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The school system at India Rural Evangelical Fellowship (IREF) started off as a homeschooling program for a handful of orphans back in the 1980’s. It’s now blossomed into a fully-accredited school system serving about 1,500 kids, and most stay on location throughout the school year.
In India, kids go to school through 10th grade, and then they take an aptitude test to determine the next step. For some, it may mean the end of academic life. For others, it may mean technical training, junior college (11th and 12th grade), or perhaps Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM) training (think LPN).
For those in junior college, they will test again to determine if they can qualify for college, nursing school or teacher’s training. And IREF now offers post graduate training as well, which allows students to obtain a master’s degree.
Honestly, this place blows me away with the options available to qualifying students. What a blessing it is to those who attend! And Christ is intertwined throughout it all.
The students awake at 5:30am for devotions, and each class is started with prayer. Their day also ends with 30 minutes or so of evening devotions. Knowing that seeds take time to grow, a foundation of faith is ingrained here at IREF. And these kids are being given every tool available to make their lives (and the lives of those around them) better in countless ways.
So I want to introduce you to a few of these kids, showing a day in the life of an IREF student.
About the Author: Stephen Crane is a year-long fellow with World Next Door. He has a bachelor's degree in theology from Calvin College and a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University. He has a passion for overlooked places and people and would snowboard at all times if it were possible!