After more than fifteen years of involvement with the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf, I felt that we had completed all that we had set out to do . . . and more. Then, along came COVID –– lockdowns, travel restrictions, and on and on and on, I felt that perhaps it was time to step away. I notified the school and Deaf Ministries International that I would be shutting down the Kenya Development Fund (a non-profit I had started for funding our work) and staying home for a while to take care of my wife and myself. One of my goals at the start was to see the school become self-sufficient and I felt they were well on their way. And they are!
In the year since I shut down the KDF and stepped away from the school, Headmaster Wesley Agengo has proven to be everything I thought he was. He is dedicated, creative, and driven. Under his careful direction, the school has grown and expanded –– literally becoming a force in the community there in the greater Oyugis area. Several months ago, I was notified that the government of Kenya has redesignated the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf as an "integrated educational facility." This means that now the school has both Deaf AND Hearing students. It was felt by the Ministry of Education that the school was providing a superior learning environment and wanted many of the hearing children in the area to benefit from the amazing learning environment that the school has developed.
TO MEET THE NEEDS OF SUCH A EXPANSION OF ENROLLMENT THE SCHOOL NEEDS TO EXPAND.
The school has asked me if I would come back on board for this project and reach out to my American friends for help in completing this building (and other projects) to accommodate the massive increase in enrollment, and the opportunity to impact more lives in the region. One of my major goals, in the beginning, was to see the school become "donor independent" or self-supporting. This school has made great strides in this direction and the addition of hearing students brings them even closer since most of the new enrollment consists of paying students. This has placed the school in a much healthier place than ever before.
It breaks my heart, but I cannot travel to Kenya right now for a number of reasons, but I have so much of my life and heart invested in these students and their teachers it is impossible for me to say no. SO.... I'm reaching out to you, and I need you to do TWO THINGS: (1) Carefully and prayerfully consider helping us with this project, and (2) please share this blog posts through your email or social media contacts.
The property where the Immanuel School now sits was a field filled with water and weeds just ten years ago. With the help of friends all over America, it is now one of the premier special needs schools in all of Kenya. The addition of new students means the addition of new facilities.
THE COST OF THIS PROJECT IS $95,000, BUT THERE IS GREAT NEWS! I ALREADY HAVE A MATCHING GIFT OF $30,000!!!
EVERY DOLLAR WE RAISE UP TO $30,000 WILL BE MATCHED. (Basically, your gift of $100 is the same as $200).
Agape Christian Fellowship has granted me permission to receive funds for this project through the church financial system. And there are several ways you can do that:
Go to https://www.acfellowship.net/contact-donate and click on the PayPal button. You can give either through PayPal or by Credit Card through that link. (Or you can simply go to paypal.me/acfellowship on your PayPal App on your phone. (Make Sure you leave instructions that your gift is for the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf (or ICSD) so our financial officer will know which account to put your gift in.
You can give by check to AGAPE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, 30 Canal Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301 (make sure you put ICSD in the memo section of your check.)
To give via CASH APP simply use the code $acfbratt
ONE OTHER THING - and this is important. SHARE THIS POST WITH EVERYONE
For more than fifteen years, this amazing school development has been accomplished primarily through the faithful sharing of the need through Word of Mouth and through Social Media. At this point, I am simply not able to travel all across the country to do fundraising events, but I believe God is going to help me raise significant support to move the school forward ONE MORE TIME.
Even though I knew it was time for me to step aside from the role I once played in the school, I have spent the last year in a period of mourning because the school has been such an important part of my life and ministry. I am thrilled to play a small part in helping the school take this next, HUGE step forward.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sending out updates on our progress. I am praying that God will allow this appeal to fall before the eyes that need to see it and are able to help. Pray with me, please!
Michael Gantt for the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf.