This week I received an amazing story from our African Director, Henry Okumu, about one of our students, Simon Peter Beko. Simon is studying in Kitale, Kenya and Henry describes him as “one of the young men who is the most dedicated to church attendance and the most disciplined and hardworking in school. He is also the one who is performing best academically.” Following is Simon’s story in his own words (Henry has edited the grammar a little for clarity):
My name is Simon Peter Beko. I am 17 years old and an orphan. My father and mother died in some of the past violent fights that frequently take place in our country – South Sudan.
Now I’m a class 7 student at Showground Primary School in Kitale Kenya. I joined this school in September 2016 . From March to September last year we were not attending school because a neighbouring community made a revenge attack and burnt down our entire village. This kind of happening is not strange in Boma. We escaped narrowly and Faith Learning Centre was closed. Several of my fellow students and I escaped to Ethiopia. We hoped to join a refugee camp there, but we were not successful. After 5 months of untold suffering we returned to Boma. We found our school still closed and our people had not returned to rebuild the village because the security situation was still bad. I was slowly and unknowingly turning into a hopeless person. I thank God because while I was giving up on my life, He was working out a way restore my in life through SEA Partners’ consistent effort to help us.
I am the oldest student in class 7, and 5 years older than the oldest Kenyan student in my class. At the time I joined this class I felt very nervous and uncomfortable because I was much older than my classmates. But, I have slowly adjusted and now I like my class.
The story of my schooling begins in 2006 when I was among the first students to enroll at Faith Learning Centre in Boma, South Sudan. Attending FLC at that time was great fun and exciting for many reasons. The mystery of reading and writing was revealed. Our suffering from hunger was lessened by the school feeding program. We always looked forward to another school day. Unfortunately, our learning process has had to be interrupted many time by violence. At one time or another, it was either the inter-tribal animosity or politically motivated fighting that would interrupt school activities.
The school would be closed and teachers returned to Nairobi, while we sought refuge either in Ethiopia or Kenya. Then life wasn’t fun and we weren’t attending school for a while. But SEA Partners did not give up in the face of all these challenging circumstances. Whenever security situation improved, they would do their best to re-open the school and we would return to resume learning. I thank God for their dedication to help us get an education.
With the help from SEA Partners, I happy to be living in a more stable environment in Kitale, Kenya. Adjusting to the more organized and disciplined way of life here has not been easy. I’m beginning to appreciate and like this new way of life and I’m thankful for the good foster parents we have here. I feel safe and loved; and I’m happy that there are people who are concerned about my future, who encourage me and inspire me to do better. May God bless all the people who in one way or another are enabling SEA Partners to do all that they do to make my life have a good meaning.
I hope you are as excited to read this story as I was. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. God is amazing and is working in the hearts of these young people like Simon. Please pray that God would continue to bless them as they are likely to become the next generation of leaders in South Sudan.
PS. We must raise $1200 per month to fund the education of these children in Kenya. We have raised $250 per month to date for their support this year, so we must use money from our general funds account to provide for their needs. If you feel led to help these children, please consider a monthly gift to support them. You will be investing in their future and God’s kingdom.