REJOICE AND JENNY KAMEI - NAGALAND, INDIA
ROSE OF SHARON CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS AND HOME
REJOICE KAMEI's testimony
My name is Rejoice Kamei. I am the director of Rose of Sharon Christian Schools and Home in Nagaland, India. My wife Jenny and I have two daughters Ruth (10) and Judy (3) and another child on the way. I am from the village of Ranjon, Manipur, in the northeast part of India. I was born into a non-Christian family, but when I was about four years old my Dad accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. My family life has really changed, especially for my Dad, he was really convicted of his sins and it really changed his life. He was a government teacher which, in India is a much desired job because you will be able to support your family well for the rest of your life. But instead of keeping the job, he felt he must resign and work as a full time servant of the Lord, preaching the Good News which he had just received and change other peoples’ lives. So he quit his job and worked as a traveling evangelist going from place to place sharing the Gospel. This brought a financial hardship to our family. He started at about 250 rupees (about $7-8 a month.) Things got very tough, yet my Dad felt he must give me the best education possible, and not just a good education but a Christian education. So in spite of the hardship, he wanted me to go to a boarding school called Bethany Christian High School which was in another district in the state of Manipur. The admission fees were about 500 rupees and the boarding fee was about 250 rupees. Even though he knew it would be difficult for him, he trusted the Lord and sold all that he had to give me the education he wanted me to have. We struggled in that way but God was so good in providing all my needs in one way or the other.
After my final exams for high school, I attended a short Bible training in my village. There God gave me a desire to attend Bible College and become a servant of God like my Dad. I attended South India Baptist Bible College for six years, finished my MD at the same college and started serving the Lord right away as a church planter. Because of the financial hardships my family endured because my Dad was an evangelist, I felt that God was leading me to go further in my studies and He opened a way to come to the United States to study. He also gave me a desire to open a school for Christian mission workers’ children so that they could afford to get a Christian education and follow in their parent’s footsteps doing the Lord’s work.
Most children whose parents are mission workers are not willing to follow in their parents’ footsteps because of the financial hardship they have endured. My dad has been supported by my mom and their kids. It is a very hard situation for any family. Support is given by the local church but not enough to financially support the whole family. There has been a very wrong interpretation of scripture in Nagaland that mission workers must suffer in all ways, whether it be financially, physically, mentally, spiritually or through persecution. They must suffer to receive a blessing from God. They feel the pastor doesn’t have to have good pay or even enough to support his family. Many churches in our area still believe this teaching.
Because of my childhood hardship, my desire was to open a school for kids of mission workers, pastors and evangelists to get the best Christian education the school could offer so they could become whatever God had planned for them – either in a secular job or as a Christian worker – and still know the Lord Jesus Christ, support their family and also have a ministry to others. In the long-term, giving these kids the best secular education plus the best Christian education and teaching the Scriptures will impact more people in the future. It will be a blessing to these kids to have a good education which will give them a better chance at having a good job and being able to better support their families. They can be a witness wherever they go, in the office or anywhere. It will also bless their church and people around them. That has a much greater impact than supporting one evangelist or one Christian college student.
This is why we started the Rose of Sharon Christian Schools and Home. God has been helping us along with the support of Today, the Bible and You. All of my family is also involved in the school. My Dad is helping in management, my brother is the principal, my younger brothers and sisters are teaching in the school and taking care of the residential students and the orphanage. We pray that God will provide all the needs for the schools, especially building of the chapel which is very much needed. Without it, we are not able to have one chapel service with everyone in attendance. The room we are using as a chapel is much too small for everyone to fit in at once. We are still praying for it and believe that God will provide all our needs in His time.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support.
Please let us know if you would like to be a vital part of these efforts. We love hearing from you and are thankful for everyone's prayers and support.
Rejoice Kamei is the headmaster of The Rose of Sharon Schools and Home which is located in Nagaland, India. This is situated at the NE corner of India along the Burma border. The people there are extremely poor tribal people. Free education at the Rose of Sharon Christian Schools and Home is being provided to all poor and needy students. They come from various religious backgrounds such as Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Animist (spirit worshipers). They are all taught in the English language and have Bible classes, attending chapel services as well. Many abandoned children and orphans are also brought regularly so that they may be cared for properly. They also provide vacation Bible schools and teenage Bible camps. Every Sunday they have a church service and the local people and parents are invited.
Rejoice Kamei, the director of the school has informed me that there is a special need to assist about 40 – 60 children who are not able to pay for their school needs. The annual cost for the school uniform and books is $125, or just over $10 per month. There are many children in the area who are orphaned, whose mothers are widows or whose parents are too poor to even pay for the basic books and uniforms. This provides us with the opportunity to have a special part in the success of a young child. The school is simply not able to cover the expenses involved in purchasing the books and uniforms for these children.
We are so grateful God has allowed us to have a small part in making a difference in the lives of these children. There are now 635 students who attend the Rose of Sharon School. 45 students and 17 teachers live in the compound. There are more students who are waiting to start school as soon as facilities are available. Our projected goal is to complete facilities that will accommodate 1,000 students. The classes provided include Kindergarten A & B; a grammar school and a high school up to 10th grade. In Asia, high school only goes up to 10th grade, then only those who wish to attend college go to college preparatory school. Presently, there are 17 fully qualified teachers who are all of the same tribal background and are able to relate to all of the students. There are no foreign teachers at all.
The attendance at the school has grown to 635 children -- up about 135 children from last year. We need more classrooms and housing and bunk beds for the students. The school is growing and expecting to have about 650 to 700 students next year. Please pray for this very important need. A basic building will cost approximately $15,000.
We need more classrooms and desks. We have 635 students now. Grade 9 has 80 students all in one room. There is no where to sit. Many students must stand. Before I could hire carpenter to come and build new buildings and desks, but the price for carpenters has gone up much so I cannot afford it. I will have to build it myself but as headmaster I have no time.
Also, most importantly, the school uses much water and we have not had much rain and our pond where we get our water has been pumped to very low level. The well we have is very shallow and we have been using the pond for water for the past years. For the last months we have had to carry water from the river which is about 2 miles from the school. We need to dig new wellabout 35—40 feet deep. This will cost about $1,500—2,000. It will also provide us with better water quality.
We will be conducting an annual Bible camp this year in October for the students. We need Bibles, study materials, and foodfor the students for the camp. We will have a program for the parents and families of the students which will include a plan of salvation. Please pray for all who attend. We would greatly appreciate you support. Your gift could change someone’s life forever!
ABOVE: Rejoice, his father and his uncle are distributing rice, mosquito nets and the Gospel to local villagers who are very poor. Most of them live off of small vegetable gardens which they grow but have no real source of income. Each family got 1 mosquito net which is treated with insecticide to prevent malaria.
LEFT: The woman is pregnant and had a smile on her face and tears in her eyes because they gave her the mosquito net to protect her children from malaria.