|Pre- School students graduating to First Grade|
Many exciting and wonderful things are happening here in Nakuru, Kenya. Our LEARN (Letting Educational Adoption Reshape Nakuru) program continues to grow slowly but surely. We have added 4 new sponsors this year and hope to add more. In our next post we will feature students needing help with school fees. Please look at the pictures and read their stories. So many children are in need. With the L.E.A.R.N. program you can sponsor a child for only $240 for a full year or $80 per semester.
|That's Beatrice - Our Head Teacher|
Our school history has been written by Beatrice, who is the head teacher of our school. James (her husband) and Beatrice founded the Grace and Mercy Center School in 2009. They are indigenous missionaries helping the people of their own country. We have greatly admired their efforts and are very happy to assist them in seeing this ministry grow.
|Our current school building.|
The school has grown from only pre-school level to this year being up to the fifth grade and is now known as StoneHouse Academy. Together we have been working very hard to improve our school.
Here is the history of… StoneHouse Academy:
It was the year of 2009 when I and my husband thought of starting a school in the slums of Nakuru. This is because, after the clashes (post election violence of 2007 in Kenya) in our country many children were left without parents and many women were left as widows. So there was no possibility of an education for those children.
During this time we had many sleepless nights. We love children very much. I remember when we started our school with just five children. Two of them were my children – our little boy Caleb was 4 years old and our little girl Blessed was 2 ½ years old. Others came from my neighbors who were widows after their husbands had been murdered during the terrible tribal clashes of 2007.
We rented one room as a classroom and the same room was used as an office. The room cost us 500 kenya shillings (about $6) a month which was very hard to pay. This is because the parents were not able to pay anything for school fees. So my husband was forced to go and labor for somebody to be given money so that we can pay the rent. So many people would come and mock us asking whether we could make it. It was so discouraging because if visitors could visit me I would stand outside and ask them what they wanted because I had not enough seats or extra room. But still the vision was so big in my heart.
In the year 2010 children did very well in their exams. So their parents started to advertise to their friends. So the number of children increased and we added another room. We were very happy but it was like the starting of problems. We had no money to employ even one teacher. So I myself was the teacher, and also I was a cook. We decided to go and hire a piece of land and sow maize and beans and after harvesting we could have something to cook for the students. That was the only way we could get their food.
|The new "kitchen" and our cook.|
I remember one day when I was preparing porridge for the children and the rain rained on the fire because I had no kitchen and I was in an open ground. This made me lose hope and even the focus. But I thank God for two are better than one. My dear husband who was encouraging me every evening reminded me that the vision may tarry but it will come to be accomplished.
The Lord started to raise us from 2012. Although the journey was not that smooth when the school started to grow, we started to employ some teachers, but the problem was they could only stay just for a month or a few weeks and then they would go for a better place where they could get better salaries. This did not stop us to focus.
Up to the year 2012, the number of children still increased but the struggle was still there. I remember one bright morning of this year 2012 the children were very happy going to sit for their exams. I opened the classrooms as usual and I met the rooms empty. Tables and chairs were stolen and there was nothing to sit on.
I was saying, “My God why have you forsaken me?” There were about fifty questions at a time in my mind and the children were saying, “Teacher, teacher, where are we going to sit? Where are our chairs?”
So what I did I just told them to pray and have faith in God. And by the end of the day somebody called me and told me that he has seen some tables and chairs hidden somewhere in the bush. Oh my God! It was ours! The prayers and the faith of our little ones, was answered by God. Miracles and wonders are for those who have faith in Him.
The year2013 God has taken us very far. This is when God gave us the people of our own hearts from Tennessee, USA. They are our spiritual parents, David and Cynthia. They encourage this vision day and night. We have joined our hands together to raise those children for a better future. We are now called StoneHouse Academy and continue to grow. We still have many needs to improve the school but we are trusting our God to provide for us and these dear children. So our prayer is to have our own land so that we can build class rooms and accommodate more children especially the orphans, so that they can feel at home. AMEN
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We appreciate your support and prayers as you are a big part of the work of StoneHouse Ministries International here in Kenya, Africa.
Your faithful missionaries,
David and Cynthia
StoneHouse Ministries International
|James, Beatrice, Caleb and Blessed.|
Please consider how you can help provide the items on this list for some of our immediate needs at StoneHouse Academy as we start the new school year for 2014.
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT for 100 students and teachers - 1 LG. POT, PLATES, SPOONS, CUPS – We are transitioning from plastic to metal for sanitary reasons. $230
5 STUDENT DESKS – $180
BLACK BOARDS $60
1 TEACHER’S TABLE $40
1 TEACHER’S CHAIR $12
SHELVES 8 CLASSROOMS and OFFICE $90
STATIONARY AND OFFICE SUPPLIES $45
2 DICTIONARIES $25
CURRICULUM – Grade 5 $65
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