Tom, Rebecca and family, as well as all of our extended friends and family in Kenya, and those partners and volunteers here in the USA, wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas holiday and Happy New Year from all of us at We Are Kenya.
Over the years working with you has made a huge difference in the lives of so many children in Kenya!
Our good friend and founder, Pastor Samuel, sends you his greetings, and has just wrote us a beautiful note this week, and as we were reflecting on the goodness of God this time of year, and how so many around us – through prayer, donations, missions/support trips, and so much more – most importantly, have helped advance the work of the Gospel, and the nourishment of these precious children’s minds and bellies through your financial support.
A couple highlights from this year of 2016 that we wanted to share with you all, included:
For the first time we were able to have our institution approved as a national exam center for our kids – after close supervision from the Kenyan government (including: vetting by the children’s, health, environmental, education, security, and other relevant offices and departments – whew, that was rigorous!) We also obtained the government certificate for this effort, and in Kenya we were told by Samuel, is not an easy feat!
So after this, we were able to register 19 children for the 2016 national exams. This also was not an easy process, being that it was the first time for our school’s administration to navigate the Kenyan government’s testing process. Finally on November 1st our kids came for final arrangements of their desks and preparations and then the testing began. As Samuel put it, “it was great time for us as we experienced complete quietness while the exams were taking place.”
Then in early December the results were out, and glory to God we got very encouraging results, with 16 of the children obtaining above passing marks, to enable them to immediately join secondary school, and three came back as average – which is still very positive, since they can join secondary school, but need some remedial work first; and then especially the last girl whom we are still praying if she will either join or may be a candidate for the vocational center for either dress-making or another craft or trade.
We are also blessed to share a new partnership with a strong, local secondary school called St. Matthews to transition our kids who are moving out of primary school age, until our new property is fully developed. Two girls who came out top in the testing exams will be going to really good boarding schools here in Kenya – their names are Judith and Beatrice – so we can be rejoicing with them and praying for this transition for them.
We are looking forward to putting more effort into serving our kids better and the community. The number has grown to over 200 kids at our school – hard to believe!
During the summer this past year Samuel and the Kenya team visited the new property, which is a little less than an hours drive from the city where the main school is located. This trip included our good friend from Grace Community Church, Jake Boon, whom we are working closely with to develop the site plan for the new property in the rural town of Tala, Kenya. Through this process we are hoping, by early next year, that we will be able to move forward with a finalized plan. This will be a long-hoped-for realization of the vision many of us have had for this new property. This is a huge step for us! Our vision for this property includes the following: the full build-out of the secondary school, a comprehensive agricultural program for the kids to learn that trade – as well as other trades like auto mechanic work, and more. Additionally, we hope to one day have a counseling center, and a house for guests to come and stay in who come to visit the site and work on missions/support projects.
And even though these are the “highlights” for 2016, let’s not forget – your continued partnership and giving helps us with our most vital and basic needs, operationally, which include: the daily feeding of the children, cost for school fees, operational expenses (teacher salaries, school bus, etc.), basic toiletries, vaccines, and the support of the 44 boarders who continue to grow, heal and thrive.
We continue to pray and enter into 2017 with an excited vision for the future, and we thank you again for partnering with us in 2016, and in many years past, since our founding, over 8 years ago! Praise God! 🙂
For those of you who might ask, “How can I help financially?” – we would offer two opportunities to be a part of:
- ONE-TIME GIFT
With a year-end gift, of whatever amount – that would go towards the new school and property build-out.
- SUSTAINING GIFT
In order for us to meet our monthly goals, we need 10 more monthly partners starting in January. It costs roughly $47 USD / day to run the program at the school, and ensure that our boarders are well cared for.
So please consider a sustaining gift that would contribute towards this amount – even if just $5 or $10 per month, to commit to each month in 2017 – that would be wonderful!
So whichever camp you fall into, you can make an easy, tax-deductible donation today here on our website. Just click the “WAYS TO GIVE” link at the top of the web page.
You have richly blessed us this year. And for that, we say “thank you!”
Again, a Merry Christmas holiday to you and yours, a Happy New Year, and please know that we appreciate your partnership, interest, and love, for our children in Kenya.
Tom, Rebecca, Aidan, Sarayah, Israel Terenyi
(And the entire We Are Kenya team)