In 2010, as part of the Blackhawk Presbytery's Kenyan Network program, Oswego Presbyterian Church, with help from the Missions Team, entered into a spiritual partnership with Kithino Parish of PCEA (Presbyterian Church of East Africa) in Kenya.
In October 2013 Ken and Kathy Mozingo, as OPC representatives, visited Kithino Parish and returned with stories of an overwhelming generosity and hospitality of these wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ.
Kithino Parish is comprised of three churches – PCEA Mwichiune Presbyterian Church [above right], PCEA Iriene Presbyterian Church [right] and PCEA Ngonyi Presbyterian Church [below right] – all served by one minister, Rev. Susan Mugendi [below right].
The Missions Team has continued to maintain communications (usually by email) with the minister and several elders of Kithino Parish in which prayer requests are routinely shared.
In December 2013, OPC partnered with Kithino Parish in forming the Kenya Scholarship Fund to help low-income families continue their children’s education into high school. There is government support for high schools but the annual fees and uniform costs to parents are about $60 per year. Many subsistence-living families cannot afford to continue their child’s education without these scholarships. The OPC family has been very generous in our annual advent scholarship fund drives. In 2014, we had 74 high school scholarship recipients. In 2015 the scholarship fund was expanded to provide university scholarships of $150 for sponsored high school students receiving good grades on the national exam and in that year we had 5 university as well as 70 high school recipients. In 2016 we had 13 university and 56 high school recipients. In 2017 we had 17 university and 76 high school recipients. [right, 2017 1st-year HS recipients]
2017 2nd-year HS recipients 2017 3rd -year HS recipients
2017 HS seniors recipients 4 of 17 university recipients
On their visit, the Mozingos met Joy Miriko [right] who was a high school senior scholarship recipient in 2014. She received a B+ on the national exam and was a university scholarship recipient in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She is studying toward a Community Health degree at Mombasa University. Joy said, “Let me take this opportunity to thank you and thank God for the service he has taken me. I feel proud, I feel awesome for the favor that God gives us through you people finances to fund our schooling fees. We thank you. We pray for you that God may give you long life to live. We’re thankful. Even in the finances which keep us moving academically, you keep blessing us because we know someone somewhere is trying to benefit you, to pull you up, so that you can benefit society.”
Donations can be made anytime either by check (with a “Kenya” notation) or online at www.opchuch.org (click “Donate” and put “Kenya“ in the box for “other”).
This is an excellent “alternative gifting” opportunity. Rather than buying a Christmas tie for Uncle John, how about making a gift in honor of Uncle John to the Kenya Scholarship Fund? He will appreciate it and so will that family in Kenya. Gift cards for this can be found on the Kenya bulletin board at church.
Providing a good education for their children is a high priority for our Kithino Parish brothers and sisters just as it is for us here at OPC. Please join us in making this a blessed Christmas for families struggling to keep their children in school. You will be blessed by making a difference in these Kenyans’ lives.