students at Grandview Park Baptist School, a ministry of Grandview Park Baptist Church, compiled their funds the evening of their junior high banquet.
Geoff Lane, a junior high Bible and math teacher at Grandview Park and sponsor of the school’s junior high senate, tells how the service project was chosen: “Around the end of January, I sat down with my 10 students on junior high senate, and we started brainstorming ideas for our service project. We finally settled on assisting the Dr. J. Frank Davis Public School in Nidumolu, India. The school staff had a great desire to teach their students computer skills but had neither computers nor the necessary money ($2,400) to buy the computers.”
From that time on, the Grandview Park students began saving money for the project. Geoff recounts, “One student collected pop cans to turn in for the deposit. One student asked her parents for an advance on her babysitting money. Some students had cleaned up their yards after winter, while others gave away birthday money. One student took money out of his college savings. One student (who literally had nothing to give) won a portable DVD player that night and gave it back so the money could instead go to the school.”
While the students were planning, working, and saving, their student leaders in the senate were praying. Geoff says, “On more than one occasion our time ended with me in tears as I listened to 13- and 14-year-olds asking God to help them give their money away.”
Also during that period, God opened the door for the students to meet Wesley Chatla, administrator of the school in India. He was in Iowa to speak at Faith Baptist Bible College. Geoff says, “We were able to arrange for him to meet our students and to share about both his culture and his school, and to portray specifically some of the needs there.” Geoff also spent time with his students looking at what the Bible says about giving, how to give, and why we give. They “earnestly prayed that God would help people be willing to obey the call to give,” says Geoff.
The night of the banquet—after the dinner, a speaker, a version of the TV reality show The Amazing Race, and door prizes had ended—Geoff found the offering box overflowing. He says, “As I sat down with my coworkers and began to count the money, we realized that God had answered all of our prayers beyond what we could have imagined! When we were done counting the money, God had raised $3,240 for our brothers and sisters in India.”
The junior highers’ sacrificial giving provided all the computers the school in India needed, plus 19 desperately needed desks for the school’s kindergarten classes.
- Read Wesley Chatla’s thank-you letter sent to GLS.