Student PictureNine years ago Monica was facing hard realities on Mfangano Island. As she recounts in her poem below, food was scarce, school was unlikely, and needs were coming from every direction. Yet praise God, in 2003 she found hope at GGCC! In a recent letter she wrote:

I am very happy for what Gethsemane community has made me to be. I have been transformed morally, spiritually, and even academically. I have learned a lot about life and the spirit of fighting on has made me be the person I am today. Each and everyday I tell God to open ways that when I graduate from high school I bring a change in our home.

Here is the poem she also included in that letter–where she candidly recounts the realities she faced before attending GGCC:

Fate in Mfangano Island by Monica

In streets of Mfangano Island
Children yawn and roar in hunger,
When a new day comes forth
For fate has befallen them unknowingly.

In schools of Mfangano Island,
Children toil and strive for excellence,
Unable to pay fee they drop out,
For fate has befallen them unknowingly.

In beaches of Mfangano Island,
Children fish all day long
Hoping for the soonest meal but none,
For fate has befallen them unknowingly.

In Mfangano Island as a whole,
People die daily like houseflies
Many fight AIDS but get no cure
For fate has befallen them unknowingly.

We are so excited that Monica has this opportunity to learn and grow. Thank you being involved in God’s work at GGCC!

We have all made it safely back to Nairobi! We had the typical African experience with the airplane getting off the island – delays being the norm – but at long last we all made it safely here! We are looking forward to a few days of ministry in and around Nairobi, and a nice hot (maybe) shower after dinner tonight. As always, thanks for your prayers!

Greg Lineberger

Praise God for the opportunities the Kenya team has had recently! Here is an update from Greg Lineberger:

  • The Medical Team has seen all 500 of the GGCC students! They have also had great success caring for hundreds of other Suba patients—providing treatment when possible and referring some to Umbita and Tenwek.
  • The pastor’s conference is going very well with around 39 pastors working on translating a tract into Suba right now. They will be receiving their certificates for completion of the training later today (Friday).
  • A group is also visiting several primary schools with great effectiveness for Christ. A second group is ministering to the secondary schools, and this group has already seen 2 teachers and around 100 students respond to the gospel. Teaching on HIV and AIDS was also well received.
  • Yesterday was the dedication ceremony for the high school, with many dignitaries, government members, and chiefs present. It was a tremendous ceremony filled with commemoration and speeches. More to follow!
  • Today (Friday) the team is going out for another day of ministry outreach, and tomorrow they have special plans for a workday at GGCC.

The team wants to thank everyone for praying for them, and asks that we please continue to pray especially for strength as they serve and for some teammates with minor illnesses. We are excited to see what God does on the rest of the trip!

Saturday and Sunday have been very eventful days!  On Saturday, after a brief but much needed night of sleep, we had a great breakfast at the hotel and then proceeded to the airport.  We boarded two different airplanes, which took us to Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria, where GGCC is located. As soon as the planes landed, hundreds of children ran out onto the grass landing strip adjacent to the school to greet us.  They surrounded “Uncle Bill” Lineberger, who they have been fasting and praying for during this last year. They were so glad to see him and Debbie, who just decided to come on the trip a few weeks ago.

After an amazing worship service Sunday morning on the campus of GGCC, during which several members of the team shared our vision and purpose for coming, we enjoyed a great lunch at the home of the school’s founder, Naphtaly Mattah.  During the afternoon, the medical team, along with the doctors from Tenwek hospital, began examining and treating the students at GGCC.  Other members of the team enjoyed an afternoon of playing football (soccer) with the children at a nearby field.

The team is doing well, and we continue to be thankful for your prayers and support!

The team arrived in Nairobi safely this afternoon after a short delay in Addis Ababa. We are extremely sleep deprived, but everyone is doing very well! We are all anticipating a great night’s sleep tonight and a wonderful week of ministry on Mfangano Island. Tomorrow morning we will board MAF airplanes for a short flight to the grass landing strip, which is adjacent to GGCC on the island.

More updates will hopefully come daily as we share what God is doing (as Internet connections allow, of course)!

Thanks for all your prayers and support!

In Christ,
Greg Lineberger

GGCC Kenya is blessed to have an association with Youth Commission International, (YCI). There are over 90 YCI clubs just in North Carolina. GGCC Kenya is also a YCI host. The students at the North Rowan Middle School, Spencer, NC, learned about the housing needs of so many widows on Mfangano Island. These precious believers set their minds and hearts to the task. They raised the $400 necessary to build a brand new house for a widow. HALLELUJAH!!!

GGCC Kenya, the YCI sister club, headed construction the home shown below:

YCI Widower’s Home, Mfangano Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya 2010
A few YCI Members from GGCC, Mfangano Island, Kenya

Read below the account of this process courtesy of the GGCC Director, Naphtaly Mattah:

On Sunday 13th February, we received news that the mother of one Leso of 10th Grade had passed on in a water accident involving a small paddled boat on their way to church in an island in Uganda! The young Leso happens to be one of our YCI leaders here and also our keyboard player in our worship services. The husband, Pastor Joseph Leso had moved into Uganda in 1999 after planting our home church here on Mfangano Island. Since then his village hut, which was made of grass and mud collapse and so at the time of death, the family had no house.
The starting point was to retrieve the body from the crocodile infested lake point, which did happen on Monday morning. We sent a boat to bring the body and little furniture from the island, a distance of ten (10) hours round trip.
Following the dire need for the Leso family, 45 members of our YCI group signed up to go to the mainland to serve this family. We used the USD 400.00 to purchase the building materials and our troop left GGCC for the mainland. The work was very hard as water was available from a well situated far downhill, while the soil for making the wall was also fetched from far away.
On arrival, the young soldiers of Jesus prayed and launched out having grouped themselves according to the various tasks before them. The whole village watched in utter amazement at what was going on, which was least expected. To them, the Pastor deserved to be ashamed for having no house because he left to preach. For the five days since he returned home, he was sleeping in a polythene house with his little earthly belongings because tradition would not allow him to take shelter anywhere in such a situation.
However, the God of heaven was on his case and things were about to change. The team worked while singing Christian songs and in that way their strength seemed to increase and not decrease under the hot sun. By 4:00 PM, the whole house was up and the Pastor moved his things into the new house!
Working under the guidance of Teacher Jared Adams, the group turned to the villagers who gathered under a tree near the house and started a gospel crusade. They sang praises to God, gave testimonies and preached the gospel of the amazing love of Jesus Christ! One old man who stood to speak said, “We now know who you are and why you have done this. Truly God is in you and we have seen him. Anyone who left there in the morning would wonder how a new house stands complete on this ground.”
The team left for the 4 kilometer walk back to the shore and traveled on the wild water of the lake, where the storm was very fierce. By 8:00 PM there were back to GGCC singing praises to the Most High God who had used them to touch many lives that day.

My name is Lidia, (I was) born in 1996 to parents well known as Samwel and Sophia. I’m the sixth born in the family of nine children and third out of five girls. My father happened to be polygamous where by my mother was the second wife. We were loved by our father at the same time hated by our step mother.

On 5/14/2003 my loved father passed away and all went wrong. Life started to be so hard and I personally would have nightmares. My mother had no business and this made her have a lot of difficulties in taking care of us. The life was so difficult that forced her to go to people looking for work. She would work the all day but without payment.

My siblings and I suffered physically and emotionally just because of lack of basic needs such as food, clothes and shelter. Our house had holes all over that when it happened to have rain then everything would become water. Time reached that I couldn’t go on with my education because of lack of school fees. I wished the ground to open and swallow as alive so as to escape all these.

My step-mother and our neighbors would give us a lot of child work in the absence of my mother, but when it was time for eating, surely it was bad. They could chase us away or send us to far away so that they would feast in our absence. They even nicknamed us dogs, cats and this was hurting me. As the saying goes: “One cannot choose where to be born,” I knew that was our fate and we could not change it.

There were times when we would go to the grave were my Dad was buried and cry thinking that he would rise again just to see all the sufferings we were undergoing. I lived to regret why my Dad died at that time.

When I joined GGCC in 2008 it was the happiest moment in my life. I thank God that am living in a loving environment where am taught the word of God. I look forward to getting a good job and making a big change in my family and even in my village. I am better off, for this far he is my Ebenezer.

END OF TERM CELEBRATION

The students were treated to a surprise bash at the end of the tuition period. They were taken to Takawiri Island at a resort center for purposes of team building and bonding. They competed in various activities like sand football and volley ball, water net ball, egg race, bottle race, wrestling and tug of war. The students were accompanied by the Director and the Deputy GGHS Principal.

GGCC SPORTS

For the first time in the History of GGCC, we managed to register two teams to take part in the Mfangano Annual cultural sports tournament held at Ramba Primary School from 19th to 24th December 2010. We registered in two disciplines, soccer boys and volley ball boys. The team was a combination of both primary and secondary students. The soccer boys managed to reach the quarter finals where they lost to the previous year’s runners up.

Our volley ball team managed to beat all the contesting teams and reached the finals against their defending champions. Our players won the match which was a major upset for the defending champions. They were awarded a new set of uniforms, a trophy and a volley ball. The soccer team was awarded a football (soccer ball) for their participation. All the soccer, volleyball coaches and fans were very happy.

My name is Orao Auma Maurine and (I am) in grade 8. I’m fifteen years old girl from Kibwogi Island. Below is my brief life history.

I was born in 1995 in a family where people never knew the Lord at all. When I was about two years old my mother passed on leaving me with my father, an only child she left behind. Since my mother was our bread-winner, life became so hard that I longed that the earth would open up and swallow me alive. I could miss the very basic needs in life like food, clothes and shelter. By then my father began taking drugs like alcohol, bhang and cigarettes.

My father used to take these drugs and drink very heavily until all the money he had would be finished is when he would come home empty handed. I could not even go to school. I thank God for his grace that enabled me to be selected as one of the many pupils who were to join Gethsemane in 2003.

Since I joined GGC, one of the good things that has happened to me is that the Lord saved my life! I would like to serve the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind. I know, through me many closed doors will be opened.

Group photo of the second team on Mfangano in July.

Group photo of the second team on Mfangano in July.

The jet lag may just now be wearing off for the Americans among the 52 people who traveled to Mfangano Island in July for missions to serve the Suba people. It was a very busy month:

  • Medical, eye, and dental teams held free clinics at 5 villages across the region. In all, they saw 1665 patients and performed dozens of cataract surgeries. This mission was supported by doctors and nurses from Tenewek Hospital.
  • Construction crews built 5 sturdy new huts for needy widows. They also started work on a new guest cottage at GGCC.
  • As part of Samaritan’s Feet, teams delivered shoes and the gospel message to 350 children in nearby villages. 400 pairs of shoes were left behind with GGCC’s Christian Union, a volunteer student club, which will continue the outreach to other local children.
  • Calvary Church’s Jim Cashwell and Bill Echols led a five-day conference teaching 45 Suba pastors about the Word.
  • Volunteers traveled to 5 area public high schools, educating approximately 500 students about HIV/AIDS and telling them of salvation in Christ. This part of Kenya faces one of the highest infection rates in the world, yet many people hold dangerous false beliefs about the disease.
  • Mary Beth Cherry worked with six Kenyans to conduct an in-depth survey of over 100 households about their living conditions. The collection of this data begins a long-term Community Health Evangelism project to remedy unsanitary practices and environments in the villages.
  • Repairs and sprucing up were done around GGCC’s campus. The playground got a new coat of paint.

We thank all those back home who supported and prayed for the trip. God blessed us with safe journeys and a fruitful month amongst our Suba brothers and sisters.

About

GGCC is a boarding school on Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria, Kenya. It serves nearly 500 students, many of them orphans, from communities ravaged by poverty and HIV/AIDS. Learn more »

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