JW’er Sam De Jong traveled this past September to visit our work in the Pokot region of Kenya. He currently serves with the Kerygma (Justice) team as a volunteer and works in Kansas City as an architect with BNIM. Here’s an interview with Sam recently featured in the JW E-News.
How did you get involved in Pokot?
The team focused on our work in Kenya goes back long before I was involved. Laura Lesniewski knew about my passion for work in developing regions and asked if I would be interested in helping out with a secondary school project in Kenya. It has been great to see so many people in our community that are passionate about this relationship and we would love to hear from others that might be interested.
What’s happening with the project at this time?
This project is a product of our relationship with the community that will involve long term engagement. Currently there are two buildings constructed on the school’s site – a small maintenance structure and a classroom building with four classrooms. The first phase of a ministry center is currently under construction. This building will contain eight living units and large communal kitchen, living and dining spaces which will house the teachers of the school.
What’s encouraging you about our partnership there?
What is so cool about our work in Kenya is that it goes so far beyond the project of the secondary school itself. It is all about the relationship between Jacob’s Well and our brothers and sisters half-way around the globe in Kenya. Through every step of the process God has revealed his hand through the reality that this is his work. We just get to be a part of it.
The local community has played a huge role throughout the construction of the projects which has had a direct impact on the local economy. New business ventures have been made possible through local materials, specifically bricks which are made on site. Local construction methods and technologies have been adapted to the buildings on the secondary school site to create safer, more durable and environmentally responsive buildings that provide a better learning environment for the students.
When do we hope to have the school operational?
In February of 2016, the first class of Form I (9th grade equivalent) is expected to commence. The school projects a growth of one class per year until the school reaches capacity at two classes of each grade – around 300 students!
How can we remember to pray for our friends there?
Our prayers should continue to seek God’s guidance and provision through this relationship.
There are a number of individuals and groups that make this relationship so special and it would be great to see Jacob’s Well collectively lift them up in prayer.