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