Studying at PRECE

Studying at PRECE
Students from PRECE study together under the juazeiro tree in small groups using cooperative learning

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First and Lasting Impressions

It was 10 years ago when Revs. Penny and Richard Hill first were introduced to PRECE. And, it was at that first moment that they recognized the amazing power and potential of PRECE. At that time Rev. Penny was serving as the Family Minister of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and she was in charge of bringing families (as well as her own) to Fortaleza to engage in partnership work with other churches and PRECE. Immediately Penny began to share the story of PRECE with others, raise money for PRECE and actively support the efforts of PRECE. She has helped to create a wide-spread support network for PRECE in the USA, and year after year she has returned to see how PRECE is growing and how her friends are doing.

This past weekend Revs. Richard and Penny Hill spent the weekend at Cipó and visited many of the PRECE EPCs and ADEL projects. They were amazed to see how much PRECE has grown in 17 years and how quickly ADEL has developed in just 3 years. Over the weekend we reflected on how much had changed over the 10 years that they have been visiting PRECE. On their first trip there was only the Cipó campus with 80 students. Today PRECE has spread to 14 campus, almost 500 PRECE students have been admitted to the universities and thousands of children and teenagers are now studying with PRECE through the pre-vestibular classes and cooperative education courses for children. WOAH! And, in just 3 years ADEL ( - the Agency of Local Economic Development- which was started by PRECE graduates and works to provide agricultural and economic assistance and start- up programs in the rural areas) has spread to 8 counties, is educating 80 students through their “Youth Entrepreneur Program” and is supporting hundreds of small farms and producers of agricultural goods such as organic fruit, honey, vegetables, meats and dairy products. This is astonishing progress for just 3 years! Penny and Richard were so excited to see the fruits of PRECE.

During an interview on the PRECE radio program Penny commented that they truly believe that PRECE has the ability to change not only the life of one person, not only the community of Pentecoste, but rather the educational structure of all of Brasil and eventually the whole world. She encouraged the PRECE students to keep up their good work because one day future generations will be reading about them and the PRECE movement in history books! Richard said that he believes that within the PRECE movement is the key to positive change and community development in such that PRECE develops individuals that are committed not only to their own success but to the growth and progress of their entire community. This is made evident in the way that the university students return to their communities each weekend to educate and empower a younger generation. In closing remarks Richard encouraged the PRECE students and leaders not to look toward outside entities for help. The PRECE students don’t need a President Lula or Americans to provide for them. They have all that they need within themselves and within their communal movement. And, rather than them looking towards others, the rest of the world needs to be looking toward PRECE to learn what true Christian behavior is- love of neighbor and care for the other.

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