Suriname Reports

 

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1. The Fire: Before and After March 2003 

2. Cleanup and Rebuilding April-May 2003 

3. New School Year Preps June-July 2003 

4. Rebuilding Begins
July-August 2003 

5. The Walls Go Up September-November 2003 

 6. First Floor Shell November-December 2003 

7. Interior Work First Floor January-April 2004 

8. School Construction
January-April 2004 

9. The Second Story
May-August 2004 

10. Fine-Tuning First Floor September-October 2004 

11. Second Story
September-January 2005 

12. Panorama Comparisons

January 2005

13. More School Scenes March 2005 

14. Final, Graduation
2005 April-August 2005 

15. The Finished Project September 2005 

 

All gifts of any size designated to Suriname Fire Fund will be used for the recovery from the fire and the rebuilding of the school and church building. 

Donations from the U.S. are tax-deductible and may be sent to:
Reformation Christian Ministries, 13950 - 122nd St., Fellsmere, FL 32948

Donations from Canada will receive charity receipts and should be sent to:
Reformation Christian Ministries, R.R.#1, 5060 Oliver Road, Murillo, ON P0T 2G0

If you have any questions with regards to anything pertaining to Suriname or any of the above, you may contact Rev. Geoffrey Donnan at 772-571-8030 or use the Contact Form.

THE FIRE

PARAMARIBO, SURINAME (So. America): On Saturday, March 8, 2003, a fire broke out in the main building of Caribbean Christian Ministries housing the offices, chapel, library and some classrooms of Christian Liberty Academy; the residence for the Rev. & Mrs. Poettcker, and Fareza Kahn, one of the school teachers who lived with them; and the place of worship for First Presbyterian Church of Paramaribo. (For details see 1. The Fire--Before and After)

 

THE DESTRUCTION

The destruction of the building was all but total. This took place in the middle of the night and were it not for the providence of God in sending a stranger passing by on a bus who took the time to get off the bus and take it upon himself to awaken those asleep in the building, the outcome may have been even more tragic. Rev. & Mrs. Poettcker and Fareza Kahn were able to get out with their pajamas, purse, brief case with laptop computer and nothing more. The buildings were totally destroyed. By directing the meagre fire department water on the front school office, many of the school's files were salvagable as well as a few of the computer harddrives and a window air conditioner.

 

THE SCHOOL

Christian Liberty Academy, is an English-language Christian day school providing grades Kindergarten 4 through 12th grade. Additional, distance-learning courses are offered through the Reformation International College and Theological Seminary operated out of Fellsmere, Florida in the U.S. At any one time, there will be between 250 to 300 students on the campus, in addition to 20 teachers, administrators and maintenance personnel. The school has gained a country-wide reputation for excellence with its Christian-value based curriculum. While most of the children in the school come from various religious backgrounds (nominal Christian, Roman Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist), a good number of Chinese from mainland China have come over the years with a background of atheism. Yet, students who graduate and attend college or university either in Suriname or other countries, are not infrequently granted scholarships and go on to achieve their degrees. So, the school has gained a reputation for providing good quality, college preparatory education both for the many internationals in the country as well as Surinamers themselves. The school was founded in 1979 by Rev. Geoffrey Donnan (now president of Reformation Christian Ministries--RCM) who also serves on the board of the Stichting: Caribbean Christian Ministries, the non-profit foundation established in Suriname which owns both the land and the school and works as an affiliated ministry with RCM.

Latest School Enrollment as of beginning of August, 2005.

CLA Students Begin New Year

Country of Origin

Religion/Denomination

Chinese

105

“Unknown/undeclared”

111

Guyana

54

Roman Catholic

46

Brazil

42

>“Christian”

45

Suriname

2>9

Hindu

17

No>. American

13

Muslim

1>1

Korea

9

Reformed & Presb.

1>0

India

5

Assemblies of God

1>0

Indonesia

9

Pentecostal

10

French Guiana

1

Moravian & Brethren

6

Holland

5

Baptist

6

Venezuela

5

Buddhist

4

Sri Lanka

5

Cults & Misc.

3

Haiti

2

Nazarene

2

Martinique

2

Christian Miss. Alliance

1

St. Lucia

2

Church of Christ

2

Trinidad

1

Lutheran

1

Peru

1

 

 

Dominica

1

 

 

 

THE CHURCH

First Presbyterian Church of Paramaribo, is an English-language Presbyterian Church affiliated with the Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church. It was founded by Rev. Geoffrey Donnan in 1978 under the name Open Door Bible Church as a Reformed Baptist Church. However, along with Rev. Donnan's conversion to the Reformed and Presbyterian doctrines, the church eventually came to its present name. It has had several missionary pastors over the years, but in July 2003 Elder Asgar Mohammed Hamid was examined by Presbytery and was installed in October, 2003 to become the first local pastor, which position he holds to this day.

Both the church and the school have been self-supporting ministries since 1983. The only exception to that principle has been the provision of a missionary family and occasional volunteers, and even then, the school provides them with housing. The school was in process of planning to build a larger building over a period of years at a rate it could afford when the fire struck. The fire necessitated rebuilding and expanding at the same time, since the best use of the space available for expansion was in the same location of the building that burned. While the fire insurance covered about 50% of the costs, it was necessary to build a cement block construction building both to limit future fire hazards as well as to accommodate the needed expansion. The consequential timing of both the fire and the incidental costs of it not covered by insurance, has necessitated another exception to this self-support policy, in order to rebuild from the fire and get the larger building needs at the same time.

 

Go to the next report - The Fire and the Restoration of Christian Liberty Academy