Northcross Christian School, Ryde (NSW)
Mission Trip to Kayunga Baptist School, Uganda
Over the past 3 years, Northcross Christian School has been involved in raising funds to support Kayunga Baptist School, a small bush school situated in a district approximately 74km north of Kampala. The children at Northcross have so far enabled the school to build a water tank, install concrete floors in some of the classrooms and lay the foundations for a new school building containing four classrooms and a staffroom.
This year the children of Northcross Christian School participated in an ‘Acts of Service’ fundraising project where the children were encouraged to raise money at home over a three week period. It didn’t matter how small or large the amount each child raised, combined together we encouraged our children to ‘make a difference’. Children completed jobs at home such as making their bed, washing the car, massaging their parents’ feet and helping grandparents with the dusting! Together with help from other members of our school community, our school raised an amazing $9000 to send through to Kayunga Baptist School – making it possible to finish off the new classrooms and build upon the foundations that have already been laid.
Over the past three years, I have been incredibly committed not only to fundraising for Kayunga, but also educating the children at Northcross to realise that they can make a difference however small or large. We want our children to develop a servant heart, and to recognise that there are many children in our world who do not have the same opportunities available to them.
During the September school holidays, I ventured to Uganda to meet the staff and children at Kayunga. I was eager to see the water tank, the concrete floors and the new buildings for myself. What a life changing experience this trip was! I was welcomed so enthusiastically by both the staff and beautiful children who performed for me – dancing, singing and marching. I continued on to teach each class over the course of the week – spending time teaching them about the goodness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I was humbled by the gratitude, respect, care and love that were shown to me throughout my time at Kayunga. I had taken many resources with me – craft activities, coloured pencils, glue, sharpeners, beads, puppets, children’s books and a Picture Bible. Before I left Sydney, many wonderful friends within the Northcross community generously supplied these gifts and they were graciously received by all at Kayunga. The children at the school were so thankful to be given each craft activity to complete, something our children take for granted every day. I was shocked when I saw the children sharpen their pencils with a razor blade – and will always remember the look on their faces when they were given a sharpener to use for the very first time.
After school each day, I was taken to visit the homes of two children who attended school at Kayunga. It was at this time I was struck by the desperate need of the families and the communities throughout Uganda – I found it extremely heartbreaking. I have realised that there is so very much we can do here in Australia to support our brothers and sisters, and have been provided with the opportunity to share the needs with the Northcross community since my return.
Whilst visiting Kayunga Baptist School, I was honored to carry with me a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ that has been established between Northcross Christian School and Kayunga Baptist School, and was signed during my visit. This document was created to unite our two schools together, enabling us to support one another through prayer, communication and financial support. Kayunga Baptist School is now officially the “sister” school of Northcross Christian School – what a privilege and an honor.
It would be wonderful to see this relationship established between more of our Australian Christian Schools and the Baptist Schools throughout Uganda. Not only can we help to change the lives of the precious Ugandan children, but we can also enable our children here in Australian to develop care, concern and love for others in our world – encouraging them that even the smallest difference that can be made is better than no difference being made at all.
Head of Infants
Northcross Christian School
Annual general Meeting
We have just held our 12th Annual General Meeting. What an inspiring time it was. Those who were able to attend were moved and challenged by what God has been doing through NHI as told in the Annual Report which was presented to the meeting.
We were also challenged by the Annual Financial Statement that showed for the first time we have spent more than we have had donated. We are also not meeting out targets for our Staff Support. We would ask your prayer in this matter. Because we have sufficient reserves this is not a problem at present but would be a problem if the trend continues. It is hardly surprising that our budget is challenging as NHI is expanding into so many new areas and the need is great.
While we need financial support, we need prayer support more. Please use the Prayer calendar which is available under the ‘Prayer and Newsletter’ tab. which will assist you in praying for this ministry.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for your faithful and ongoing support for this vital ministry.
I would personally value your prayer as I enter my eighty-first year. God has given me good health and plenty of energy and strength but as my heart specialist reminded me, “You are entering the dangerous decade!” Well it’s not dangerous for Christians as we know where we are going when this life is over. There is still much that I would like to accomplish before it is time to go home so please pray for me.
Your servant In Christ,
Bob Frisken AM
Trip to Nepal (17 September-1 October 2013)
Helen Blanch (Education Director)
I was invited to Nepal by Grahame Kerr, the CEO of Transform the Nations, an organisation that runs Educate Nepal, a non-government organisation that is establishing Christian Community schools in Nepal. The purpose of my visit was to be the NHI representative at the opening of the New Hope Community Centre in Surkhet, a western province in Nepal. During my time there, I would do ETLS
(1) training with the three teachers at the Hope Community school and fifteen potential teachers for the future. I am very thankful to the Lord for the privilege of being involved for this short time in the wonderful work He is doing through the partnership of His people in Nepal and Australia.
Arrival in Kathmandu
I discovered a bustling city with crowds of people, animals(mainly cows and dogs) on the roads and footpaths and chaotic traffic-taxis (little run-down Suzuki cars), bicycles, motor-bikes, trucks, buses and tuk tuks (auto rickshaws), all vying for the space on the road to go where they are going. For the first three days I stayed at the Transform the Nations’ guest house, a leased four-storey building with lots of rooms and not too far from the airport. It is a haven in the midst of the city and provides accommodation for those who come to serve in some capacity on a team. Up on the flat roof you could see out over the surrounding buildings. Next door they were adding two new floors to the building and an older lady with a large basket on her back lugged it full of bricks up to the construction area for a significant part of the day. It was a reminder of how difficult and hard life is for the majority of Nepali people.
Grahame who has a wonderful ability to mobilise people had organised twenty-two Australians to be involved over this time. A number had been before. Some were retirees (who have actually only retired from paid employment), there was a family with their teenage daughter and son, four young adults in their 20’s and the 18 year old granddaughter of one of the older couples, a lady who had served as a missionary in the Philippines and others from churches in Queensland. We were such a diverse range of people who had come together to be part of the Gospel work in Nepal. Some were teachers, nurses, singers and a mechanic !! The training that would be led by members of the team on the ground floor of the Guest House started on the Sunday and involved teaching vocational skills in cup-cake making, hospitality and sewing to the girls from the half-way house . There was also training given in health, hygiene and first-aid and Tim our young motor-bike mechanic (who had won national apprentice of the year in Australia a couple of years earlier) went to another location to teach mechanical skills. I was in Surkhet during this time but enjoyed the photos of the great things the girls had achieved. The delicious cup-cakes, the beauty of their table settings and the grace of how they served the tables was a testimony to them of how wonderfully they are gifted and loved by God and the potential they have. These skills will assist them to be able to earn an income.
A visit to the Christian Community School in Kathmandu
It was with much anticipation that I visited CCS, established in April 2011 and now has classes up to Grade 7 with thirty five staff and four hundred and fifty students. The Principal is Lalima Malakar and the Head of Primary is Rabita Tandukar. Reshma, Lalima’s sister, is the Principal of the Hope Community School. These young women have much responsibility and are dedicated to their ministry. Both of them have been involved over time in the Effective Teaching and Learning (ETLS) training and this is continuing. Three of the teachers in the team spent time assisting in the school for the week. It is co-educational and an English medium school on three locations- middle school, lower primary and nursery-kindergarten. Many of the girls who attend the school are from the Badi community of western Nepal. They are the lowest level of the Dalits (untouchables) who are in turn the lowest level of Hindu society. As a poverty-stricken and displaced group, the Badi community have made sexual subservience a way of life and a means of livelihood. Many girls between the ages of 9-16 years are forced to serve as sex slaves mainly in Indian brothels. Family members knowingly sell their daughters to traffickers. The Badi girls in the school have either been rescued from sex slavery or have been put into the school before they could potentially be sold. What a difference the Lord makes through the ministry of a Christian school! The stories of the girls’ pasts are horrendous and hard to comprehend. It seems that their childhood has been stolen from them and we wonder how they will ever recover. But the deep love of Jesus through the ministry of His Spirit and His people are remaking them in His image and restoring to them the preciousness of their lives. I am sure that it will be a long journey of healing for many of them. Christian education is about a transforming vision of life and there is genuine transformation visibly taking place in their lives. Even their physical appearances reflect the joy of new found relationships of grace that are helping to overcome the scars and violations that have previously been inflicted on them. Currently, Robyn Kerr and one of the team, Gloria, are compiling their stories so they encourage Australians and people from other western nations to be sponsors of the girls.
I had the opportunity to visit every class on the three campuses and the children were so responsive and eager to learn. They so obviously loved school. The little ones sang with great gusto and the older ones showed me their meticulous work in their books. Nepali education is very much about teacher talk, writing down notes and memorisation to pass exams. Through ETLS we are seeking to encourage a distinctive approach where teachers encourage active learning and recognise the different learning styles and gifts of students. Later in the day I visited two of the girls’ hostels- Tusal which is where the Miriam centre is also located for babies and Naya Basti Hostel. This hostel is painted pink and all the beds have pink bed covers. It is literally like a pink palace for the girls who have come out of the most destitute of living conditions. They appreciate the things we take for granted such as a good meal, a shower, clean water and a bed in which to sleep. The youngest girl in the hostel was three and she got up to dance for us when the students sang. They love music and dance and they have beautiful voices.
Saturday is a public holiday and so church is on Saturday. We had to order five taxis to take us all to the church. We went to the Hosanna Community Centre where the students in the hostel attend church. We went to the second service. Both services were packed and it was so good to see so many young people there. Even though it was stifling hot, the worship was enthusiastic and joyous. It was in Nepalese but we were able to join in the atmosphere which was contagious. They welcomed us by putting a scarf around each of our necks. Pastor Raju, who spoke that morning, heads up Hosanna Church Ministries and the Lighthouse Foundation which has responsibility for the hostels. He is also President of ‘Educate Nepal’ an NGO which looks after the schools. All these entities work in partnership with Transform the Nations. His father is the pastor of the church and the whole family has an amazing story of how the Lord saved them many years ago. He preached passionately but unfortunately it wasn’t translated. They have such a heart for lost people and are being used by God to plant and nurture the Gospel work in Nepal and elsewhere.
Training at the Hope Community Centre
After church, Grahame and I took a flight to Nepalgunji in the west of Nepal. We flew past the Himalayas but because of the high cumulus cloud I could only see two mountain peaks but that was still splendid. On Sunday morning, we had a two and half hour drive over two mountains and a hair- raising road to get to the Hope Community Centre in Chinchui which comprises a school building, a hostel, a community hall and in the future a medical centre will be completed.
From Sunday through to Thursday, Grahame took about 40 pastors and church leaders for leadership training and I took a group of fifteen young adults who have the potential to be trained as Christian teachers to do a modified version of ETLS(1). The accompanying workbook to the usual ETLS (1) text was what we used as our material and it had been translated into Nepali. I had two translators over the course of the five days and both were educators and excellent and we worked very well together. The training mainly involved teaching them the foundational biblical truths from ETLS (1) that shape Christian education and they were very engaged in the learning. I enjoyed doing lots of different creative things to show them different teaching and learning styles. We did lots of group work which is new for them as they are used to being given answers which they individually memorise rather than learning to think and work together in community. I got very cheap plastic mirrors (nineteen for $3) at the town and got them to shatter them and look at their shattered image and we had Mars bars as the new treasure that the teacher brings out for their students. None of them had tasted a mars bar before. They loved those even though they had melted! There was lots of laughter and I taught them the game “Simon says” to help them to learn to listen to each other as they are not used to contributing to class discussions and listening to one another in a classroom. I had the three teachers from the New Hope school for their sessions before and after school as they had classes in the day. We were able to do much more application of the material to their teaching practice in the classroom. So I was teaching from 7am until 6pm each day with a lunch break and it was a wonderful time with all the trainees who were very responsive. The humidity was the only problem as sometimes the power went out and the generator wasn’t on. We had our sessions in the Principal’s office which was just big enough for us but very hot as the humidity had to be over 95%. (If perspiration was calories I would have lost weight!!) It was a very special time with the trainees and I pray that they will have a sense of God’s call in relation to teaching and a willingness to further develop their gifts. In recognition of their training both the church leaders and the teacher trainees received certificates presented by Grahame and I.
On Friday, the opening of the Hope Community Centre was held. The rest of the team (except for about six who stayed to continue work in Kathmandu) had arrived on the Thursday after a 22 hour coach trip for the opening. The Hope school has three classes – nursery and two kindergartens. It will eventually go to Year 10. The children are gorgeous and were keen to look at our white faces! Special guests (Grahame, myself, the local army captain and police chief, government officials, Lalima and Reshma) received a big rosette pinned on us (someone on the team commented jokingly that I looked like a prize bull!!). I had the privilege on behalf of NHI of cutting the ribbon to open it. The Centre is certainly a place of hope anchored in the Gospel. It stands in stark contrast to the poverty and human misery that is part of the surrounding community.
In the afternoon a musical concert was held in the hall. Over 1000 from the surrounding community attended – mainly young people. The entertainment was provided by some Nepalese musicians and singers and two of the Aussie young men (one of whom was Grahame’s son) sang. Raju preached the Gospel. The hall was packed and like a sauna with the heat and humidity so some of us stayed outside with the overflow.
After the concert we travelled in the coach back to the motel where we were all staying. On the way we stopped at the Badi village, Jhuprakola, which is down a rocky track and located near the edge of the river. This is the village where one hundred girls were originally taken to the hostel and the Christian Community School. The surrounding bushland is lush after a very wet season and such a view would be a high price in Australia. But as you get to the village you are confronted by the reality of what life is like for those who live there. It is so destitute, poor and miserable. The women stand in the river all day collecting sand to earn some money. The men and women collect stones and rocks to transport for road building. Life is one long struggle filled with despair. The ugliness of their existence is starkly contrasted against the beauty of God’s creation. Hindu beliefs diminish the dignity of each human life and this is the outworking of those beliefs in their culture. As I stood outside the pastor’s home, he has established a church in this village and in the midst of this human misery, I was reminded of the love and hope expressed in the faces of the girls at CCS who had been rescued. Grahame’s words as we walked into the village still ring in my ears “If Jesus came to Nepal this is where he would come.” But Jesus has come embodied in the pastor and God’s people who have been called to bring redemption to Nepal.
After attending church at the Hope Community Centre on Saturday, some of us made the journey back to Kathmandu with the remainder of the team returning the next day. On Sunday we had lunch at a place in the precinct where a very large Buddhist temple stands. Seeing many Nepali people constantly walking around it with their prayer wheels is a visible picture that without Christ people will perform endless rituals to try find meaning and redemption in their lives. A number of groups of western tourists were around on that day buying the trinkets and souvenirs that are part of the Nepali religion and culture. I wonder how many of them would want to live out the cultural realities of Nepal in their own countries that result from the beliefs and practices of Hinduism and Buddhism.
On Monday I began the journey home. I was so thankful for the brief time I could learn and serve in Nepal. It was a time of such mixed emotion and thoughts. The kind of existence that so many Nepalis live was both confronting and challenging. When I think of my own culture and how much we complain about our blessings, the sense of entitlement and the wastage of the consumer culture, it makes me feel grieved. Yet in the midst of this land the hope of Jesus shines through his people like a lighthouse in the darkness. Transform the Nations and Hosanna Church Ministries of Nepal need support to bring redemption to this needy land. Christian Education is a transforming vision of life that can give hope and a future to the children who in turn can change the nation from the inside out. As sons and daughters of the living God we can speak to the children of all nations about ‘the old and the new’, ‘being lost but now found’, ‘abandoning slavery and embracing freedom’ and ‘living in hope rather than despair’.
Yours in Christ
Helen Blanch (Education Director)
Advanced Standing for the NHI Effective Teaching and Learning Series
Educators who have successfully completed “The Effective Teaching and Learning Series” (ETLS) will be granted Advanced Standing by Morling Education for one unit in their Master of Education or Master of Education (Leadership) courses. This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers who undertake the ETLS training to not only be equipped to be effective Christian teachers who can train others but to have it accredited toward postgraduate study at Morling Education. New Hope International and Morling Education are both committed to the common vision of assisting and supporting Christian teachers to develop their thinking and practice from a Christian worldview. In order to gain the Advanced Standing for the ETLS, you should provide a copy of the Certificate you are awarded after completing this Series to Morling Education as part of your application for the Masters course.
For further information about the Master of Education or Master of Education (Leadership) courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details about the requirements for Advanced Standing in relation to the ETLS, Helen Blanch (NHI Education Director) at email@example.com
Green Point Christian College (GPCC) Tongan Mission Link 2013
Hofangahau College is part of the Free Wesleyan Church School system in Tonga, with a current enrollment of 120 students. The college is located on the small island of Eua to the south-east of the main island of Tongatapu. Over the past 10 years Green Point Christian College has sent teams of students to visit Tonga and has hosted students and teachers from Hofangahau College. This year, during the April school holiday, a team of teachers traveled to Tonga to run a three day Teachers Conference focusing on ‘Christian Education’ and ‘Teaching Practice’. Two of the team members were Amanda Harris and Ross Hamoni who have done training with NHI.
Once we arrived we discovered that the staff of Hofangahau College had never attended a teaching conference. During the conference, it was a joy to see the staff learning about the importance of teaching from a Christian perspective and applying it to their own classroom practice. The GPCC team were deeply touched by the love of the Tongan staff community. There were many opportunities for us to encourage and be encouraged by the staff and their families. We are well
aware that it is only through God’s prompting and guidance that we have been given this opportunity to sow into the lives of Christian Teachers at Hofangahau College. Without our knowledge, God has created a ripple effect into the entire Free Wesleyan Church Education system in Tonga.
All praise and glory is to be given to our Almighty God! We would like to give all the glory to God because it became very obvious that our Heavenly Father went before us and prepared the hearts and minds of every person that attended the conference. Each teacher made special comment about how their lives had been touched by God and how it would impact their daily teaching practice. Please pray for the Teachers of Hofangahau College who are striving to impact the lives of their students for Christ.
‘Maryanne Mercy Fund’ assists the Slum district in Manilla,
The Philippines, through a Milk Feeding Program – Sue Skuthorpe (NHI Chair)
The twelve months of the Milk Feeding Program funded by New Hope International was extremely successful. The children who received the milk benefited greatly from the nutritious vitamins and minerals.
Before starting the project, many of the children were severely underweight. This was due to poor nutrition and the small amount of food they ate. With the introduction of the milk program, many students gained weight and have maintained their better weight until now.
One of these students at the Tatalon campus was Jericho. He was a small, extremely skinny boy with no energy. He sat lethargically in his classes and didn’t ever participate in games or answer questions in class.
Since participating in the Milk Feeding Program, Jericho has gained a substantial amount of weight. This is not only because of the milk itself, but because his parents have been educated on how best to cater for the dietary needs of a young child.
Jericho now loves to dance and play sports. He is involved in dance groups and has participated in dance presentations for visitors to the school. He enjoys eating, and is active and alert. He is attentive in class, and his grades have improved dramatically since he began eating better and drinking milk daily.
Jericho’s story is not an isolated one. All of the children are more alert and active. They are fuller for longer and are able to better concentrate on their classes. They have gained weight, their hair is a truer black and is shinier now. The whites of their eyes are actually white now, instead of yellow. Also, the children have smoother skin and stronger teeth.
The Feeding program at the Fairview Campus is a big help to the pupils. The teaching staff have observed and experienced that teaching pupils with empty stomachs is not easy. Malnutrition or undernourishment hinders the pupils’ ability to learn and understand the concepts that are taught to them. Thus, the Feeding program is considered an essential supplementary program to really ensure maximum learning. Children learn best when their bodies are well nourished and they are strong and healthy.
One of the recipients of the feeding program is Angelo Gopio. He was a sickly boy when he first came to us last year. He did not participate well before in class activities because of lack of energy. He was thin and very shy to participate in class. There were times that he just stared blankly at something. He had to be reminded frequently to focus or to listen attentively.
In the middle of the school year, Angelo’s health improved gradually. The vitamins given to him daily helped a lot in boosting his immune system. He started to become more active and confident in his class. The fruits and milk given to him daily helped him a lot. He gained weight and his skin glows and becomes smoother. He is happy, alert, and active in class now. His attendance in class improved and he is coping well in his lessons. He is now in Grade 1.
Angelo’s Mum is happy with the good things happening to her son. She is so grateful for the opportunity given to her son at KSCSI. Because of this, she often volunteers in cleaning the school or sometimes in assisting in the Feeding Program.
The education part of the Milk Feeding Program has proved to be invaluable for the parents. These are adults who want the best for their children, but haven’t had the opportunity to learn simple nutritional information, such as the importance of eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
The children have also become better informed on how to choose healthier options for themselves as well. They can now see the importance of drinking milk each day.
The Milk Feeding Program was a life changing opportunity for the students involved. They are healthier and happier and now have a better chance of success at school because of it.
Because this program was so successful and enriching for the children, if funds were to become available in the future, we would be most grateful again.
Thank you so much for the funding that you provided. We are truly grateful for your willingness to participate in this venture.
DEVOTIONS FOR BUSY TEACHERS – written by Neville Pollard
It is with great pleasure that Neville, through New Hope International, is making his publication available to all Christian Teachers to use as a guide to their personal devotions. These devotions relate directly to teaching and will assist you in the important role that you as teachers perform for your students each day.
Neville writes – The Story behind these Devotions
Back at the end of 2007, when I left teaching full time, I felt a real compulsion to write a series of devotions for Christian teachers – I would like to think that God was leading me to undertake this project. I wrote a small number and showed Maryanne Frisken; at first she could not understand why I would want to go in this direction but having read them along with hearing my reason for writing gave a very warm endorsement and encouragement to go on. I then gradually wrote one daily piece after another until I had completed fifty seven in all.
My purpose was not to write a set of general devotions of the type that were readily available in Christian bookstores but to pen something that Christian teachers could either use personally or form the basis for morning devotions or introductions to staff meetings. I had been concerned, as Principal, that on many occasions teachers at my school sometimes came to morning devotions unprepared and so wasted that precious morning time. The idea was to keep the broad themes of Christian education uppermost in teachers’ minds at the beginning of each day. For some days I used small bites from the New Hope International Effective Teaching and Learning Series.
It is my prayer that working through these daily devotions staff will not only grow in Christ but become more effective Christian teachers.
For your copy of the devotions please Teachers Devotionals.
The Ever expanding ministry of New Hope.
It never ceases to amaze us the areas and countries that New Hope International (NHI) is having an impact on through its Effective Teaching and Learning Series (ETLS).
Each year we have NHI Accredited Trainers from Australia and New Zealand travel overseas to present the ETLS training to schools or groups of schools who NHI has an association with. The other way that we have connections with countries, is through overseas Teachers, Principals or Heads of Education Departments who have been sponsored by Australian Schools to attend our annual Training seminar in January each year. It is through this sponsorship that allows these trainers to return home and conduct their own PD for their own school or group of schools within their local enviroment.
To see the number of countries we are associated with, click on World Map, and see the ever increasing numbers of countries we are associated with through the ETLS training.
Professional Development at Maranatha Christian School (New Zealand)
It was a privilege to share the Effective Teaching & Learning Series One with the staff at Maranatha during the last week of January. One of the teachers had previously been blessed by doing the course with Bob Frisken at Middleton Grange School (NZ) and had suggested it for her own school.
Maranatha is a K-8 school in the picturesque city of Lower Hutt, thirty-five kilometres from the centre of Wellington. Its location in the hills provides a wonderful environment for the children to learn, surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. Debbie Middleton (the Principal), the eight teaching staff and a teachers’ assistant participated in the four days of training prior to the students return for the new school year. I had the opportunity to stay in Debbie’s home together with her ninety-one year old mum who was the founding Principal of the school. As Athalie told her stories of the pioneering days, she embodied and exemplified the message of hope that Maranatha is seeking to bring to its students in 2013.
The staff was open and responsive to the learning and readily shared their understanding and insights with each other as they grappled with implementing the material in their own school situation. There was an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality that permeated the whole time. I was so blessed by the honest reflections and heart-felt desire of the staff to grow in their understanding and implementation of Christ-centred education. Their love for the Lord and their students was very evident in their responses.
Some of the comments show their very positive response to the Effective Teaching and Learning Series. Below are a few:
“We really have had our ‘wells’ filled and our staff and children will be blessed as we draw from it throughout the year and the future.”
“It was a ‘God week’ of ‘God moments’”
“Thank you for the jewels you left us…..”
Opportunity was given for me to share the ministry of New Hope International. Maranatha will now have an advocate which is our second one in New Zealand.
International Director of Education