The story of Lazarus
Last week Fr David sent me a copy of a letter from a Third Form student at the school, Dennis Ripoo. Here are some extracts from the letter …
“My mother died from an unknown disease in 2003 leaving my father to look after six children. In 2004 my youngest sister died of malnutrition and in 2007 cholera killed my father, leaving a gap in our lives which has never been filled. My eldest sister and I then dropped out of school to look after our younger brothers and sisters. I got a job in a small hotel paying 50 pence a day which I used to buy flour and vegetables and my sister helped a woman to nurse her baby. A man from Baringo saw me doing my chores and threatened to stop me as it was child labour but when I told him my case he allowed me to continue. That same man got me a place in a primary school and after I passed my Kenya Certificate of Education he organised a collection for me in Lomut Centre and raised 12,000 Kenya Shillings (about £100) and I was able to join Barpello (the Mission’s) High School. I am depending on only God’s grace to stay at the school as I don’t have otherwise.”
I circulated the letter to those members of the Pound a Week Group whose addresses I have and one member immediately sent me a cheque for £340 to pay for all Dennis’ fees for 2014, his final year. Another sent me £350 to pay for another student. When the headmaster told Dennis his fees for next year had been paid he broke down in tears. Here is what Fr David Conway told me about Dennis conversation with his headmaster.
“Dennis told Nakuma that when not at school he and his sister slept in the street and corridors and eat the scraps from the rich man’s table for whom she works. Just like Lazarus in Luke’s Gospel. This is truth.”
Since that last report a parishioner has given me £100 to send to Dennis to help his sister and family at Christmas; and another has said he would like to help the sister to return to school if that were possible and Fr David is looking into this.
What a privilege it is to be the Pound a Week Group organiser. Eugene McGivern