Generations for Jesus

20 Oct

Image of Cleophas and Griffin

Cleophas Makona and his son Griffin standing in front of the first school building built at Heaven’s Family Academy

Generations for Jesus

Rachel’s 1st Trip Blog From Kenya

Dear Family,

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Kenya to meet with various partners of the Education and Critical Medical Needs Ministries located there. The partners that I was able to visit have all been working for many years with Heaven’s Family. It was such a blessing over the week-long time I was in Kenya, to be able to travel to meet with these partners, face to face, and to get to see the work they are doing on the ground.

The main purpose of this trip was to travel throughout Kenya and to visit the schools that Heaven’s Family’s Education Ministry supports, and to also meet with several Critical Medical Needs patients and families that have received surgery and medical care throughout the years through the kindness of Heaven’s Family’s donors.

On my trip, I had the pleasure of visiting with a partner who has worked alongside Heaven’s Family for many years, Cleophas Makona. After years of being supported as one of our national missionaries, in 2015 Cleophas established a school, Heaven’s Family Academy, in a small rural town of Kenya called Saboti.

Since opening almost ten years ago, Heaven’s Family Academy has grown, now educating around 300 children a year ranging from preschool through high school aged children. Many of the children who attend this school come from extreme poverty, having parents that struggle to find work and provide food for their children, let alone pay for their children’s education each year. In Kenya, per government regulations, parents are required to pay for their children’s schooling, as a way to incentivize the children to do well and value their education, but this can often result in many poor families being unable to send their children to school.

Because of the support of the Education Ministry, this school is able to continue to educate and feed these three hundred children each day while charging much lower school fees than other schools, allowing parents more grace in payment windows. Recently, although their school serves a highly impoverished population, Heaven’s Family Academy was ranked number 1 out of 25 surrounding schools based on their students’ test scores, a testament to the quality of education and investment in each child that their school is making.

Cleophas, the founder and director of Heaven’s Family Academy has served in ministry his entire life. As he nears retirement age, he has welcomed his son Griffin to become the assistant director of the school. Although Cleophas told me “I won’t stop working for the Lord until I close my eyes in death”, he has had the joy of being able to step back from several of his roles and watch as his son Griffin has followed in his footsteps serving God and working in ministry. Griffin, who lives on the school grounds with his family, now works to oversee the day-to-day operations of the school, in addition to being a head trainer for Farming Gods Way and a leader in Disciple Multiplication. He works alongside his father, overseeing the twenty-five staff who work for the school and serving as the principal and head contact for the 300 students who attend the academy.

What a blessing it was to be able to see Cleophas proudly watch as Griffin showed us around the school grounds and answered any questions we had. Cleophas shared with me that he was overjoyed that his son is serving the Lord and working in ministry and how exciting it was for a father to raise up a son who is on fire for the Lord and dedicated to Him.

Heaven’s Family Academy is only one of many schools that the Education Ministry supports each month. Through the kindness of donors like you, thousands of kids around the world are able to attend school and not only receive an education, but more importantly learn the truth of who Jesus is.

Below are a few more photos from my visit to Heaven’s Family Academy with captions. Please enjoy!

Image of the director of the Education Ministry

Rachel Reed
Director, Education Ministry

Image of students from preschool class

Two students from the preschool class (ages 3-5) during a break time

Image of students

Students in the 8th grade class of Heaven’s Family Academy. This will be their final year of primary school before they will begin secondary school

Image of Griffin

Griffin, Cleophas’ son, standing in front of the secondary school, the newest building addition at Heaven’s Family Academy that was built last year to accommodate the growing numbers of students attending the school

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