Liceo Cristiano students on the swings

About Liceo Cristiano

In the long term, education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty.

 

Changing a nation starts in the communities. And to change the fabric of the communities, schools are essential.

“If your plan is for one year, plant rice.  

If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.  

If your plan is for a hundred years, educate children.”

Liceo Cristiano is planting hope and offering a different path. 

Education provides new opportunities. It opens doors to a better future that would have never been accessible to them. It reshapes culture. 

 

It also is a bridge to the entire family. When you invest in children’s lives, it spills into the lives of the parents, the community, city and nation.

 

Education breaks the cycle of poverty, and Christ breaks the cycle of spiritual poverty.

 

Destinies are changed. 

 

So that is what we are doing with Liceo Cristiano de Monte Sinai through the partnership with people like you.  

Children running into Lugar de Esperanza church in Ecuador

 More About Monte Sinai 

These land “invasions” in the peri-urban areas of Guayaquil, come about through a combination of land-trafficking, lack of housing, and migration of peoples.   People come under the illusion of a better life, trying to eke out a living, where land is cheaper though close enough to the city to look for jobs.

 

Monte Sinai remains one of the poorest areas of Ecuador. The majority of the people live on roughly $2 per person per day (which is also the average of the international world poverty line).

 

The homes, with walls of woven bamboo, are propped up on stilts to avoid the flooding that comes in the rainy season. The majority do not have electricity, plumbing or running water. 

 

Rain floods the unpaved streets regularly, carving ruts into the mud and spilling under the homes. 

 

Single parent homes make up the majority.  Many women find themselves parenting alone when their husbands leave for work in the city. Some never come back. 

 

Domestic violence is rampant.  Chronic malnutrition is widespread.  Teenage pregnancy is the norm.  And as usual, it is the children who take the brunt of the brokenness. 

 

The handful of existing schools in Monte Sinai are overcrowded, underfunded and lack resources. There are not enough schools to educate the child population of Monte Sinai. 

students of Liceo Cristiano show their artwork

 More About Liceo Cristiano de Monte Sinai 

We are dreaming of a world-class school in this area, that when people see it they would ask, "What is this, doing here?“

 

The greatest diamonds are always buried.

 

Liceo Cristiano de Monte Sinai is the fulfillment of a dream to bring quality education to this area. 

 

It holds five classrooms for preschool to third grade, a lab and offices.  We will serve 180-200 children with a rich curriculum and a safe, life-giving environment.

 

About 80 percent of the students attend through a scholarship that pays the majority of their tuition. 

 

The school is an offshoot of Liceo Cristiano de Guayaquil, a school Henry’s parents founded over 30 years ago.

 

The Sinai school hopes to have the impact which the main school has had, with over 100,000 students that have passed through its halls. 

Henry and Ivonne Smith walk the halls of Liceo Cristiano

 More About The Smiths 

 

Henry and Ivonne Smith have served as missionaries in Guayaquil since 2002. 

 

Henry grew up as a missionary kid of Jerry and Janice Smith, who in 1985 established a church, Centro Cristiano de Guayaquil, and a school, Liceo Cristiano de Guayaquil. 

 

Ivonne is an Ecuadorian who began attending Jerry’s church in her teenage years.  In 2000, Henry joined as the youth leader and the two met. They were married in 2002 and together have three brilliant children.

 

Following a “holy hunch” they ventured out in April of 2010 to plant a church in Monte Sinai, one of the slums of Guayaquil, Ecuador.   One of the fastest growing unreached people groups on the earth are the women and children of the urban slums.  To counteract the hopelessness they witnessed, they planted “Un Lugar de Esperanza” (A place of HOPE) with the help of a handful of volunteers.

 

It has grown to include two Sunday services, with Sunday school and nursery.  There are small groups throughout the week, youth on Saturdays, a program for pregnant women and newborns, and a children’s feeding program, which feeds 500 children twice weekly in partnership with Compassion International.