Feb 2016 Update from Roberta
Dear friends and family, I have been back in Kenya for a month already. I had an enjoyable time in the USA over the holidays visiting with my family, friends, home church, and Hope Africa Ministries, Inc. board. But now I am back in Sakwa and have been very busy. While in the USA, I received the results of the KCPEs for our eighth graders at Hope Educational Centre. They did very well! The government schools' mean score was 180 (out of 500); the private schools' mean score was 230; and ours was 349.3!!! We call these pupils our "first fruits," because they are our first graduating class. All 20 performed very well and have received letters to join (though the family pays) good high schools. We are proud of them, the teachers, their parents, and the community of Sakwa. It is a real testimony and witness to God for his provision and testimony.
Recently the school had a graduation celebration with much singing, dancing, visitors, preaching, speeches, and gifts. It lasted all day and was a great way to honor and send off our graduates.
The next step for the graduates is to secure placement in a high school (if there is money for that), buy their needed supplies for boarding, and then travel to their new schools. We are thankful to be able to assist six of our graduates through the generous donations of friends and partners. I will be keeping track of all of our graduates--now Form I students--in their new schools and follow their performances.
I am back to teaching 11 total classes per week in English and Christian Religious Education (CRE.) I like to teach every class to get to know the pupils and to let them spend time with me.
This school year, sponsors and well-wishers are providing scholarships for 12 pupils at Hope. We are very thankful for this help as some of the sponsored families live in very difficult circumstances. This is a great blessing for them and their children.
Hope Africa Ministries, Inc. is also able to help one of our graduates attend high school as her family could only afford school fees for her older brother and not her. She was top girl at Hope last year and was one of our top performers. She came to me one day to seek assistance and I told her I could only pray and share her need. Very quickly she received the needed support for her first year in high school. Another two of our graduates received scholarships that would pay for all four years of high school from a local bank, only to lose them through greed and corruption. Our partner church--Christ Church in VA-- shared this story one Sunday and are able to help these two plus three others attend high school. Thank you, God, for compassionate friends. Besides working at the school, we are planning some seminars for the local community and I want to get more involved with an orphanage located about an hour and a half from here. The facility is in a pastor's house with numerous children sleeping in two bedrooms. They are struggling as best as they can, but I would like to help them financially on a monthly basis and also help supply other needs. Thanks to all of you who have helped in one way or another over the years with financial help, prayer, supplies, and/or encouragement. I couldn't do this work without you! And always, if you have questions, comments, or want more information or ways to help, email me.
May the Lord bless and keep you, give you grace and peace, and smile upon you. Roberta