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Faith

Oswego church offers ‘alternative gifting’ opportunity; aids Kenyan students

2013 gathering at P.C.E.A. Ngony Church in Kenya.
2013 gathering at P.C.E.A. Ngony Church in Kenya.

In October 2013, Ken and Kathy Mozingo, as representatives of Oswego Presbyterian Church, visited their Kenyan partner, Kithino Parish. They visited the three churches of Kithino Parish and returned with stories of generosity and hospitality from the wonderful people in Kenya, many of whom are low-income subsistence farmers on the slopes of Mount Kenya.

The Mozingos heard how keeping children in school, especially into high school, can be very difficult in Kenya. There is government support for high schools, but the annual fees and uniform costs to parents are about $60 a year – beyond the means for many families.

Oswego Presbyterian Church partnered with Kithino Parish in forming the Kenya Scholarship Fund to help these low-income families continue their children’s education into high school. Since December 2013, the church has directed all Advent Special Offering collections each year to the Kenya Scholarship Fund.

“The results have been amazing, Ken Mozingo said. “In 2014, our Kenyan partners awarded scholarships to 74 high school students. In 2015, the scholarship fund was expanded to also provide university scholarships (about $150 a year) for graduating high school students receiving high grades on the national exam. We are so proud of the five university recipients that year. They have continued to receive scholarships (and good grades) for four years now and will soon be graduating.”

On their January 2017 visit to Kenya, the Mozingos met Joy Miriko, one of the first university scholarship recipients.

Miriko continued as a university recipient at Mombasa University and has just graduated with a community health degree. Miriko told the Mozingos, “Even beyond the finances, which keep us moving academically, you keep blessing us because we know someone somewhere is trying to benefit you, to pull you up, so that you can benefit society.”

Here at the start of Oswego Presbyterian’s 2019 Advent scholarship fund drive, the Kenya Scholarship Fund is sponsoring 27 university students and 77 high school students.

“We have been so blessed to hear that 62 of our sponsored students have graduated high school and 27 have continued to university,” Ken Mozingo said. “These are young people who would probably not have continued into high school nor university without our help. It is such a joy to hear that our scholarship fund has made this kind of difference in the lives of these young people and their families.”

He continued, “At this time of the year when we all receive solicitations to make donations and we wonder what percentage of our donation would actually get to that worthy recipient. The Missions Team of OPC invites everyone to consider contributing to the Kenya Scholarship Fund. It can be trusted to distribute 100% of the funds to those low-income families in Kenya that need it to keep their children in school. This is also an excellent ‘alternative gifting’ opportunity. Rather than buying a Christmas tie for Uncle John, one can make a gift in honor of Uncle John to the Kenya Scholarship Fund. Uncle John will appreciate it and so will that family in Kenya.”

Gift cards can be obtained at the church office or online at opchurch.org/global-outreach/2019-gift-card.pdf. Donations can be made at opchurch.org/donate-to-opc/electronic-transfer.html. Click Donate to OPC Today, then Other and specify Kenya in the Other box. Donations can be made by check (with a “Kenya” notation) in the offering plate or at the OPC office.

Information about Oswego Presbyterian’s Kenya Scholarship Fund can be found at opchurch.org/global-outreach/kithino-parish.html.

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