Yeats said “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The fire ignited by education by all of our partners is a catalyst for change; it promotes development within families and communities; it provides dignity and hope for the future; it builds capacity within the church; and equips leaders with the word of God.
Education is an important component of Harvesters’ holistic approach to ministry to encourage and assist national missionary initiative and to equip believers with the tools necessary to read, study, and share the word of God with others. Dedicated pastors and evangelists work tirelessly to share the love of Christ.
Harvesters is working with national ministry leaders to promote many different types of learning with more than 1,200 children in primary and secondary education and more than 100 students in Bible colleges and training centers.
Twenty years ago when Harvesters partnered with Julius Murgor and Pokot Outreach Ministries in Kenya, the population was more than 95% illiterate and parents did not want their children to attend school. Animals needed to be grazed, water needed to be collected, and younger siblings needed to be watched were all reasons given for why school wasn’t good for the Pokot community.
A generation later, the church is thriving, and education is increasingly being seen as a catalyst for positive change for the Pokot community. It is often out of a desire to study the word of God that has changed the minds of many parents who have now decided that they want more for their children. Scripture memory has led to many learning how to read and write by recognizing words in the Bible.
Reuben Meriakol, a Pokot missionary to South Sudan, says, “We don’t study to gain credentials, but to acquire proper knowledge and skill for ministry.”
In India, Kamlesh recounts the boldness and confidence of Kaajal Tilodia, a student from a Hundu family, whose father was an alcoholic that returned home each evening only to beat his wife
and shout at his children. With tears in her eyes, she asked one of her teachers, “when you pray, you say all things are possible with “Isshu Masih” (Jesus Christ). Can Jesus free my father from alcohol habit?” The teacher replied, “Yes, Kaajal, Jesus will surely do it. With faith we should pray for your dad.” Each day teachers prayed with Kaajal privately for her father, Mr. Tilodia. On a Sunday morning when he was sober, Kaajal talked to him in detail, telling him “Isshu Masih” can grant him freedom from the dreadful habit of alcohol. Then she had the confidence to pray with her father. The next morning, Mr. Tilodia came to Kaajal’s school and told the teachers, “I have no craving for alcohol anymore. “Isshu Masih” has liberated me from the curse of alcohol addiction! Now our home is very different and greatly blessed!”
In Myanmar and Kenya, children who grew up on the ministry are now returning to the ministry after college to serve as teachers and choir directors and to fan the flame of Christian influence for the next generation of children. Other children are becoming pastors, teachers, lawyers, and doctors, and influencing their churches and communities with values and character reinforced through their education.
It is incredibly exciting to witness the impact that education has on people like Kaajal, who have the confidence to share their faith and to influence their communities for Christ.
The cost of sending a child to high school in Kenya is $1,200 per year. $450 per year allows a student to attend Bible College in Myanmar or equips an evangelist in Kenya with the tools and knowledge to start and lead a church. Please partner with us to keep the fire of education burning bright.