Pastor Owino - chieldren mentorship champion
Malindi CIFA is within Kilifi County which is at coastal region; and considered one of the poorest counties in Kenya. This is a major tourist region and with many foreigners settling there, it has been nick-named, “Little Italy”.
The group of pastors recruited in 2017 were found to be dependent on church offering from their members as their main source of income. With tourism as a major mainstay of the community, many young people drop out of school early to get the small hotel jobs available. This has contributed to low literacy levels among many people and increased poverty as hotel jobs are seasonal and don’t pay much to casual labourers. Spiritually, there is a lot witchcraft and a high regard for the dead.
Pastor Owino participated in a PA training in 2017 in Nairobi where he was challenged to minister to his community holistically, with a specific conviction to reach out to children. His response to the teachings on holistic transformation was to establish an early childhood development centre. In agreement with his wife, the journey begun.
Three years later, they have 103 children enrolled in the school, with 30 of them in day care, 27 in baby class, 27 in pre-primary one, and 19 in pre-primary 2. Among them, 19 will be graduating to grade one.
Pastor Owino’s school is a testimony of faith and obedience to God’s word. Making use of the resources at his disposal, including his church members, space in the church compound, and lessons he carried with him from the PA training, he has become a champion for mentoring the next generation in his community.
In his own words, Pastor Owino shares his journey of transformation…
“And this is my story: The Lord called into the ministry in the year 2001. I came to start a church in Watamu. I used to do street Gospel meetings, crusades, indoor meetings and conferences hoping to reach and minister to the community. Little did I know there was something more to be done until a friend pastor invited me to the PA conference that was held in Nairobi. That’s when my eyes opened while we were taught about the HOLISTIC Gospel. The vision was imposed in me about many children in the village who were not going to school. And in the church ground we had two rooms that we weren’t in use by then. I went back and started working on what I had learned; I mean I decided to start a daycare program which I believed later would become an academic centre for the community. I invited my church members to volunteer. Two ladies volunteered themselves but dropped out after two terms because there was no money to pay them. I didn’t give up; I found another lady who could teach, and she agreed to work with me on the agreement that whatever small would come out would be shared. Her work was brilliant! The community members began to bring their children in their numbers, but one thing was common among them all – They were unable to afford the little school fees required.
Today we have new challenges – challenges of growth. For the past three years we have been improving and are now ready to graduate from Early Childhood Development, to Primary School.
While we don’t have enough classrooms, we will begin with what we have, as we were taught during that training by PA. I plan to turn the room we were using as a Kitchen into a grade one classroom.
The community wishes the school to grow into primary school; they don’t wish to take their children to another school. We trust God for the bigger land and financial support to pay the teachers.
Above all am happy we’re serving the community more effectively than we used to previously. We have Muslim kids brought to our school, making this a channel for evangelism.
I want to appreciate PA for impacting our lives!”
PRAYER & SUPPORT
The main prayer point right now for Pst. Owino is space to accommodate growing number of children. The community would want to bring their children to his school, but the space is currently the challenge.