Monday, June 3, 2013

Big Changes at Bethel Outreach!

 Welcome to Bethel Outreach Children's Center


The existing structures have been expanded and refurbished, and a new building has been built.  Formerly they operated out of four 10x10ft classrooms.  Now they have about ten spacious classrooms.


The building project had several sponsors, including a Kenyan NGO, and a university in Korea.

 The interiors include fresh plywood for floors and walls, with cut-outs in the walls to allow for good lighting.  Formerly the classrooms had dirt floors with corrugated walls and few windows.

 Over 350 children attend Bethel Outreach every day.


This group of 85 three- and four-year olds is taught by one teacher! 
Join me in remembering these courageous teachers before God in prayer.

 Here is the pathway leading to the new pit latrine. 


Two new pit latrines behind doors one and two...

This is something to celebrate before the Lord!  Such a sanitary bathroom is hard to come by in Kibera, and for some time they were even renting it out to anyone willing to pay.  They have ceased that source of income-generation because the patrons at-large were not respectful.  Below is a sign advertising their pit latrine for rent!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Frontier

When a person flies into the city of Nairobi, one cannot help but see the sea of corrugated metal roofs which shelter the inhabitants of Kibera, the largest informal settlement (slum) in Kenya.  More than a million souls call Kibera home, where the streets are filled with violence, the people are desperately poor, and their dwellings are cramped and unsanitary.

In the midst of despair and hopelessness, God sends people to act as his light, to bring hope, to redeem what is rightfully His.  Many organizations and individuals are at work in Kibera.
Bethel Outreach Children's Center is one such organization that is striving to provide safe childcare and education to more than 300 children each day.

Since 2006, Mary Adidna, along with her husband Michael Ooro, have led this mission daily, by faith and in prayer.

Follow this little girl into one of the three classrooms.

The desks are simple, and the construction material is basic.
The teachers work very hard for very little pay (about $85 monthly, and some are volunteers).

The children come eager to learn.

One of the most basic needs is to provide fuel for learning.  The school desires to provide each child a simple but filling breakfast and lunch daily.  This costs about $700 monthly.
Saba, International has begun partnering with Bethel Outreach, with the hope of supplying their basic food expenses.  Would you prayerfully consider joining us as Bethel strives to bring well-nourished education to the children of Kibera?
(to make a donation exclusively to Bethel Outreach, please indicate "Bethel" on the memo line of your check or in your correspondance)

Monday, February 6, 2012

World Changers

I want to introduce you to two young men who graduated with New Dawn's first class of graduate in 2009. John (picture above, bottom right), and Peter (pictured above, bottom left) are brothers who have endured patiently and are experiencing the blessings of following the Master, Jesus, as they reap the fruits of education.   One of their dreams is to be able to financially support their precious "mum" (picture above, center), just as she has prayed for  and encouraged them all these years.

John recently completed a diploma course (associate's degree) in Human Resource Management.  He hopes to find work in the field, and to eventually complete a full degree in the field.  John is charismatic and his face usually bears a gigantic infectious smile.  On the day this serious picture was taken, he was spending time with his classmates reflecting on the value of his education at New Dawn.  John's physical circumstances never changed during his four years at New Dawn, as his family continued to live entrenched in poverty.  What changed was how John thinks about poverty.  In a startling declaration, John summed up New Dawn's victory over the evil one when he said, "Poverty has been taken out of my mind."

Peter recently began coursework toward a diploma in medicine, and hopes to carry his studies far enough to become a doctor.  John's and Peter's educations have been sponsored by a family in our Saba, International network, and we join these brothers in praising God for his providence!  Currently there are many graduates of New Dawn who are pursuing additional education, or have completed it, and are gainfully employed (36 of the first 69 grads have acheived some kind of additional education, and only seven are not employed). 

If you look very closely at John's shirt in the above photo (red) you will see that it says "World Changer".  How true that New Dawn School is in the business of developing World Changers, starting with the individual students.  The changes begin to flow into their families and communities, their places of employment and churches.  The story about these World Changers is only in its infancy, so we urge you to stand-by and pray, because God is good and able to accomplish far more than we could ever ask or imagine! 

Saba, International intends to continue sponsoring New Dawn graduates as they pursue addtional education, so I will leave you with encouraging words of thanks from John:

Don't forget to tell all those who participate in supporting me and others from my community that I love you people so much.  May God bless you abundantly because you have made us know that we, the product of our past, we are not the prisoners of it because there is hope in us and a good future ahead of us!

posted by Cathy Woller, for Saba, International

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Babies in Need of Prayer

Recently the Nest's baby population has swelled to 31.  Praise God that the Nest can provide for so many babies! 
Now the Nest is called to greater faith, as seven babies are hospitalized, with no clear diagnosis.  Some have stabalized, while others struggle to hang on to life.  One small girl is in the ICU, unable to breathe on her own.

The Nest keeps some of their staff at the hospital, but even so, each baby must fight for life without a family's love...can you imagne the loneliness?

Saba, International urges you to pray:
  • for healing for every baby
  • for God's spirit to bring comfort and nearness to the lonely
  • for a family for each baby
Thank you for your friendship and partnership with the Nest

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Small Beginning

Over the past few months, another hope, another dream has taken shape at New Dawn School! In August 20 girls moved into a boarding house, and in September 17 boys moved into a dormitory! Saba, International celebrates God's faithful goodness to New Dawn.
From the time of its humble formation in 2006, New Dawn has dreamed of providing housing for its students.
From small beginnings...
The hands and hearts of many people and organizations have come together to provide the beds, the bedding, the fresh paint. It was reported that on the night that the boys moved into the dorm they slept little because "joy over-filled their hearts! They spoke with each other all night in celebration of God's goodness in providing this opportunity for them!"
From small beginnings...
Mr. Vincent is a teacher of Kiswahili and History at New Dawn. He has agreed to be the dormitory master to these 17 young men. His own story is one of being graciously rescued by God from the streets of Kibera slum, so he has much to offer these young men in the way of Christ-like example and encouragement, and so we pray God's abiding grace over him.
Interestingly, his room is in the old school library (located in the same village as the school), and the dorm rooms are adjacent in the former classrooms. This building was the first building which New Dawn purchased in 2006 as it began to expand from the borrowed church space.
From small beginnings...
Meanwhile, a forty-minute walk away from New Dawn, 20 girls have moved into a boarding house, under the prayerful heart and watchful eye of Miss Chao, who is also a teacher and administrator at New Dawn. Miss Chao has taught at New Dawn from its inception, and has seen God's glory with her own eyes as He has faithfully provided for New Dawn.
From small beginnings...
Perhaps you are wondering why providing boarding is a central vision for the school.
Keep in mind the environment from which these students hail. Most live in crowded, noisy homes; their families are living on meager hand-to-mouth wages, which often leave students' stomachs empty morning and evening; they travel to school on foot, some walking many miles each way, and they encounter many forms of physical, verbal and sexual harassment. Imagine this being the foundation for learning.
Providing boarding for the students provides the following benefits:
  • more consistent nutrition
  • quieter, less crowded environment for sleep and study
  • increased safety in traveling to and from school

which can only yield better learning.

Imagine sleeping under this scripture every night, being reminded of the new life that we have by belonging to Jesus Christ! With the help of New Dawn may these young ladies and men be preserved and prepared to serve their Master as new creations!

In the Bible, Zechariah the prophet challenged the nation Israel to rebuild the temple:

"Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?" Zechariah 4:10

In partnership with New Dawn, Saba, International celebrates the small beginnings. From humility, faith , hope and prayer God has done miracles and wonders!

posted by Cathy Woller for Saba, International

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Bread

The cost of food and energy continues to rise all over the world. Have you felt the pinch in your budget? Have you had to shed some extravagences in order to stretch your budget?

Now imagine being responsible to feed a school of 150 teenage students and 15 staff, or a children's home with 80 growing children and babies, and another 20 staff, all on an income of donations, at a time when donors are cutting back...

The rising cost of food and energy have been problematic in Kenya since 2008, but have experienced the sharpest spike during the first quarter of 2011. The Nest and New Dawn have recently reported how challenging it is to supply the nutritional needs of their students and children. Additionally, staff members' salaries must be stretched farther to support rising costs of public transportation and food for their own households.

Have you cut out some extravagences from your diet to save on your grocery bill?

How does the Nest and New Dawn do that when their diet is so basic?

Here is a list of foods that are the Daily Bread at the Nest and New Dawn:

tea, sugar, milk

grain for porridge

fresh and ground maize

spinach, kale, onions

sweet potatoes, rice, potatoes, dried beans

tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, zucchini

salt and cooking fat

not at all extravagent, very healthy, lacking in protein

Both the Nest and New Dawn have cooks on staff. The Nest provides breakfast, morning porridge, lunch and dinner for their children. New Dawn provides lunch for their students.

Both organizations dream of being able to provide more regular intake of protein for their growing young people in the form of meat, fish, eggs and yoghurt. But how can they accomplish that when they struggle to afford the most basic diet?

New Dawn dreams of being able to provide a greater variety in their lunches, as several students have trouble digesting the maize and bean diet. They also dream of being able to offer morning tea/breakfast, since many of the students' families are unable to provide breakfast at home before coming to school.

Cooking requires fuel of some sort. For years, the Nest has used an indoor steamer/cooker whose heat is generated by burning wood.

New Dawn recent received a gift of a Bio-Digester. This apparatus quickly digests cow-manure (from the school's small herd) and transforms it into usable energy for cooking. Otherwise they depend on wood for fuel as well.

The Nest works very hard to procure firewood for cooking. Kenya has cycled through years of deforestation, and then a revival of reforestation. Therefore, firewood is very expensive to purchase, and the Nest has no internal source of firewood. It must be transported to the Nest, and with the rising cost of petrol, one can only imagine that the cost of wood has escalateded as well.

Both the Nest and New Dawn grow their own vegetables to help off-set the cost of buying food. The Nest has hens and goats, while New Dawn has cows, but neither organization has enough land to be self-sustaining.

Saba, International partners with the Nest and New Dawn in supplying grants to support their nutritional needs. We hope to do more to keep the children and students fed, growing, learning, thriving.

We call on the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, to help us find joy in giving... even sacrificially!

Please pray for both the Nest and New Dawn--staff, students, and children--that God would provide graciously, abundantly, faithfully!

posted by Cathy Woller

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Success at New Dawn

In November of 2010, New Dawn School graduated its second class of 41 students. Prior to graduation the students spent several weeks taking comprehensive national exams. These exams are of greatest importance, because a student's exam scores is what qualifies one for university course-work. The results are not released until February, and New Dawn was very excited by the results of this class of students: four can join University, and two-thirds of the rest qualify for diploma coursework! Director Irene Tongoi celebrates, "The Lord heard our prayer for them and they have done better than their predecessors!"

Adding to this joy, New Dawn has been granted a "Center Number", which means that the students can now take the national exam at their own school instead of traveling to another registered school. This has been a six-year matter of prayer, and the Lord has prevailed for New Dawn! Praise Him!

Recently I read Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, the man who founded the Tuskegee Institute in the era following the emancipation of slaves in the United States. His calling in life was to bring justice to former slaves and their children through education and technical training, just as New Dawn is seeking to bring justice through education to the underserved youth in their corner of the world. Washington's definition of success is worth considering: "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."

Consider the success story of a recent graduate, Steven Owounda, age 41:
Steven is one of 16 children. Upon completing primary school in 1981, his family was unable to pay for secondary school fees. Over the next 26 years, he learned the carpentry trade, became a follower of Jesus Christ, and worked as a watchman. All along his journey, Steven never let the obstacle of passing time crush his hope for achieving secondary education. In 2007, Steven entered New Dawn as a Form One student (high school freshman) at the age of 37! God has endured with him, and he graduated in November of 2010! Steven desires to join a Bible college and become a pastor as his way of giving back to the community.

We at Saba, International stand prayerfully with Steven and all the other graduates of New Dawn as they thirst for more education, with the passion of building up communities!