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Half Days

Anthony Elswick

The year was 1999. Then President, Bill Clinton, was impeached and later acquitted. Ricky Martin was Livin’ La Vida Loca. Little Anikan Skywalker had just won the big speeder race in Star Wars Episode 1, and I had just graduated high school. Back in those days, few things brought more joy than a half-day at school… typically they would turn into movie days.

Now, half-days in America are special and from what I gather, provide some extra time for teacher planning. However, Nicaraguan high school is typically only a half-day, with the younger kids going to school earlier in the day and the older kids going later. Of course, that’s assuming you make it to high school, because in Nicaragua, only about 56% of students finish the fifth grade.

This lack of education has a lasting impact not only on the poverty level of Nicaraguans, but also on the church. Most of our American pastors benefit from high levels of education and computer programs to help them research the opinion of leading Christian scholars or to figure out how to parse a Greek verb.

Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that they are unintelligent, just not trained.  See, this is where things really get exciting, because God loves to use the down and out to do great things. You see, when God moves in Nicaragua, you’ll know one thing to be true – that it’s all God. My prayer is that we will get to see men like Peter and John. In Acts 4, they were taken before the Council and questioned, and it says in verse thirteen, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

For futher reading:

TICO Times article Is Nicaragua's Educations System Failing