AFM Mercy Foundation Academy
A Christ based school for the poor of western Kenya supported through donors like you.
Come and See Jesus
A little history:
In 2012 while on mission to work with Pastor Kennedy Simiyu's Churches in rural Bungoma Kenya, we saw many very poor kids wandering around with little clothing, little food and unable to go to school. Many families in our friend's Church could barely survive much less afford to send their children to school. Many Kenyans really struggle coming up with the $10 or so a month that the public schools of Kenya required to keep children in school, much less the extra costs of the better private run schools. Due to lack of resources by Kenya, the families must provide some level of funding or their kids are not allowed in school or are kicked out when they fall behind. This is a very poor country by our standards. Average family income in these rural areas is only $50 to $75 a month and up to $150 to $200 for the lucky ones that find better paying jobs. Due to the struggles to live on so little, many children are only partly educated or not at all due to lack of funds. Thus the cycle of poverty has persisted due to lack of education, disease and good work opportunities for many. A friend of AFM, Missionary Charlotte Wootton was traveling with us on a trip and was inspired to help start a tutoring program to help a about a dozen little ones in the Church families with an education. This idea snowballed when brother Kennedy misunderstood Charlotte's intention and he promoted a vision to his team of elders to begin an private school ministry for the poor that would be free elementary school for many of kids in his villages of ministry, so in their excitement the began the school with zero financial resources expecting us to come along and fund it before we had fully come on board with the idea.
We all know education is the path to the road out of poverty and to a good life. But education and life without a relationship with Christ and Biblical foundations leads to more human misery and not more joy, because we know wealth does not buy happiness, but peace with God does. So, what better way is there to make disciples (which is AFM's primary goal), than to start at an early age teaching them to trust in Christ through a free elementary school program for the poor? Charlotte's educational background and willingness to help us launch this idea inspired an even greater vision for Kennedy and his team of pastors, so with or without us they set off starting to make this happen! We agreed this is something AFM was willing to start funding, so starting with 35 or so we set sail on this venture, trusting in God to help us find the needed donors to love the people of Kenya like God loves them! All along God has provided somehow, even though we never seem to have what we need, we squeek by doing more good than I ever imagined possible. Today we are ten times the size and growing faster than we can fund its many needs! This is where partners like you come in and help us carry the load for the people of Kenya out of love for Jesus and his beloved ones in Kenya! Together we can change the world for good in ways that at times is hard to imagine
AFM Mercy Foundation Academy, we call Mercy School is about compassion. Let's take a look.
$15 a month to sponsor a child
With over 300 children at our school and if we had our goal of $15 a month coming in per child, we would more than double what we operate on today and make this school ministry first class by any standard! To do the school well as we would like and to demolish all the mud and stick buildings and erect all brick and concrete structures, provide electricity and computers for training, a dining and meeting hall, a real kitchen (not just the 3 stones firewood and a pot) a clean and sanitary building for medical clinic, a library to loan out books, and provide school workbooks, supplies, desks and books (most share remnants of pencils, crayons and up to 10 kids now share one book!) We could make a school that would outperform them all but even today our school students are outperforming all the government schools in academic studies! Praise God!
Kenyans are gems of the human race in terms of kindness, compassion, and friendliness. Kenyan's rock because just like you and me, they too were made in the very image of God! God loves them greatly. Come love these beautiful little ones along with us! Today we struggle to get by with net less than $5 per child in funding. We are praying for more monthly sponsors. Will you 'Go and Be" the person Jesus sends to be God's arm of rescue through this low cost and simple way?
Some details of AFM Mercy Foundation Academy
- Following standard Kenyan year round school schedule. 3 months on one month off
- 5 days of elementary teaching and half day Saturday
- Wednesday morining chapel and worship
- 12 hearty meals a week during school months
- 1 dedicated onsite doctor to see children when sick and to do well child check-up
- Medications to prevent and treat for malaria, typhoid or other infections
- 7 Kenyan certified teachers
- 2 staff cooks and one stores keeper
- 5 security guards for day and night to protect both school and Mercy Home campuses
All this is covered by your donations! Yes and we also work in some fund raisers as able to buy new materials for the ladies to make uniforms as needed or other facility and school needs as able. Uniforms are required by law and help schools maintain order and who belongs to which schools as each school chooses different color schemes.
God has been good to us.
AFM took on this venture knowing it's importance and need, but not knowing how God was going to provide. It has not been easy. Heart wrenching at times. When you start something like this, when funds get low or people drop off it tends to cause us some worry and anxiety, but it comes with the territory of being human. Even so, God has come to teach us that we must trust in Jesus for all things! Casting all our anxieties on him, because he cares for us...and THEM! (1 Peter 5:7)
When we started this school, the kids were in terrible shape. Malnourished, uneducated, disease ridden and quite honestly many of them dying for lack of low cost malaria treatments. Death was at every family's doorstep! But by the grace of God in just a few short years we have seen an amazing transformation in the community and death have become a rare thing, the Kids are happy, growing and glowing like I never imagined we could do so easily and for so little amount of money. Everytime we see these children today we smile from ear to ear seeing how well they are today, and their is nothing more beautiful that seeing them give glory to God in unison on their wednesday morning chapel services! Soon we need a larger roofed structure to be a chapel and outdoor play place when it is raining as it so often does in the wet season. Pray with us for that need and to be able to buy another half acre of adjoining land.
So what next?
Malaha Primary School
When God called us to start the orphan home we call Mercy Children's Home led by Jeff Bys and Raymond Moreno families, it became apparent that He was calling us to do much more to build up both the Mercy School as well as the Home. The wave of new AFM support has helped us fund much of the budget for the school and to make up for some of the dropped off support from others who grew weary in the good God called us all to do. Yes humans grow weary and they quite all the time. It's an unfortunate fact. This is why we are so exhorted by the Holy Spirit, "Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up." (Gal 6:9) And so we press on, but still not really able to start funding another project while still trying to properly take care of what God had already given us to do! But God heard our prayers and the prayers of pastor Kennedy's associate pastor Calistus Wabwile, whose heart was breaking for the little ones across the county near his Church in Sang'alo village. In desperation to help the kids there, Kennedy and Calistus started another school ministry they call Malaha Primary School with some community help..but it was far too little and not consistent enough to even provide any staff salaries nor food for the kids, much less medicines or supplies. When our AFM Mercy Home team went to visit them end of 2016 we found their condition much worse than what we have at Mercy School. Famished, tattered and many unable to attend school due to hunger and disease. We are helping some with the Malaha School ministry through sponsoring Pastor Calistus with some income to oversee that work as well as sending over some medicines and our AFM Mercy School Dr Contrad to help the infirmed and jigger ridden little ones..but this was not enough. We really want to do more.
So we prayed God would send us an angel to help...and God heard us!
And God did something!
He did not send us an angel, but better yet he sent us a Child of God, one of his Saints! Hallelujah! God brought along a woman named Sallie Hagen who leads a small charity that she began for the express purpose of ministering to the poor orphans and children of Kenya! Through her missionary journeys there, she was called to do more and so she began looking for a place where she could remotely minster and have trustworthy people through whom to partner and know their resources were being properly applied to the needy. (as it is often a problem with local 'ministers' taking funds and diverting them for personal gain) When she asked about our work and wanted to go and see what God was doing among us, We were naturally delighted to have her partner with About-Face Missions in Kenya! Now to be clear we needed much more support at our Mercy School, but because we saw the great need in Sang'alo we suggested that Sallie and her group adopt the Malaha School do effect the maximum good in Kenya helping God's little ones there! She visited and agreed, and today AFM and Sallie's Ministry Charity Center Kenya are now partnered providing a better for about 100 kids at Malaha Primary School! Praise God! It is the Church of Jesus working together around the world that accomplishes such great things!
Now this is just a start. Pray with us and with Sallie that more support can be built up to support the Malaha School ministry. For now all we can offer is one meal a day and pay teachers a small salary, but soon as God provides through donors like you and trough Sallie's group of supporters we expect Malaha Primary School to catch up where we can feed them twice a day and provide a full support staff and many more needed items. Already through Charity Center Kenya's donations we have provided needed cooking supplies and building materials to add on two more badly needed rooms. We invite you to visit CCK website and get to know this lovely woman and her ministry and even give through them to support the Malaha School Ministry!
Do you want to be used by God in Great ways? Come join us and sponsor some of these kids, or help us meet some one time project needs! You will be blessed in seeing God work in lives in great ways! Click below to sign up for recurring sponsorship gifts or as able.