"So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead."
James 2:17

Children of


by Pat Pope

The Roofs Across Bosnia Group received an unexpected gift on the Feast Day of the Ascension. The group was invited to attend a performance by the Boderiste elementary school.

The children, ranging from 1-8 grades, performed traditional folk songs and recitations. As is typical with all the children, the recital began with giggles, flushed faces, and a slight case of stage fright. Once underway, the kids never missed a beat. The response of the group was high praise and gratitude.

But in the midst of this sweet gentle gift, the constant chilling reminder of what these children had lived through was inescapable. The trappings of war were everywhere. Desktops were riddled with bullet holes. One had to be quite skilled to avoid splinters during homework. The floor and ceiling were full of bullet holes. Windows were cracked or shattered. Lighting consisted of raw light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The school was virtually barren of rudimentary classroom supplies.

Following the children's performance, the Mayor of Boderiste, Slavko, spoke to the group about the war and the effects it had on his village. Among other horrors of war, Slavko told us that these 14 children are all that remain at the Boderiste school. There is only one teacher in the village (who was Slavko's teacher). An overriding concern is what can be done to keep these children in school, and to bring others who fled during the war back to the village.

The Boderiste school teacher met with group members and compiled a list of needs. The list was as fundamental as pens and pencils, to as wishful as TV/VCR and computers; another need is athletic and playground equipment.

If you would like to help the children of Boderiste, please send only monetary as opposed to material contributions to St. David's Relief Foundation. We will obtain the supplies and include them in our roofing material shipments. Together we can help make it possible for these children to have a school that will nourish their minds and build pride in their hearts to remain with the roots of their ancestors.

Throughout history civilization advances, whether from inception or from the ashes, by way of family, church, education and employment. Clearly in Boderiste, family and church are intact.

St. David's Relief Foundation believes you can help renew the education system of this community, which will then ultimately provide opportunity for employment. The school is in need of everything.

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