kids and books

This from Shauen Trumps newsletter

Children in Kenya often have to grow up quickly, taking on substantial household and
family obligations at an early age – from fetching water and caring for younger
siblings to working in the farm or herding the goats. Some live in homes where their
father is working in town and their mother in the village cares for her own children
plus many of her nieces and nephews. Others live in homes where their grandmother is
caring for many of her grandchildren. Yet others are orphaned and live with their
extended family or clan.

These bright, hopeful, cheerful, and excitable children all want to go to school but
many find that when they are at home they are asked to take on so much of the work
of the household that they cannot study – and they often drop out of grade school
altogether. The School Boarding Project in Kenya uses school boarding facilities
built adjacent to Lutheran primary schools and Lutheran congregations and run by the
local Lutheran Church to provide a home away from home, where grade-school children
can be dedicated to studying, homework, extracurricular activities, chores and
responsibilities appropriate for their age, and a life with the church under the
cross. On school holidays, children go home and become evangelists to their own
families and clans, bringing into their communities what they see, learn, and live
while in the boarding center at school.

The routine at the center involves the daily services of morning prayer and evening
prayer, weekly visits by the pastor to teach confirmation class and lead Bible
Study, and care by a staff Deaconess or Evangelist dedicated to the spiritual
nourishment of the children day-to-day. Twice a year, children from different
centers compete in a Bible Club Competition which includes team-based recitation of
Luther’s Small Catechism and team and individual memory verses. The children take an
active role in the congregation as well, with some centers forming a children’s
choir and others volunteering to keep the church grounds and building clean and
neat. The project is designed to foster a close connection between children and the
church with daily Scripture engagement in the center. Praise the Lord for His
children!

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