The staff of Graceway Academy, the free preschool that Africa Connect supports, are not merely paid staff; they are a stable and hardworking team, partners in the vision for their community and committed to giving the children a nurturing love that heals, and an education that excels. Graceway has become an exemplary school, its graduates sought after by local primary schools desiring to raise their standing.
Africa Connect invests in professional training for the staff, seeking to improve their lives even as they sacrificially serve others. Because the students come from desperate situations, often with little or no discipline, the staff duties go well beyond the norm. Often you will find them taking time to wash a neglected child, counsel a parent, or after a long day, visiting the homes of their students to better evaluate the needs and connect with the family.
Each teacher is certified in Early Childhood Development, and has received training in first aid, HIV related situations, computer, cell group leadership, and Bible. In addition to administrators and teachers, the staff consists of two social workers, three kitchen workers, a groundskeeper and two watchmen.
Apollo Juma is Head Pastor of Graceway Harvest Chapel, the host church for the preschool since 2004. His integrity, humility, discipline and unwavering passion for teaching the Word of God and reaching out with the gospel is providing a tremendous example for not only the church, but other leaders in the community.
He has worked to build a strong and capable leadership team and stresses the importance of unity and mentoring leaders to share the burden and responsibility for the church. He is an excellent Bible teacher, and speaks to millions each week in Kenya and Uganda through Imani radio broadcasts.
Apollo is employed as a full time administrator in a Kenyan public primary school, but finds time to lead prayer meetings, counsel, teach Bible studies, and visit homes in the slum. He often travels on weekends to encourage young churches and to plant new ones.
He is married to Rose Juma, and is a loving father to their three children.
Rose Juma is also very instrumental in the work in Kitale. Besides serving in the church as pastor's wife, teacher, women’s leader and worship leader, Rose is the full time Manager of Graceway Academy and devoted mother of three.
She has received training in Secretarial and Computer Skills and Quickbooks, and demonstrates wisdom and diligence in her duties. Her regular reporting helps to maintain a strong partnership. Rose also oversees the Tailoring and Agriculture empowerment programs, and acts as "Mama" to many families in the area.
It is a wonderful privilege to work with this couple; their selfless love and dedication is truly an example to us and to so many.
Maina Mwangi is the Finance Manager and Secretary on the Board of Africa Connect-Kenya Foundation, a registered Kenyan Society that serves all Africa Connect projects in that nation. Since 2009, he has faithfully and diligently overseen the bookkeeping of the projects, assisted with administrative training, and has represented our interests while the AC Team is in America.
Maina, his wife Ruth, and their children live in Kitale, Kenya, where Maina also serves as Office Manager for Love Mercy Kenya. He owns Rock Base Construct Ltd, a company which specializes in water works, but also does other types of construction. He attends Deliverance Church in Kitale, loves the outdoors, is an avid runner and hiker, and a good chess player.
Maina also wants it to be known that he supports Arsenal Football Club.
Gospel Light Center, founded by Pastor Peter Siakama, is a Registered Society in Kenya, the organizational umbrella for Graceway Harvest Chapel in Kitale, as well as thirty rural churches in the Mt Elgon and Northern and Western Rift Valley regions, and a church in Nairobi. Gospel Light is characterized by a vibrant prayer life, honor for the Word of God, and a passion to reach the lost. A strong network of churches with trained leaders creatively engage with the public through radio, conferences, school clubs, evangelism and church planting in unreached areas.
Each year, Gospel Light churches in more remote villages host free medical clinics staffed by Kenyan medical professionals. Each clinic will serve hundreds in an area where there is little to no medical care available; in addition, the church provides a setting for loving follow up and discipleship.
This network of churches has also been the setting for regional training sessions for the Inductive Bible Study course, which all leaders have been required to complete.
Since meeting with the leaders of Gospel Light, we have felt honored to partner with this unique network of people.