Build people through blocks and beams
This is the seventh and final in a series of Adventist Review news correspondent Marcos Paseggi on the Maranatha Volunteer Project at Kajiado Adventist School in Kajiado, Kenya. The project included several other initiatives across the country.—Enno Müller, editor-in-chief, Adventist Review
After long days of hard work in the East African sun, it was time for Maranatha Volunteers International participants to celebrate the completion of the new block of classrooms at Kajiado Adventist School in Kajiado. , in Kenya.
The July 7, 2022 ceremony brought together regional Adventist church leaders, Kajiado School faculty and staff, students, and guests to rejoice in the accomplishment and reflect on the importance of education. Adventist.
“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” was the message heard repeatedly during the ceremony. “Thank you for investing in our future and helping us to thrive.”
A place of refuge
Kajiado Adventist School is an institution that for more than two decades has rescued and provided education for Maasai girls escaping the prospects of early marriage, female genital mutilation and abuse. The boarding school and rescue center recently onboarded students from the community, including boys, after growing demand from parents to send their children there so they can also receive a holistic Adventist education.
During the July 7 ceremony, local area Adventist church leaders, who are also doing what they can to support the sustainability of the school, thanked Maranatha for her commitment to helping transform the lives of Maasai girls and others. “Your work makes all the difference here,” they told Maranatha executives. “May the Lord bless you abundantly in your efforts.”
Steel blocks and beams
After providing much-needed churches and schools in nearly 90 countries for decades, Maranatha Volunteers International has also, since 2018, helped transform the Adventist Church and Adventist education in Kenya. It’s done, ministry leaders said, one building and one water well at a time.
On the grounds of the Adventist Church’s East-Central Africa Division building near Nairobi, Maranatha has opened a workshop where workers prepare the steel beams used to frame its building structures across Kenya. The initiative has reduced costs and improved logistical challenges.
“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have managed to keep production afloat,” said Maranatha Kenya Country Manager Ron Kedas. Kedas explained how locally hired workers remained in the complex around the workshop for weeks while everything else was blocked. Thanks to a special permit, trucks continued to come and go, taking much-needed steel frames wherever they were needed in Kenya. “We never stopped,” he said.
A time to celebrate
At the July 7 inauguration event in Kajiado, in traditional Maasai fashion, singing and dancing added to the festive mood of the 90-minute ceremony. Maranatha participants received recognitions for their service, including a special mention for the youngest (10 years old) and oldest (83 years old) in the group of visiting volunteers. Each member of the visiting team also received a traditional Maasai shuka dress and a pearl bracelet with their name engraved on it.
“Every time you wear this shuka and this bracelet, you are part of our community,” the headteachers said. “You are no longer visitors; you are now part of us.
Sponsored by Maranatha and regional church leaders, the school received sacks of food, including white corn, beans and rice. Students also received bars of soap, Bibles and a copy of a modern, deluxe edition of Ellen White’s book. Steps to Christ.
After the groundbreaking ceremony, it’s time for Kajiado faculty, staff, and students to step into their new classrooms for the first time. Loud, joyous singing, dancing and cheering accompanied the moment as the group toured the new facilities and celebrated the achievement.
As Maranatha leaders typically point out, the ministry’s role is not just to add churches, schools, and water wells to the list of Adventist Church properties around the world; it is to support the holistic development of the lives of individuals, so that they are prepared to, in turn, serve others.
In this context, it was Irene Kawira, who teaches Kiswahili and Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) at the secondary level at Kajiado Adventist School, who perhaps best expressed everyone’s gratitude. the people involved. During the inauguration ceremony, Kawira thanked Maranatha Volunteers International for supporting the institution’s development plans on behalf of the rest of the school’s faculty and staff.
“I want to thank you for all you have done for us,” Kawira said, “and I want you to know and remember that here in Kajiado, you don’t just build buildings; you also build us.