Jim Kroh • Derry Member and Board Member, Friends of Presbyterian Education Board

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month (or close to it), the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In September we’re lifting up the Peace & Global Witness Offering that encourages the church to cast off anxiety and fear, discord and division, and embrace our God’s mission of reconciliation to those around the corner and around the world. Read about how Derry is making a corner of Pakistan a better place for eager young students.

Click to watch the groundbreaking and share in the students’ excitement!

For the past several years Derry has talked about and publicized the role we play, as part of our global mission outreach, in providing scholarships to poor, impoverished students (primarily Christian) in the Punjab Province of Pakistan.  A number of Derry members have been involved each year in donating, through Friends of PEB, either $365 (for a day student) and/or $720 (for a boarding student).  These amounts fund a student for an entire academic year.  

This interest and involvement in scholarships culminated with a group of 12 Derry members, all of whom were sponsors of students, traveling to Pakistan as guests of the Presbyterian Education Board (PEB) in the fall of 2019. The visits to schools and students, especially with specific students sponsored by Derry, were extremely rewarding, gratifying, and reassuring. Particularly reassuring was the concrete sense the Derry group had that their contributions were being fully and efficiently utilized. They could see it in the quality of education, the excitement of students to learn, and the passion for teaching in the teachers. 

After the Derry group returned to Hershey, they decided to accept the challenge given to them in Pakistan to help build an additional wing at the boy’s school in Sargodha (Sar-go-da). Through their own contributions and contributions by other Derry members and the Mission and Peace Committee, nearly $430,000 has been raised or pledged. The wing is projected to be completed in 2023. What better global outreach can there be – outreach beyond scholarships and buildings that provides opportunity, hope, changed lives, cross cultural tolerance, and a better world?

In addition to scholarships and buildings, your otherwise undesignated donations provide for other essential resources to include classroom furniture, science lab equipment, fans, laptops and PCs, teacher training and workshops, paper, pencils, and workbooks.

Get involved.  Make a difference where you can actually see a difference. You will derive a sense of great satisfaction and, in the future, perhaps travel yourself to meet some amazing people.  Learn more by visiting Friends of PEB and the Presbyterian Education Board.