After a downpour this morning we were wondering how we were going to manage walking through the mud to the school without boots, but we figured we would just go for it and just got a few inches taller with each step. We were greeted by Anne and immediately whisked into the large classroom where all the students had been patiently waiting for us. Each child was told to line up and each team member hugged all 85 students individually.
The team was set at a table as special guests along with the Kenyan Head Teacher Trainer of Nairobi Schools. Each class came in one at a time to do a presentation to the entire group of students, teachers and parents. We were all amazed with the children’s abilities to speak English, recite verses and poems, sing and dance. Shantel Wambui (Class 1) recited a passage from Galatians perfectly which left us all in awe. Martin Nduiti (Class 3) read a one-page History of HOPE Huruma School in flawless English.
After all the classes did their presentation it was time for a special dance performance by a group of boys and girls dressed in tribal dress and make-up. They were spectacular and everyone got into their dance and participated when invited to join in the dance
After all the presentations and performances, the speeches began. I even was invited to give a speech that I was not told in advance I was on the program. Who can follow all those wonderful kids anyway? Just let them know how awesome they are and thank the teachers and Anne for the marvelous job they are doing to give these kids the best. Then came speeches by the Board Chairman and the Village Chairman. The final speech was by the Nairobi Teacher Trainer. He acknowledged what exceptional teaching these children are receiving with the new curriculum and how they had tested the highest in all the schools located in slums. He challenged the parents to make education a priority for their children and they are in partnership with the teachers to see them become the best they can be.
Finally, it was the presentation of the Pre-Primary 2 Certificates. They all marched in with their “graduation” gowns and caps. Each lined up and received their certificates and then a picture with their parents. Very exciting moment for each of them. The Grade 3 kids came out with the neck garlands and were honored for their achievement of doing so well on the Grade 3 National tests and then they passed out candies to everyone.
Then came the cutting of the Pre-Primary 2 cake. That was a real exercise in trying to keep the kids from grabbing the knife as I was invited to cut the cake. I don’t think I have worked so hard on a construction team in comparison to cutting that cake into almost 200 little pieces. They don’t use refined flour or sugar in the cakes, and they are quite dry and hard making it only possible to cut the cake with two hands and a sawing motion. The kids loved it!!
The program closed with Pastor Joseph leading the kids in glorious upbeat songs and dancing. The kids love him, and he loves the kids. The whole celebration was like a Children’s Worship Service and God was glorified by each class presentation and every speech. It made us realize that this school is definitely belongs to God and it is through Him that this school is growing. Wei Wang shared tonight that he sees HOPE Huruma School as a “lamp on the hill” showing Christ to the community. Matthew 5:14-16