Phase 1- The Church
After a crusade/revival was held in the area in 1991, people in Carrefour felt there was need to plant a
church in Chaveneau to shepherd these new believers. A church was started that year and a permanent location was built in July 2005. The name of the church is Christian Church United
in Faith, they are Pentacostal by denomination and they currently holds services every Sunday morning as well as many other times during the week. The
congregation consists of people from the surrounding mountainous region
as well as some from Chantal (the closest town). Many walk a great
distance to worship together. Pastor Duval was the first pastor and is still considered by many to be the main pastor, but since he has been diligently working on Phase 2 (below) he has had another pastor step up to assist. His name is Pastor Junior and he lives in the nearby town of Chantal. The church has about 100 members and gets quite lively on a Sunday morning. Teams traveling to the area will be blessed to worship alongside them and see what God has done.
Phase 2- The School
Once the church was established, it became apparent that there was a need for a school for the children of this farming community. Why? Because in order to get to school the children would have to walk about 2 to 3 miles and cross/wade through 2 rivers. These rivers are not wide, but they are about mid-thigh deep on an average adult and one is quite swift. There is a bridge being built over one of the rivers, but the other one will still need to be crossed on foot. This is very dangerous for a child.Also, the people did not feel they needed a school. As mentioned, it is a farming community, so formal education is a foreign concept. A great deal of "groundwork" was done by Pastor Duval and his congregation to help the people in this area understand and embrace the need for a school since there has never been one. But, again, Pastor Duval stepped out in faith -- truly believing that God was calling him to start this school. It was anticipated that there would be about 12 to 15 students initially, however when registrations were taken, 47 students registered for classes and by the end of the school year (spring of 2011) there were about 75 children in attendance. In the following school year (2011/2012) there were 200 children registered and students had to be turned away due to lack of space, teachers and money to pay for supplies. This project continues to grow. The school is now located on a small plot of land very close to the church.
God gave the vision of starting a professional school in Chaveneau because many people there are literally starving due to the fact that there are no opportunities to learn skills needed to secure jobs needed to provide income for their families. Many fathers leave the area and travel to the city in search of work but this leaves the women/children at home and vulnerable. When the fathers/men travel to the city where few job opportunities exist they are still not marketable because they lack the skills needed to secure a job.
The parent church in Carrefour has a professional school that teaches skills/professions. Since this has been so successful in Carrefour, they have decided to begin a school in Chaveneau. This is exciting for us as an organization since many in the area are eager to learn new skills but can not travel all the way to Carrefour or other professional schools to learn. Currently the focus will be masonry, computer skills, music lessons, sewing and baking/cooking.
Phase 4- The Medical Clinic and Micro Financial Institution
The leaders in Chaveneau believe that there is a need to form a micro financial institution. God has given them a vision of starting this type of place where locals from Chaveneau can come and apply for loans to begin businesses. Many of the locals in and around Chaveneau are very skilled craftsmen but they lack funds to create and market their crafts to the city. Also, once the professional school gets going and people learn more skills, they will want to begin small businesses. This would be an opportunity for them to do so and thus and opportunity to become less dependent upon farming. It will also help them become less isolated and better able to financially provide for their families.