The Josiah Foundation’s ministry in Kenya began in the spring of 2009. The ministry focus has been primarily in two areas:
•Support of the Ark School in the slums of Kariobongi •Support of holistic transformation in the slums of Kwa Njenga
The ARK School Story
Providing Shelter and Safe Harbor
The Josiah Foundation has linked efforts with the mission agency SIM in Nairobi, Kenya in providing support funds for a Christian school located in the slums of Kariobongi (Nairobi). SIM is the mission agency formerly known as the Sudan Interior Mission; now SIM stands for “Serving in Mission”. The school is the “Ark School” (so named because like the ark, it represents a safe harbor/shelter), a Christian school under the ministry umbrella of the mission agency SIM.
Kariobangi is one of the many slums in Nairobi, Kenya, which has grown exponentially in the last two decades due to rapid urbanization. Hoping for work and a better future, men and women are moving into the capital city from all parts of Kenya, so that the population of Kariobangi now exceeds 250,000. Because of the lack of infrastructure in the cities, many arrive only to find no work and end up in poverty. The children of those families have little chance for a better life, since most of the parents cannot afford good education for them. Out of this need the school project in Kariobangi was born.
The ARK School is a project of SIM’s Life Challenge Africa ministry and was founded in 2000. It had begun two years prior as an Adult Education program which has now expanded into a Primary School.
Many children are from the Borana Tribe, which was originally nomadic and migrated to Nairobi only 2-3 decades ago. Most families living in Kariobongi are Muslims. Most have never had an education and thus are illiterate.
With over 200 children in attendance at the ARK Primary School, a great need in the community is being met.
The ARK School is making a difference in the community by:
•Offering a quality education regardless of the financial situation of the children and their parents. •Giving children the chance to hear the Gospel, especially those of non-Christian background. •Our teachers pray with the children and teach them Bible verses and Christian songs. One of the main objectives of the school is sharing the
Gospel and touching the community with the love of God.
•The school offers evening adult education classes. •Most of the adults that are enrolled are parents of ARK School children.
Challenges That Faced the School back in 2009 …
•Overcrowding in classrooms •Limited expansion possibilities due to lack of space •Lack of reliable income •Small compound with no space to play
In October of 2010, SIM’s Kenyan Council approved a project to purchase a small plot of land that directly adjoins the present school with the goal of expanding the present school building. Some of SIM’s preliminary stated goals included:
•Offering education through Grade 8 rather than just Grade 5 as is presently provided •Utilizing three rooms of the old building for the School and one room for the Sewing Project (an existing program for women) •Potentially developing a carpentry-vocational-training for the young men who hang around the area and have no future •Utilizing the building as a true community center. •Introducing a small library for the children in order to improve their reading skills.
June 2011 …
Dave Penner, President of The Josiah Foundation, was invited to participate at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ark School’s new first floor building expansion! This first phase of expansion was an incredible answer to many prayers and God’s amazing provision.
Getting Ready to Celebrate! Community Leaders in Attendance Happy Children Getting Ready to Perform
The first floor contains classrooms for Grades 4-7 and has electricity and running water/plumbing (something the old school rooms do not have). The 2nd floor of the expansion project is now nearing completion. The ultimate goal is to construct a 3rd floor above the finished 2nd floor.
The Josiah Foundation is currently seeking individuals to help in one of the following ways:
•Committed prayer intercessors •Provision of teachers’ salaries. The Ark School has some incredible teachers. One of the school’s major needs is for assistance in paying their
•Funding for completion of the 3rd floor of the school expansion.
"...your Father in heaven is not School staff members. School founders & administrators Benard Tomorrow's leaders
willing that any of these little ones & Bentina in front.
Note: although the Ark School is generally said to be in Kariobongi, it actually is located in a tiny slum named Kia Miko that is located adjacent to Kariobongi. Kariobongi is a large and well known slum, and so is generally used as the location for the school.
The Josiah Foundation’s Dave Penner first met Pastor Jeremiah Openda in the spring of 2009 in the slums of Kwa Njenga. Pastor Jeremiah’s heart is devoted to his calling to minister to the poor. As Pastor Jeremiah has expressed, the spirit of poverty is so prevailing in the hearts of many, that they don’t realize the God given abilities they possess.
The Josiah Foundation seeks to be a partner with ministry leaders such as Pastor Jeremiah in working towards transformation in the slums of Nairobi. Given our close relationship with Pastor Jeremiah, we are concentrating on the slums of Kwa Njenga more so than any other slum at this time. But our relationships with Christian leaders in Nairobi has grown tremendously since 2009, and we are open to the Lord’s leading to expand our ministry throughout the slums of Nairobi.
Pastor Jeremiah and his church body - 2009
In the summer of 2011, Pastor Jeremiah and three of his church leaders accompanied The Josiah Foundation’s John Njue and Dave Penner in a visit to rural Kenya communities in Mbeere as guests of the Christian organization Possibilities Africa. The goals of Possibilities Africa are to mobilize and equip Christians to be agents of spiritual and socio-economic transformation in Africa. Possibilities Africa personnel have graciously allowed us to learn firsthand the principles they utilize to work towards wholistic transformation in rural Kenya. The Josiah Foundation is endeavoring to employ these principles in Kwa Njenga initially and eventually other slums in Nairobi and wherever the Lord may lead. (See our Summer 2011 Newsletter for more details).n the summer of 2011, Pastor Jeremiah and three of his church leaders accompanied The Josiah Foundation’s John Njue and Dave Penner in a visit to rural Kenya communities in Mbeere as guests of the Christian organization Possibilities Africa. The goals of Possibilities Africa are to mobilize and equip Christians to be agents of spiritual and socio-economic transformation in Africa. Possibilities Africa personnel have graciously allowed us to learn firsthand the principles they utilize to work towards wholistic transformation in rural Kenya. The Josiah Foundation is endeavoring to employ these principles in Kwa Njenga initially and eventually other slums in Nairobi and wherever the Lord may lead. (See our Summer 2011 Newsletter for more details).
Looking down at slums of Kwa Njenga; note the open sewer and Pastor Jeremiah overlooking Kwa Njenga