A plaque at Mwase Day Secondary School in Lundazi, Zambia reads: “In loving memory of Kyndra ReAnn Poelman 10-04-1990 to 19-02-2013.” Above Kyndra’s name is inscribed this verse from 1 Corinthians 3:11: “For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. . . .”
Kyndra died in a car accident at the age of 22. Two weeks later, her parents, Jerry and Michelle, decided to honor her memory by building a school in Zambia. “God gave us a way to do something positive with the tragedy,” said Jerry, “and it has also been a healing process for us.”
The Poelmans live near Fort Macleod, Alta., where they operate Poelman Apiaries Ltd., a family-owned beekeeping business. Kyndra, their youngest child, struggled to find her way in the world after graduating from Immanuel Christian School in Lethbridge. In 2011, her left hand was severed in a farming accident. After the hand was successfully reattached, she spent two difficult years in rehab to restore her strength and range of motion. A year after her accident, Kyndra testified at Granum CRC, telling parishioners God was there through it all. “There is a reason why stuff happens, and God has a reason for everything,” she said. During her rehab she resolved to enroll in Lethbridge College in the Child and Youth Program. She was just beginning her second semester when she passed away.
Jerry and Michelle contacted Christian EduDeo ministries, which works in partnerships to provide Christian education worldwide. They had previously gone on an EduDeo mission trip to the Dominican Republic with Kyndra. The Poelmans formed “Kyndra’s Foundation of Love” and began raising money for schools in Zambia.
They have traveled to Zambia twice in the past two years with volunteers in tow. They helped build Mwase High School and Hoya Secondary School. They plan to go back later in 2015.
The Foundation has reached its goal of $43,200 for the upcoming trip; any extra funds will go directly to other EduDeo schools around the world.
“It was all pretty emotional, still can be,” Jerry said. “It’s an ongoing journey. We go back to show encouragement to the people of Zambia because they showed encouragement to us that first year. Ultimately, we want to honor God by using our skills to help those who need it most.”