• Chris Hirst

Graduation Time - Pre-Christmas 2019 - Newsletter 49

Dear friends and supporters of The Olive Branch Foundation,


Christmas seems to mean so many different things to so many different people. I do not know of anyone who has had the perfect Christmas, save only for Mary and Joseph at Bethlehem.


At that time the word Christmas had not even been invented. The season was unheard of and we are still not sure when we first started to celebrate that most wonderful event, the birth of Christ, and connect it with the word Christmas.


For far too many though, particularly in the more affluent societies of this world, it regularly disappoints. After believing what the media offers us as being supposedly the happiest time of year, it often fails to live up to the expectations we have of it and people find themselves resigned to thinking, well, it'll be better next year. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against Christmas, sometimes Christmas brings out the very best in people, and often great good is done and much funding is raised for good causes.


At the school and orphanage that we run in Kenya this part of November is the climax of four years of hard study. This is the month when Year 4 of our secondary school takes their final exams. This is the equivalent of the British A-levels. This is make-or-break time for them. They know that a pass mark in these exams is pivotal to their future.


In the past our students have had much success; some have gone on to university; others have gone to teacher training college and are now back with us working as teachers. We consider that a job well done; however, all we have really done is to provide the facilities and the encouragement. The hard work has been done by the students and the teachers.


Now comes my first request. If you are inclined to prayer (and I know not all of you are) please pray for those students and their teachers. I have already made it known to them that you're going to support them in prayer.


For my second request I beseech you earnestly that you continue to support us financially. Some of you have been supporting us diligently for many years, and I applaud you, but unfortunately there are many so-called good causes out there that seem to think they should have access to your bank account. The competition for your funding is severe for us and many have been enticed away by clever and often deceitful marketing.


I would like to remind you and encourage you with the fact that every single penny that you give reaches those youngsters at the school. Nothing is taken out. Everything is sent.


Our orphans will have a good Christmas, because they know that a group of wonderful people, who they have never met (yes I am talking about you) have decided to embrace the true meaning of Christmas and make it special for some other very wonderful people who they have never met.


Thank you so much for your prayers and support,


Chris Hirst


Graduation following end of school exams

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