by Melissa Wimer
RISE International, an organization founded on faith and love, grown through determination and dedication, celebrated their tenth anniversary last year. During their ten years of service in Angola, RISE has built 140 schools in rural areas. The story of RISE has merged with my own story, as I have been fortunate to visit Angola both this past July and in the summer of 2010. Our goal, to fulfill RISE’s mission, Isaiah 58:10, “…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness…”
In practice, we were there to lead teacher workshops in three locations – Lobito, Balombo, and Chilonda. Each team member prepared workshops, had their lessons translated into Portuguese, endured numerous vaccinations for conditions both known and unknown, and purchased more plane tickets than you can possibly imagine.
When we finally arrived at our first set of workshops, we met our first 100 participants. During our stay we worked with over 300 teachers, pastors, and community leaders. Our workshops ranged from teaching math lessons to strategies of how to get clean water. We worked closely with the participants as we ate with them, sang with them, prayed with them, and learned from each other. None of this would be possible without our incredible and talented team of translators.
I would like to share my experiences with you. Please join me on March 18 following service for photos and stories. Thank you for your support.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square is located at 2649 N. Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647. Please visit our Facebook event page for more information: http://www.facebook.com/events/120681188056897/