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!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pressing on to Lead and Learn

I would like to introduce you to Ben Khalonyere, headmaster of New Dawn School since its inception in 2006. As New Dawn was moving from a vision to a reality in 2005, director Irene Tongoi (shown above) sought out Ben because of his experience in starting a school from the ground up. In 2001, Ben and his brother started Shilce Secondary school in a small classroom with a two-sided blackboard. Ben taught one group of students on one side of the blackboard, and his brother taught the other group on the other side of the blackboard. So began Ben's passion for bringing educational justice to under-served youth in Kenya.
For several years Ben has been pursuing his own bachelor's degree. During the school's April, August and December holidays, Ben has traveled to Uganda to do coursework (University is much less expensive in Uganda than in Kenya), and has used weekends and evenings to study. In December 2010, Ben completed his studies, and will graduate with a bachelor's degree in April of 2011! We are amazed by his determined and faithful efforts to complete his own education for the benefit of his community.
Saba, International has a small stake in his accomplishments, as we have been able to grant him partial scholarships for the past year.

Ben always overflows with gratefulness for the chance to complete this degree. Recently he wrote:
"I must thank the Almighty God for this miracle and blessing of keeping and sustaining me and for the provision of the fees. For sure, when I decided to go back to college I had nothing. It was a very hard decision, but I knew that the Lord I serve is not short of means, and he has really blessed me at college....This is not the limit. Pray with me for a scholarship to study Governance and Ethics at a Master's level so that I can help heal our community."

While we wait on the Lord together for Ben's sake, he continues his daily responsibility of leading New Dawn School, both staff and students. Let us not forget to pray for his family (a wife and three young children) which he leads and who have sacrificed along with him daily. May God protect him daily as he spends four hours traveling to and from school on public transport and by foot. Let us stand with Ben prayerfully that he may continue to humbly follow Jesus Christ while leading many!
written by Cathy Woller for Saba, International