Plumbing School...Going Strong!
While it seems like yesterday, it has been over three years since I joined these four Inspiration Plumbing staff to travel to Nairobi, Kenya to start a plumbing school on Missions of Hope International’s campus in the Mathare Valley slum.
Jim Rude, Caleb Robertson, Mike Swartz, and Mitch Pinson in Nairobi airport
Mathare Valley is one and a half square miles in area and its population is somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 residents. The average Mathare adult lives on a dollar a day and has little or no hope of a job or life beyond the slum.
Thanks to donations of generous Christians, The Flow was able to pay for materials, supplies and a training center (made from a storage container) to begin the school. These master plumbers spent a week in the summer of 2018 teaching plumbing and mentoring the plumbing school’s first nineteen students. (Eighteen young men and one young women).
Fast forward three years, and despite the tragic impact of Covid-19 tragic on Kenya, the Plumbing School has grown to an enrollment of thirty-seven students which now includes eighteen women and a female plumbing instructor. The plumbing school has recently achieved full accreditation by the country of Kenya! Praise God! Upon graduation, this newest group of plumbing students will be able to sit for government competency tests and be licensed to perform plumbing on any job site. This accreditation will open many doors of vocational opportunity.
Most importantly, the students share in worship, group Bible study and discussion for an hour of each school day. Christian instructors and mentors come and share their faith and the truth about Jesus’ love and grace. Through the Plumbing School, students have hope of a job for the first time in their lives and more importantly, are given the hope of connecting with Jesus’ eternal truth and life.
The Plumbing School has grown to the point that plans are being made to expand its facilities to accommodate increasing enrollment. Also, MOHI has plans to stay connected with and to provide help for plumbing school graduates. Most students cannot afford their own plumbing tools. MOHI has developed a plan to provide the graduates with a completed toolbox and supplies.
The plan is three-fold:
· MOHI will provide a toolbox of plumbing tools and supplies for each graduate (approximately $400 USD.). A small part of the plumber’s weekly pay will be given toward the cost of the tools. Within an agreed upon period, the plumbers can experience the pride and confidence that comes from purchasing their own tools through their hard work!
· The tools will be stored at MOHI’s plumbing school until the purchase is complete. The plumbers will pick up and return their tools every morning and evening.
· Each morning, as the plumbers pick up their toolboxes, they will spend one hour in worship, teaching, and discussion about Jesus’ truth and grace.
Here is how you can help:
· Pray that God will continue to keep the plumbing school open and its students safe from illness. (So far, no students or instructors have contracted Covid-19.)
· Pray that God will provide jobs for the graduates and that the graduates will give God the glory for their jobs and eventually give their lives to Him.
· Donate $400 to help equip a newly graduated plumbing student with the tools they need for their vocation, and the tools they need for eternal life.
Students from the 2019 plumbing school meeting in refurbished storage container
God’s grace and guidance,