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Lehigh Valley Student’s Mission Effort in Madagascar to Plant Seeds of Learning and Language
Bridgeway Academy Teen Hannah Parnell Embarks on Fundraising Efforts, Leadership, and Outreach
The Bridgeway Academy homeschooler is no stranger to outreach through faith-based mission work. Over the Christmas season, Hannah attended a group mission trip to an orphanage in Haiti with other Bridgeway families. It gave her the bug to do more, see more, reach more children, and spread her love for learning and a hope for a richer future to disadvantaged youth from other countries.
“The Bible teaches us: to those much has been given, much is expected,” said Hannah in a recent interview. “Mission work is hard and time-consuming to prepare for, but so very worthwhile and inspiring. The children in Haiti were so grateful and eager to allow us to talk to, play with and show Christ’s love to them. When I heard about the upcoming Madagascar trip through Teen Missions International, I knew I had to figure out a way to raise money and contribute my time.”
The program involves an intense boot camp training period in Florida, followed by the long expedition across the Atlantic to London, Africa, and finally, across the Mozambique Channel to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. From there, the group will journey to many different villages and towns around the country in order to reach as many youth as possible.
The Republic of Madagascar is a relatively small island made famous by its amazing diversity in flora and fauna. Also called the 6th Continent or the Island Continent, more than 80 percent of the animals and plants from Madagascar are indigenous and found nowhere else in the world. Comprised of 18 official tribes, the peoples of Malagasy are culturally rich and diverse as well. A mission trip to this country would certainly be a learning and leadership experience for a young teen that would far outweigh what a textbook would deliver.
So how does a teenage student raise money for such an extreme and time consuming outreach expedition? Hannah has found a way – through her intense love for art and painting. “I’ve always found art to be a wonderful outlet and very fulfilling for me personally. I have been taking art classes on Thursday evenings, and realized I could potentially raise money through the sale of my paintings.” Hannah has been working on producing prints of her most recent Madagascar-themed painting – which features a lemur, their national animal – and the sale of the paintings in her home community. She hopes to continue her fundraising efforts through the help of her church family, Faith Evangelical Free Church in Allentown, PA.
The ability for Hannah to homeschool through the Catasaqua-based Bridgeway Academy’s nationally distinguished curriculum has given her the flexibility to travel while still receiving the highest quality college accredited education possible. It’s a student-oriented curriculum that focuses on the strengths and needs of the student, while allowing the freedom to pursue learning opportunities that would likely not be found in a traditional school system.
“Both my Mom and my Aunt served with Teen Missions when they were kids,” said Hannah about her upcoming mission work. “They have been telling me wonderful stories of how their lives were changed through that experience. I thought it would be awesome if I went just as they once did.”
About Bridgeway Academy
Bridgeway Academy has been a trusted homeschooling academy since 1989, meeting the highest state and national accreditation standards possible. Bridgeway’