Friday, August 31, 2018


School buses soon will once again be driving up and down our town roads, picking up kids. I saw one today. I don’t know if it was a practice run or if school has actually begun, but if it has not, it will in a few days. I was in Walmart the other day and overheard a 10 or 11 year-old girl complain to her mom that all her friends get their school clothes at Target.

These are the American traditions at the beginning of the school year.

It is also the start of a new school term for the orphans of the Log Church of Kisii. No school buses there of course, and no shopping for clothing. Also, although they are beginning classes about the same time as are the kids here, the school year in Kenya has a different schedule.

In Kenya there are three terms that make up the school year. The 
first term runs from January to March, the second term is May to July, and the third term September to November. They have three months of holiday during the school year, but it is broken up into three periods. The months of April, August, and December are school vacation months.

For Pastor Joel and all at the Log Church, it is a priority that the orphans can go to school. Despite the critical need to put up a building to give the children a safe and healthy environment to sleep, and despite the constant need to feed the children, the church is doing what they can to provide an education for the orphans.

When I visited there some months ago, the children were not able to go to a proper school, but now because of the provision of the Lord through some kind readers of this blog and of others who have learned of the need, they have been able to pay the fees to go to the local school near the church.

It is a stretch to do so. School there is not cheap. Since 2003, primary school was supposed to be “tuition free,” but it seems to that mostly what has changed is the terminology. There is no specific tuition fee, but there is an “enrollment fee,” and an “administration fee.”

Added to this are fees to take the exams, medical fees, money to buy the text books, the exercise books, pencils, pens, paper, plus physical education costs and even toiletries. The school uniform is $12 each and the pair of shoes cost $21 for each child (seems high to me).

Paying the various fees to go to school is a burden for every poor family in Kenya, but imagine having 42 children! I do not know how the numbers may have changed for this term, but this is the report for the previous term:

For the lower grades, Ksh.1,800 per child per term. (Kenya Shillings—each shilling is roughly worth on cent US, so just move the decimal point: Ksh 1,800 = about $18.00 US).
We have 10 orphans at this level: Ksh.1, 800x 10 children=Ksh.18,000 ($180.00)
Primary grades, Ksh.2, 000 and we have 24 children in this level
Ksh.1,950 x 24=Ksh.46,800 per a term. ($468.00)
Secondary level, we have 8 children: Ksh.3,800/child x 8 children=Ksh.30,400 ($304)

The total cost to send these 42 children to school is $952. For the entire year is 3 times this amount ($2856). Besides some other incidental cost like uniform and shoes.

Despite this financial burden, it is important to Joel and the staff to provide this opportunity for the orphans. Without at least a basic education, we can feed and house these children for a few years, but after that, what chances would they have in this world?

It is an encouragement to me to see that many of these children, who once had no one to care for them and who were found in the rubbish heap looking for scraps of something to eat, now speak of hopes of becoming nurses or teachers.

It is even more of an encouragement to me to know that they are now surrounded by a loving community who is instructing them in the ways of Jesus—and they do love Jesus. I have never seen more exuberant singing and dancing for Jesus from children as I did when I visited there.

“Praise the Lord!”      
“Praise the living Lord!”

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