• Chris Hirst

Newsletter 38 - Excellent Exam Results - October 2016

Updated: Jul 23, 2018

Dear friends and supporters of the orphanage and school in Kenya,

Further to my recent trip to the school and orphanage I have now returned and life is getting back to normal. Thankfully I still enjoy reasonable health.

I count the trip a success on all levels and I accomplished what I set out to do, that and more.

Risper (our Director on site) seems healthier than I have seen her for some years and her outlook on the future of the project is positive, spiritually and physically. She sends her warmest thanks for her birthday gift and I have arranged a party for all those who stay at the school, in recognition of their hard work to take place after their exams in November.

I had a blessed time speaking with staff and children alike, they are all a joy. I marvel at the depth of understanding these children have of the ways of God. They seem well taught and they really do enjoy hearing about the deeper things found in God's word.

Academically across-the-board our school is doing well; the Kenyan system is strongly biased to exam results and it seems, to me anyway, that the children are constantly revising for and sitting exams; however the results speak for themselves. In our zone there are 90 schools and our overall position is number four, so that speaks volumes. Their efforts and our efforts are rewarded with success.

We have two pupils in particular who came first above all other pupils in the 90 schools. Our facility is highly thought of by school’s inspectors. After discussions with Risper we have agreed that to enlarge the school and take in more pupils would not be a good thing at this time. We have reached the optimum number who we can educate, feed and accommodate to a high standard. We do not want to overstretch our resources.

As you know this year we have children leaving us, 20 in total, nine of them are complete orphans and totally dependent on our care. The other 11 children have extended families that they can return to, hopefully having a positive impact on those families rather than being a burden to them. Four of our orphans will stay with us and work at the school as apprentice teachers to the younger children. After one year's work experience we will send them to teacher training college. After that they will come back and work for us officially at the school.

It is hoped that the remaining five orphans will achieve a high enough grade in their last exams to find university entrance, so we decided to wait until we see all the results of the final exam before a firm decisions on their future is made. There exams are in November; results out by December.

On the last Sunday before I returned home I had the opportunity to sit down with these nine orphans and discuss the things they faced in the future. This was a very productive meeting and I encouraged these young people that when they were established in whatever field or endeavour they chose they should like to consider the children coming up behind them and perhaps hopefully use their resources to sponsor some of the more unfortunate children.

In order to encourage them to keep in touch with each other and give mutual support Risper has organised them into a club. It was Risper's idea that we should give them each a good quality mobile phone which gives them internet access and a good opportunity of keeping in touch with each other through what is known as “whatsap”, which is a free system and free calls. Having checked the type of phones and the costs from a reputable supplier, I was able to leave funding for this project with Risper.

At the moment, the dormitories are overcrowded. We have a disproportionate number of girls to boys. The girls are therefore very overcrowded, so it is proposed that we build another dormitory on the other side of the compound for the boys. This would then enable the girls to spread out into the existing boys’ dormitory which is right next door. This project must happen very soon. Please pray for that.

As usual, once more we find ourselves in the middle of a prolonged dry season; at the moment it should be raining continuously, but like many other places in the world the season seem to be erratic, the situation seems to be getting serious. At the moment we rely heavily on the goodwill of our neighbours who are providing water for us from their wells; however that is not an inexhaustible supply as the drought continues. Please pray for rain as a matter of urgency.

Besides the humanitarian need we cannot start to build anything until the rains arrive. I do not want to end this letter with news of a shortage, so I will end by saying that there is no shortage of love from these children, there is no shortage of respect, they each have a strong desire to see God glorified in that place. We at the olive branch also echo that sentiment.

As usual I would like to end by thanking you all so very much for your continued support in your prayers and your donations. Long may we all be spared to carry on this work.

My highest regards to you all.

With gratitude,

Chris Hirst

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