Mission Spotlight: Pistis School

PICT8845Next week, during Kids Club, our kids will be making canvas bags as a service project for orphans and school children in Kenya. Many of those bags will go to the 85 students who attend Pistis School.

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Some of the bags will be sent out with teams visiting Nairobi area orphanages. The remainder of the bags will go to the 138 students who attend Racefield School which I’ve written about previously: Here is Part 1 and here is Part 2.DSC03385In 2006, The Crossing became involved with Pistis School when one of our members began volunteering there while living in Kenya. Pistis School is an elementary level school located on the edge of Nairobi, Kenya. It provides education for the children of graduate students attending Africa International University (formerly Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology.) Usually, at least one family member is getting an education at AIU while their kids are attending Pistis School. They are studying education, Bible translation, missions, theology, counseling, business and other disciplines. These graduate students and their families come from dozens of countries in Africa (South Sudan, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda to name a few). There are also students from Europe and the US. Sometimes, kids are attending Pistis as orphans in the care of extended family members because they have lost their parents due to unrest, civil war, illness or terrorism in their home country. Pistis also educates local kids who are orphans or in financial need.DSC03460

Since the early days, our relationship with Pistis has grown and grown. Now, our Crossing Kids (Sunday School) partners with Pistis (it means faith in Greek.) Our kids exchange cards with Pistis kids. Our kids bring donations that help Pistis kids access necessary curriculum. Our kids and their families pray for Pistis. Their kids, teachers and staff pray aloud for The Crossing during their weekly worship. We’ve sent and received gifts. We’ve grown in affection and trust.

DSC04205 We hope and pray that God will continue to grow our connection to Pistis. We are also praying for God to send wise and like-minded believers to The Crossing with a heart for his little ones and desire to help grow our partnerships in Kenya. Only God knows what he has in store.

PICT8863By educating these kids across racial, tribal, economic and political lines, Pistis images what it means to be unified in Christ despite great diversity. In a climate of growing sectarian violence, Africa needs the gospel of grace; the unity forged among students at Pistis is a powerful witness to the gospel of Christ.

PICT8823When they first come to Pistis, many of the kids do not speak English. Some speak French or Portuguese. Others speak only a tribal language when they arrive. Pistis must meet the criteria set by the Kenya educational authority while also helping these kids adjust socially and emotionally to their new home. Pistis helps them first to gain conversational English skills and eventually to catch up to their age-matched classmates in language, social studies, science and math. Often, their families also want them to keep up with the educational demands of their home country. When possible, Pistis also tries to help with these additional goals through French club and other extracurricular activities.

PICT8909Pistis School is directed by Mrs. Njuguna, the headmistress and founder of Pistis. Her vision of not only teaching solid curriculum, but also training students to be honorable young men and women who love Jesus has forged Pistis into a school where children thrive academically and socially while growing in faith.PICT8848

Card Exchange with Crossing Kids:

DSC03476 DSC03477 DSC03478 DSC03479 DSC03480Shelves and books provided by The Crossing: Prior to coming to Pistis, some of the kids had never seen a picture book, had never been allowed to hold a book themselves, had never been to a school with books but only one where the teacher wrote on a slate and the children copies all their lessons.

DSC04891DSC04242DSC04895PICT8835Canvas bags, warm blankets and toys provided as Family Christmas & Kids Club service projects: Kenya is near the equator but this area of Nairobi is toward the Ngong Hills made famous by the book Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (aka Isaac Denison.) In their winter, it usually only gets to the lower 50’s F at night but they have no heat in their homes so a warm blanket is a great blessing. Receiving gifts from The Crossing is always cause for celebration at Pistis. The kids especially love anything made for them by kids from The Crossing. And, they love knowing they are being prayed for. Being remembered in prayer is a very special kind of blessing.

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