Posts Tagged ‘a life changed’

Looking Toward 2019

Written by Village Project Africa. Posted in Children, Education, Sponsorship, Village Project Africa

All of us at Village Project Africa are so grateful for the ways so many have supported our efforts over the last year: through gifts, sponsorships, sharing our story with others, and through prayer.  We are often asked, especially this time of year, what our biggest needs are as we look ahead. In 2019, our greatest needs and hopes are the following:

High School Student Scholarships and Sponsorships

The largest 8th grade class is ready for high school in January 2019.  If funds are available, our Heritage Primary students can continue with their education at Heritage Secondary. Several sponsors will be able to support their child through high school, but some cannot. Our dream is for all of our students to complete high school, and a  gift of any amount to the Margaret Watson Secondary School Scholarship Fund will help us achieve just that.

If you are considering a full sponsorship ($960/year, or $80/month) or a co-sponsorship ($480/year, or $40/month), please click here to see the current students who still need a sponsor.  You can use the sponsorship filter to see only the children needing the type of sponsorship you are interested in, or you can view all of the needed sponsorship types.  There will be many new 9th graders in January!

Textbooks

In January 2019, we have a great need for textbooks. Kenya is changing the national curriculum, and we must provide the required textbooks for our students in grades 1–4.  In addition, we are adding 12th grade to the high school for the first time. We need a total of 2,000 textbooks, and the cost for each is about $10. We have a dream of raising $20,000 for this needIf you love teaching or books, please consider making a donation of any size to the Library and Textbook Fund to help us provide this essential resource for our children.

Cafeteria Tables and Benches

Both schools are in serious need of tables and benches for the cafeterias. Many children in primary must sit on the floor to eat, and many of the high school students are often standing.  Each set, including a table and two benches, costs $200, and we need 40 additional sets—a total of $8,000. If you are interested in helping provide cafeteria furnishings, please donate to the Buildings, Furnishings, and Equipment Fund.  You may specify cafeteria furnishings via email.

Classroom Desks and Chairs

In January, we need a minimum of 150 additional desks and chairs for new students at both schools. Each desk and chair set costs $75, so the total amount needed is $11, 250. If you would like to help us with this need, please donate to the Buildings, Furnishings, and Equipment Fund.  You may specify desks and chairs via email.

Primary Classroom Upgrades

Many of our primary classrooms do not have ceilings. Because the roof of each classroom is metal, heavy rain creates a racket. The teachers cannot be heard above the noise, and learning is difficult. Each ceiling costs $2,000, and a minimum of six classrooms need to be upgradedOur hope is to raise $12,000 for this purpose. gift to the Buildings, Furnishings and Equipment Fund toward the installation of ceilings will be appreciated by the children and the teachers. You may specify classroom upgrades via email.

Solar Security Lights

Electricity is both expensive and unreliable. The campuses need lights in the evening for security, and our best option is to put in solar security lights. Each light costs $500, including shipping and installationWe need 25 lights for each campus, with a total cost of $25,000. Whether you are interested in providing funds for one security light or several, a donation to the Buildings, Furnishings and Equipment Fund for this purpose will help keep our campuses safe. You may specify security lights via email.

Staff Housing

There is not adequate housing in the village for our teachers. In order to appeal to the most qualified teachers and retain our current teachers, we need to provide good housing. In addition to housing for our teachers, we need to build a home for a Dorm Matron Supervisor, who will be over all dorms at the primary school. Our goal of $40,000 will build a small house and as many as 8 small apartments. This project will impact the future success of our schools. If you are interested in helping us provide good housing for our teachers, please give to the Buildings, Furnishings and Equipment Fund and specify staff housing via email.

Beds, Mattresses and Supplies for Boarders

We need 50 bunk beds ($100 each), 100 mattresses ($25 each) and supplies for 100 boarding students including sheets, pajamas, and other personal items ($50). Our total goal is $12,500.  When you give to the Building, Furnishings and Equipment Fund for this need, you will be helping children have a safe, good place to stay.  Many of them have never slept in a bed before and most have never worn pajamas! To specify your gift for dorm supplies, including if you want to donate for supplies for a specific sponsored child, please send us an email.

Public Address System for the High School

With the increase in the number of students, it is now impossible to hear the pastor and speakers during Sunday morning services and at other convocations during the week. The cost to install a PA system is $1,500. The high school gatherings and services typically have more than 200 people. Often times, boarding students at both schools have a joint service that takes place at the high school, and there are nearly 700 people in attendance. A gift for a public address system will be appreciated by the entire school! Please give to the Buildings, Furnishings and Equipment Fund and let us know its for a public address system via email.

While the needs are many, our hearts are full and grateful for where Heritage Academy is today. It is by God’s grace and blessings that 1,000 children and adults can be provided an education, good housing, medical care, and food each day. It is far better than what we could ever have hoped or imagined, and the impact you are helping to make will last for generations to come. Thank you for your generosity, prayers and for joining us in love changing lives.

Dan’s Story: A Cure for Spiritual Myopia

Written by Village Project Africa. Posted in Missions, Stories, Village Project Africa

Dan Miller recently visited Makutano and shares how God opened his eyes to His works around the world.

Medical equipment for KenyaWell, this trip grew out of the generosity of a giving lady, my aunt Sharon. As his profession, my Uncle Jeff worked on medical lab equipment.  He, like Aunt Sharon, was a generous fun-loving person.  However, Uncle Jeff died of brain cancer way too early, but I believe through his illness God allowed him a uniquely personal and deep understanding of what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Philippians 3:8-11.  He went to be with the Lord, and in memory of him my Aunt decided to donate lab equipment to a clinic in Africa (Grace Clinic operated through Village Project Africa). I was honored to go as a representative of the family and can confidently say that this was orchestrated by God’s mighty handiwork.

God has definitely written and is still writing a masterpiece in this small village of Kenya.  In just a few short years, the school (Heritage Academy) has nearly 600 students! 

There were many blessings we experienced in Africa but one of the most special to me was the dedication at the clinic.  As mentioned above, my aunt donated medical laboratory equipment to this organization in Kenya. 

Clinic dedicationWe were able to take a day out of our schedule to have a service of dedication at the clinic.  The equipment that Aunt Sharon donated will allow this clinic to do so much more than they previous were able to do.  Prior to having this equipment the decision between treating patients for malaria or typhoid was often wrong.  Now, they can test patients and treat accordingly.  That is just one example of the benefits from having this equipment and another example of God working through His people!

The name of the mission, Village Project Africa, truly encapsulates what is happening here.  They have done exactly that.  To see what God has done through a few faithful people is nothing short of miraculous. 

Some of you may relate to the following example: Sometimes I know I could be diagnosed with an eye problem that I call Spiritual Myopia.  Allow me to explain it like this: Within the last few years, I entered into a new level of enjoyment with God.  Now my normal routine is to get up early to have a time of worship with our loving Savior and mighty God.  This time has grown into a real necessity in my life.  Some of you might be thinking, “That’s a good thing,” and you’re right… it is.  But I guess what I mean is I felt that God is actually spending time with me in a personal way.  Foolishly, I was thinking that I must be in some way monopolizing His time.  Silly, I know, but I did not realize I had this eye problem until I went to Africa and saw all the ways our Mighty God has been working.  

The change of hearts, the love for people, the food, clothing, shelter donated—these gifts come from generous givers at “just the right time.”  As my sight started to improve, I saw these gifts as movements in God’s wonderful symphony of sovereignty!  Guys, there is no coincidence with our God!  He is big enough to spend each moment with you and me and still arrange and orchestrate the needs of a village in a remote part of Africa…Honduras, China, Macedonia, and on and on!  This is the God we serve today, and He delights in us and wants to share His music with us!!  Can you believe that?  WOW!  

This “Spiritual Myopia” was only temporary.  God was gracious enough to allow me to go to Africa and see Him at work.  As I have been saying recently, “God is busy!”  And by the way, He healed my sight!

Group in Kenya

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 3:20-21

Project 5+2: Blessing Many

Written by lauren. Posted in Children, Missions, Stories, Village Project Africa

Guest blogger Audrey Armstrong shares her experience distributing 5+2 bags assembled and shipped by Church at the Crossing last year as a special partnership with VPA.

Have you ever wondered how the people (especially the children) on the hillside that day reacted when Jesus blessed the lunch of loaves and fishes and started passing them out to the thousands?  The Bible doesn’t go into detail, but I have the feeling I experienced it this past summer.

It happened at the end of that school day back in July.  We had barely recovered from the eReader celebration and were measuring feet for a “new shoe” project coming up.

   “When out on the lawn there arose such a shout, 
     We sprang from our tables to see what it was about!”

 Delivery of gifts to AfricaNo, it wasn’t Christmas, and it wasn’t Santa Claus.  It was better than that.  A huge open truck filled with brown, slightly travel-worn boxes was pulling into the gates of the school.  From every corner came shouting, waving, leaping students.  They surrounded the truck and escorted it across the playground and to the door of the multi-purpose building.  The queen herself couldn’t have had a more enthusiastic procession.  How did they know?  Who told them it was the long awaited 5+2 backpacks arriving in that truck?  By the time we got to the building, the students had crowded inside and were celebrating with cheers, screams, dances, claps, and hugs.  I can’t even describe the excitement and joy on those faces.  And the noise—oh my goodness!

It took our team a whole day to sort and organize the bags.  We had to be sure every student at Heritage Academy had their bag with their name on it.  The letters inside were personal, and it was important to us that we matched them up correctly.  We said lots of prayers, hoping we could distribute the bags and not leave any child without one.  We had a few extra empty bags and a bit of “stuff.”  God really multiplied it so we had enough for every child and every adult connected with the school.  And all the time we worked, small faces were peering into the windows of our workspace, trying to control their anticipation.

African children receiving giftsThe next morning the bags were distributed class by class, and the children carried them out to the playground.  They sat quietly (almost) in the hot African sun, all 500+ of them, until every child at the school had a bag in their arms. Then Pastor Joseph thanked the friends at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis for this display of thoughtfulness, effort, and love.  He thanked us—the team who just felt blessed to be a witness to the event.  He led the children in a beautiful prayer, thanking God for people on the other side of the world who cared for children and showed that love in such a tangible way.

African woman with Bible

What happened next was just remarkable.  The children started moving.  Some big brothers and sisters found younger siblings.  They gathered together in groups and carefully began to explore their bags, helping each other when needed.  Two memories I have were of a little girl hugging a baby doll and a small boy making a road through the dust as he pushed a little car along. That boy was so caught up with the car that he didn’t even look at the backpack full of treasures sitting there beside him.  The children tried on socks, counted pencils, examined toothpaste and smelled bars of soap.  They played catch with balls, played with trucks and stuffed animals, and jumped rope.  The brightly colored washcloths were a hit too.  We saw them worn on heads like hats and tucked into waistbands.  The adults were also excited.  The lady who received a Bible just shouted and cried as she waved it over her head.  She carefully put it back in her bag and then, two minutes later, she pulled it out and was waving it and praising God again.

 5 + 2!!!  I feel like I was twice blessed.  First, to witness the fun and pride of the families, both children and adults, at Church at the Crossing as they chose a child, carried an empty backpack home, and returned it full.  Usually there was a letter addressed to the child and maybe a picture of themselves and their dog inside the bag.  I have no doubt the bags were also filled with love and prayers.  My second blessing was to be at Heritage Academy when the truck pulled into the schoolyard and those African children knew someone cared about them.  Prayers are important to the children and they need to know we are praying, but when you’re a child, having tangible evidence—with your very own name on it—well, that’s impressive evidence that someone knows you and loves you.

It’s been some months since I was in Africa, but the emotional impact is still alive whenever I remember.  I may forget the facts (it’s an “age thing” with me) but I will not get over the joy.  It makes me smile again right now!  I know what 5+2 means in a whole new way.

Village Project Africa is thankful for all who have participated in this program for the last two years and who are participating again this year! What a blessing each of you are to the children and teachers at Heritage Academy!

 

Summer Visitors–The Hands and Feet of Christ

Written by margaret. Posted in Missions, Village Project Africa

It’s been a busy summer! Tomorrow our last group of the summer leaves the village and it is with great sadness that we see them go. Sometimes we wonder if short term groups are of any value, but I can answer that with a resounding “Yes!” They are of value, and they are Jesus’ hands and feet in this village. Sometimes, it is a simple visit to a home where the people are hurting, sometimes it is the healing touch of a medical doctor or nurse, sometimes it is reading or laughing with a child, sometimes it is giving a hug to a lonely and desperate widow. There are so many ways in which God uses us. And for this past week, it has been the skilled hands and minds of willing men to answer God’s call. In a few short days, they have ministered to us, and we have seen work accomplished that would take us months to finish—if we could ever get the work done at all. The cabinet they built to house the e-readers is perfect.  When they started with the scrap wood and humble resources that are available, I cringed—but when they finished and put on the final coat of paint, we all rejoiced at a job well done. 

When God called me to this place, I knew that we would be touching the lives of the women and children in the village of Makutano and the surrounding areas. What I didn’t realize is how this work would touch the lives of our visitors—followers of Jesus who carry pain and hurt, followers of Jesus who have sometimes lost their way, followers of Jesus who are lonely and troubled. It has been marvelous to hear their testimonies week after week. This morning was no exception as one of the men told his story of bitterness and brokenness and a cold and hard heart and how, through the witness of Pastor Joseph, Davis, and the villagers, God has touched him, renewed him, and brought him back into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This summer, God has done amazing work in our midst. He uses the quietness, the rain, the mud, and the stars. He uses the times away from home and the testing of our comforts. God reaches to us in ways we never dream possible and we praise His name.

The dedication of the well at the school was a high point of the summer. The look on the faces of the mothers and children as they received a bottle of good, clean water is a moment we will never forget. And the reality of what this well means to the community came to me when one of our lead teachers said, “Today, our problem of water has ended.”

We are so thankful for the groups who have come this summer and ministered and share their love—this village will never be the same. I will never be the same because of their coming.

Blessings and love to you all,

Margaret

Village Project Africa

It was a special night in San Francisco last night. We celebrated achievement and talked about the work ahead for Village Project Africa with our partners at Brighter Children. We are grateful for their vision and support! ... See MoreSee Less

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If you’re near Noblesville, Indiana today, stop by the farmer’s market at Federal Hill Commons to talk to a sweet seven-year-old who is using her crafting skill to raise money for kids at Heritage Academy! ... See MoreSee Less

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Anyone who has visited our schools knows how interested our kids are in cameras and photography. Thanks to some kind donations, yesterday our Photography Club was launched at the high school! This group of budding photographers is beyond excited. ... See MoreSee Less

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A huge thanks to our friends at Church at the Crossing who gathered to write notes of encouragement for our students as they prepare for testing! ... See MoreSee Less

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4 months ago

Village Project Africa

It was an exciting day at the high school today! Backpacks were delivered and opened by a delighted group! ... See MoreSee Less

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