In late March, World Mission Ministries' Associate Director and International Mission Coordinator Elizabeth Howayeck visited St. Matthias Parish School to educate students there about children in Kenya.
The 4th through 8th grade classes all participated. All students learned about Kenya and its people and wrote prayers and hopes for children in Kenya. These are displayed on a poster which hangs in the school.
The following is a reflection on the day from 4th grade teacher, Ms. Rachele Wehr:
March 28, 2012 was a special day for St. Matthias Parish School. Elizabeth Howayeck, a representative from World Mission Ministries, gave a presentation about her recent visit to Kenya, Africa. Through a wonderful Power Point, she brought St. Matthias students closer to their brothers and sisters in Kenya. The students now know that "Jambo" means hello in Swahili. The children enjoyed learning a few words in another language. They also learned that Kenya children have a lot in common with them. They play the same games, have the same dreams, and all are part of families. Unfortunately, the biggest difference they were reminded of is the lack of clean water in Kenya, and that because of the water issues, some children (mostly girls) are unable to go to school. The students were reminded that our water supply is precious, and how we need to conserve it and not take it for granted. We ended the session with a wonderful culminating activity. Each child was given a paper drop of water. On the drops the children wrote beautiful prayers, poems, or messages for Kenya. They added the drops to "God's Family Tree" and left the presentation with a lovely lesson about how we are all missionaries and it is important that all of us continue to spread God's love to our family throughout the world.
After the presentation, students were asked what message they would like to tell others about Kenya. Here are a few:
Nicholas said, "I learned that people in Kenya aren't so different than us. We can give them love even though we are far away."
Sophie said, “You should try to care for these needy people in Kenya. It helps you understand that you should try to limit the amount of water you use. It taught me a great lesson."
Jillian added, “I learned that Kenya is very poor and not that many kids are getting the education they need. They have to walk miles to get water, and they need more resources."
Izabelle responded, “I learned how us kids have so much and how they have so little. That made me think about saving water and donating. I would like to tell others to save resources and give stuff away that you don't need."
(Picture: A student adds a water drop to "God's Family Tree." On it is a prayer for Kenya.)