Imagine a world where it is safer for you to be at boarding school than in your own home. A world where you are not sure if you can even go to high school because of the cost. A place where you feel more scared than safe, more hungry than satisfied, and more lost than found. This is the world for many of the students The Hope Venture sponsors in Kenya.
Patrick lives with his mother and step dad in Narok, Kenya. Patrick oftentimes feels misunderstood. He tries to make sense of why his step dad yells and comes home drunk. He doesn’t feel comfortable expressing his struggles, and just feels as if the whole world is against him.
In August, a team with the Hope Venture led a retreat for the students with sponsorships. Shy, but curious, Patrick came to the retreat. He has a soft, sweet smile and a loving heart. You could see the wheels in his head turning when he was asked about his relationship with Jesus. He slowly lowered his head and his eyes filled with tears. He wanted more, but wasn’t sure how to get it. He wanted to be loved, but didn’t know what that felt like. The Kenya team showed Patrick what is was like to be loved deeply, and he never wanted to let that feeling go. The team did all they could to show him that this unconditional love comes from God himself.
Patrick is 17 and has been able to attend school for the past two years because of his sponsorship from The Hope Venture partners. He is currently in form 2, which is equivalent to our 10th grade. Their school year goes from January to December and is split into three terms throughout the year. The third term just started in September. Patrick had made some choices in his school that got him into trouble. He was sneaking out of school and taking food that wasn’t allowed into the school. His school said that he needed to pay some fees in order to return to school for his final term of form 2. Scared to tell his mom, he planned to run away. He planned to avoid the situation and try to start a new life on his own. However, God has bigger and better plans for him, and moved in his heart to keep him at home and tell people what was going on. Eventually, he came clean with The Hope Venture’s partners in Kenya and told his mom. They have had multiple meetings trying to get him back into the school. The school he was in has said he cannot finish out form 2 with them. In hopes of him not having to retake form 2, our partners have been working to get him into a day school for the rest of the year. This will keep him on track to start form 3 (11th grade) in January at a new school. Patrick has been fully funded for the rest of his high school education, so we are praying that he will continue to do what needs to be done to finish the next two years.
Imagine a world where you are the first in your family to graduate from high school. A world where you feel more safe than scared, more satisfied than hungry, more loved than unwanted. This is the world we hope to create for Patrick and many other students that are sponsored through The Hope Venture. It is more than an education. It is a safe environment. It is the hope of Jesus being poured into them through the privilege of getting an education.