2017 Updates

December Update

Blog Update
This latest update from Calvine has highlighted a need for four students who have successful in gaining entrance into high school. We celebrate with these students, for this is a great achievement! Please read Calvine’s communication below, which gives details of their success.

At present these students are unable to attend high school without financial assistance. If anyone feels they would like to support one of these students, please email us at info@arkquest.org.nz

Latest communication from Calvine
We really thank God for the gift of life and service. We all are doing well here. Thanks for supporting Ark Quest throughout the year. We are grateful to God for everything.

Our Year Eight national exams results are now out and our candidates have really made us proud. What a great blessing to the school! Out of the 17 candidates, 14 scored above 350 out of 500 marks. Ark Quest is one of the top three schools out of the 400 in the county.
Whitney Iramwenya, the late Christopher Mmata’s niece, was the best female student scoring a total of 405 marks. She has now been called to a top performing national school (Lugulu Girls’ High School). Whitney is very grateful for the chance given to her to study at Ark Quest and for the support while she was there. She admits that this has gone a long way in making this dream of academic excellence a reality. She has always had a dream of becoming a medical doctor someday and she surely is working towards it.
Nipha Mmboga used to walk 4km to Ark Quest daily. She scored 375 marks. She has also been on full scholarship all the way from nursery school. Many of the teams that have visited the village have visited Nipha’s parent’s home.
Hudson, Nipha’s brother, scored 373 marks in his exam. Both he and Nipha have been called to top county schools.
Victor Adamba, who has also been on full scholarship at Ark Quest, scored 350 marks and has been called to Lugari High School, in a neighbouring county. Victor lives with his widowed mother
We at Ark Quest are grateful for your continued support, be it spiritually, financially, socially or in ways only God sees. The above report would not be possible without God’s plan that things go that way, without your willingness to help, and of course the teachers, other workers and the student body. Your help can be likened to water that can make a rose blossom.
It has been a long journey and we are happy to have travelled together this far. We hope the journey will continue even as these students look forward to joining high school in the first week of January 2018, which is less than a month away.
Thank you so much for everything. God bless you always.
Calvine

Success for Calvine
Calvine has recently been appointed as the head of his department at the Jomo Kenyata University, beginning in 2018. This is a huge honour for Calvine who has also served for 4 years as an examination officer. Now, with this appointment as the head of his department, he will be leading a staff of senior professionals. He is humbled to have this opportunity in university management at such a young age.

November Update

Calvine tells us that all is well at Ark Quest, and he thanks all those who support Ark Quest and pray for the school.

Recently the school held a graduation day for the preschool children who have just completed their first 3 years at Ark Quest, and will start in Lower Primary next year. It was such a great occasion attended by their parents and graced by the regional Early Childhood Development Officer. 

As the Year 8 candidates are preparing for exams, a prayer day was held at the local church to pray for them. They will be sitting the final exams in the current weeks. These exams are crucial, as they will determine which secondary schools the students will gain entry to next year. It is an emotional for the staff as they farewell students whose season at Ark Quest has come to an end. Some of the students are well known to members of Bethlehem College service teams who have visited Ark Quest. Victor Atamba has been at Ark Quest since it’s inception, Nipha Mmboga is remembered for walking long distances in order to attend school, and Whitney Iramwenya, Christopher Mmata’s niece.  Altogether 17 students will be graduating from Ark Quest this year.

Calvine asks that you continue to pray for these young candidates as they sit their national exams. Let’s pray for their good health and great performance.

 

October Update: Letter from Calvine

Recently we received following news from Calvine.

Greetings from the Ark Quest Education Centre family. We trust that you are all doing well. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support of Ark Quest Education Centre. We have recently been blessed by Morgan School, U.K, who gifted us a white heifer, which we named Morgan (pictured above). She is due to calve later in the year, hopefully in the first week of December. Our thanks to Sarah Jackson, who organised the school’s fund raising for us. Indeed this is a great boost to the dairy project.

We are well on our way towards achieving our target of self-sustainability through the finances our dairy herd produces. What a great blessing this will be. The village school is doing well. We are now in our final term of the year. Our candidates are due to start their final exams later next month. The timetables of the Year Eight exams are now out. Please remember to pray for the candidates. Also noteworthy is that our foundation students, who are now in Form Four at secondary school, will sit their exams next month. We continue to pray for their success as well. Thank you once again for the great work and sacrifice always.

God bless you always.

Calvine

Thanks to a generous donation, the school has been able to purchase a much-needed chaff-cutter. This machine will simplify the preparation of animal food. Animal fodder is growing well on the village  farm, ensuring that there is ample supply for the future. This is a great blessing, considering the famine that is currently affecting parts of Kenya.

August Update: Sam Johnston MAF

Sam Johnston, an ex-BC student now working for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), has been stationed in Nairobi for the last couple of months. He recently visited Ark Quest Education Centre and sent us this report.

I have been fortunate enough to have visited Ark Quest twice (albeit briefly) in the last six months. Having met Calvine in New Zealand many moons ago, when I learned I was coming to Kenya, a visit to Ark Quest was on the top of my to-do list.

With each trip to Mahanga, I have been impressed by the standard at which Ark Quest operates. I have found the students to be attentive and enthusiastic at school. I recall seeing kids leaving school at 5.30 p.m. and asking where they were coming from. “They’ve just finished school” was the reply. I couldn’t believe the effort these kids were putting in. This was only compounded when I went for a walk one Saturday morning to discover a group of students in class! Seeing children putting in this much effort, I realised the life altering value in education. The kids themselves know this, and realise the opportunity they have in front of them, and they have taken hold of it with both hands. 

Then we have the teachers, who are passionate, dedicated and hard working. Despite minimal resources, these teachers do a superb job, putting in a huge amount of time and energy with the students at Ark Quest. On my first trip I had the privilege of taking the older kids for a lesson in basic aerodynamics. I was able to teach them how an aircraft is able to fly and, in doing this, I wanted to instill the belief that they are more than capable of becoming pilots or engineers etc. I opened it up to questions afterwards and was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of questions some of the students were asking. It showed they had grasped the basics and were applying them already.   

I am already looking forward to my next trip to Mahanga. There is something about what Ark Quest is doing that makes my heart celebrate. To have kids who are vulnerable, from situations that are hopeless in different ways, and to see them have this opportunity of life changing education, I just can’t help but see God in that.  This is why I keep being drawn back to what Calvine is doing at Ark Quest, because it’s God’s Kingdom being displayed in a simple yet powerful way. 

Update July 2017

A message from Calvine to us all.

How are you doing friends?

Trusting you are all well. I really appreciate all you have been doing for us. We are doing well here. The village school is progressing well also. Our children are now in their second term of the year. The teachers’ salaries are up-to-date and that really humbles me. Despite the few challenges we’ve had this year, God has been good and everything is great. Thanks for supporting me with the recent van repair. God bless you always. You have always been my greatest support in my time of need. I am so grateful.

 

The dairy project is picking up so well. As you may be aware, two of our animals calved successfully, and I am impressed by the cows’ milk yield (one is giving about 20 litres and the other 27 litres daily). I am looking forward to an even better yield as the other cows calve in the coming months.

 

Please continue to pray with us. Our food prices have increased here in a big way because of the prolonged drought. I have been struggling with that a little, but God has been faithful. I am thankful that your contributions are assisting me to buy a stock of beans (15 bags) that can last us several months to avoid the constant price variation.

God bless you always friends. Thanks so much for all the sacrifices you are making for us. My life has been made easier here because of your support.

Calvine

Update June 2017

LATEST UPDATE FROM CALVINE

Hard Times – Please Pray

At this present time parts of Kenya are struggling as a result of drought. This has forced food prices to double causing extreme hardship for many families who are struggling to feed themselves and their children. Of course this has impacted the school as the food bills have increased. 

Good News!

Ark Quest Education Centre has been able to assist a neighboring village that has experienced a cholera epidemic. By providing clean water to those affected, the school has been able to assist in bringing the epidemic under control and lessened it’s impact on the area.

The dairy herd has been increased by the births of two heifer calves. Calvine projects that by September the dairy project will be showing a small profit.

Thank you!

We are immensely grateful to the 30+ regular sponsors who are supporting the work of Ark Quest Education Centre. Without your continued support Calvine would struggle to keep the school open. We can see that God is truly blessing Ark Quest Education Centre and they are able to be a blessing to the wider community. How good is that?

Please continue to pray for wisdom for Calvine and his staff, and that God would enable them to persevere through their difficulties and know God’s guidance in all they do.

 

 

Update May 2017

Ark Quest visit by staff and students from Milimani Academy.

UPDATE

Calvine reports that students at Ark Quest Academy continue to excel academically. The village farm and dairy project are progressing well with an increase in the herd as calves are born and feed being supplied from the farm.

Sam Johnson, an ex-student from Bethlehem College, has visited Ark Quest School to talk about his experiences with Mission Aviation Fellowship and  to see first-hand the work and progress of this school. His sister Hannah was involved in the original building of the school in 2011. This experience was a very positive one for Sam.

Sam Johnson visits Ark Quest School when working for MAF

Ark Quest Education Centre’s challenges are ongoing, particularly as the van is due to be re-insured. Please pray for current projects to prosper and wisdom for Calvine as he leads the project. We are grateful for your continued support and prayers.

Team of 5 Visit Ark Quest from NZ!

Another Team Visits Ark Quest!

Sarah Knapp, Caleb Hood, Michael Bell, Jared Miller, Rachel Wallis all visited Ark Quest from 28 December – 18 January 2017. Unfortunately due to technical issues we have been unable to upload many photos here, but they will be uploaded soon!

This team accomplished so much during their visit. They all assisted 2 Kenyan builders with the construction of the gate for Ark Quest Education Centre. The boys were involved with helping with the fencing at the farm. Sarah and Rachel taught classes at Ark Quest (primarily English & Math). They also covered a number of new textbooks for the school to help prevent damage. They sang worship songs at both church and the school assemblies and played lots of outdoor games with the children. During their time the team managed to visit homes in the village. They made a Kiwi dinner for the family and workers (hamburgers and chips) and also made deep fried chocolate for them. They assisted the cooks with food preparation and the workers with tasks e.g. milking the cows. Sarah also helped with the interviewing for a new Head Teacher and Deputy Teacher. She also wrote up clear job descriptions for them. It was a busy few weeks!

 

Their Impressions of Ark Quest Education Centre

  • Our team was absolutely astounded by the initiative that has taken place at Ark Quest. We loved seeing that the management team of the school is working hard to enable the school to run without financial assistance. The projects such as the dairy, greenhouses and farm are very exciting and we loved helping out.
  • We were also amazed at the intelligence of the children and with their outstanding attitude of working hard in school.
  • It was a shock to hear some of the stories of the kids that attend Ark Quest. The school is such a place of hope for them.
  • We were also surprised to hear about how little the teachers and workers in Kenya get paid considering how hard they work. It was inspiring to see the hospitality of the people and how they made the village seem like a second home for all of us. We all think the story behind Ark Quest is both incredible and inspiring and look forward to visiting again the future.

Our Hopes for the Future

  • That the children at Ark Quest will get to continue their education through to secondary school.
  • To see the projects such as the dairy make sufficient income for the school so that the teachers and workers can earn a higher salary
  • That there would be greater financial stability to enable more children to attend the school and for the school to be able to run without outside financial assistance.
  • For enough support to happen back in New Zealand to help Calvine get the projects to where they need to be to be self-sustaining.
  • That more people will have the opportunity to go over to Kenya and see the project first hand.

In Closing

As a trust, we are truly blessed to receive feedback and see the impact resulting from visits like this. Sarah and the team have been a huge blessing to Ark Quest Education Centre, yet there funding must continue for a while yet. Calvine is so blessed by our continued partnership with the school as they journey to become self-sustaining whilst providing education and ensuring the welfare of all the students who attend.

God bless you for your support!