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Michigan woman uses life savings to build a school in Africa

Constructing walls from handmade bricks underneath an equatorial sun, thousands of miles away from home, is where Sandra Crane feels that God has asked her to work this summer, the West Bloomfield Patch reports. A longtime member of Orchard Lake Community Church, Presbyterian who still volunteers to teach Sunday school there, Crane, 75, used her life savings to purchase property in 2005 for the purpose of building a school in the African nation of Uganda. Far away from the serene lakefront setting in her hometown, Crane will return to Mbarara (with a population of 83,000) this August to continue construction in the church’s longstanding tradition of mission work. After she had first traveled to Uganda in 2001 in support of a friend’s mission efforts, The Crane Centre was built in 2007 using about $150,000 from Crane’s personal savings and fundraising efforts.

“The people I met there were so intelligent and so wanting to learn, so that’s when I really developed a heart for them,” Crane said. “I have people who say to me, why don’t you work with the people over here (in Michigan)? But we have a lot of people working with the people over here.”

Since initial construction, the school has served a maximum of eight students in a three-month semester and been established as a Michigan not-for-profit corporation…

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