Saturday, 19 July 2008


SATURDAY, 19th JULY 2008

This last week we have had a Team of students and staff from Tyndale Christian School, Salisbury East, South Australia with us. They have been the first to occupy and try out our new Guest Hostel which was completed recently. They liked it except for a few 'hic-ups' in the plumbing due mostly to poor water pressure whilst they were with us.
The Team spent their 12 days slogging hard in and around the four Homes, painting, landscaping, and fellowshiping. Mike Potter (their headmaster) and his wife Dani, led the Team with members of the School's Staff and I think their Christian example and work ethic really spoke to our own children both in the Homes and in the School. Tyndale has more than 1,000 students, and a Team has been coming out to us every two years; students working hard to pay for their air fairs and other needs in their spare time outside of school hours. Our children, indeed all of us, look forward to these visits. Mike and Dani and their children are like family to me and Esther, and our own kids. We have known them almost from the commencement of their marriage, and although they are as a son and daughter to us in age, we felt the lord brought us together. It is wonderful how HE arranges our steps even in the area of finding friends and family members!
They left us this Thursday morning and should be flying home to OZ today.

IN THE MIDST of their visit we have also been hard at work preparing for our 39th Founders Day which will be next SATURDAY. I may have to delay writing up the blog in order to cover that day next week....... Especially on the School side we have been busy trying to spruce up and paint where the 'wear and tare' has been worst. We ourselves have a student population of almost 800, and it certainly is beginning to show after almost 21 years. We usually have some 500 guests visiting, and next year we are expecting even more.

DURING THE WEEK the papers have been full of reports of student indiscipline and unrest in our Schools, across the Country. In the DAILY NATION of 14th July we read -
'Indiscipline in schools has reached unmanageable levels,
said Mr. Tirop (Chairman of the Kenya Headteachers Association)
who also warned that teachers were unable to enforce discipline
as their hands were tied by the law.'

Of course it would be wrong to say that 'the cane' is the cause of the problem. The cane can never be seen as the only tool or method of good discipline. But the cane remains the 'symbol' of discipline - harsh discipline - and it is suddenly unhealthy and unfashionable to administer harsh or stern discipline in most of the world. I myself was caned both at home and at school when deserved. It was not often endured - once was enough in either place - since the pain of it was not looked for a second time. It definately improved me, but it was not the only method of correction that did so in my life and experience. In the same Report in the Nation, Francis Ng'ang'a (General Secretary of the Kenya National Union of Teachers) said -
'2007 Court rulings against disciplinary measures in Kenya
marked the beginning of current lawlessness in schools.
Parents have given too much freedom to their children.
They are accompanying them to entertainment joints (clubs & Hotels)
where they are exposed to all sorts of behaviour.
They must come back to their senses and realise that they are
ruining their children'

Continuing, the report commented - 'Experts say that liberal parents, the ban on caning, some provisions in the 2001 Kenya Children's Act, and lack of role models of high moral integrity are some of the factors that have robbed teachers of the power to correct wayward students.
"Teachers dare not punish a student lest they be dragged to court. Neither can they cane nor use other forms of punishment as this amounts to abuse according the (current) law."
I personally am glad I was brought up and educated in a day when discipline was 'harsh'. Today we seem to have decided that it is sinful to be harsh - we need to be pityful and 'softhearted' in our approach to willful disobedience or anti social behaviour. What about proverbs 15v10?
HARSH discipline is for him who forsakes the way.
The word used is HARSH. It is a HARD word; a very DETERMINED word. Not at all soft or accomodating in its implication. To be HARSH is to be pitiless, unrelenting. Harsh disicipline is not to be got around; not something to be avoided or diluted so that it can be faced without fear.
NEITHER is it meant to be handed out 'ad lib' for every mistake made. It is meant to be a 'Bottom Line' - a last expedient for the most extreme offence. The very FACT that there is HARSH DISCIPLINE at hand to be used is in itself a deterrant before it is even applied.

God's Word is no longer heeded in our society. It is being removed from, and in some places has already been forbidden to be used in Schools across the 'Christian' world. Without the Word of God we have no true revelation as to how we should live, or how society should be. As Solomon points out in Proverbs 29v18 -
'Where there is no revelation THE PEOPLE CAST OF RESTRAINT'.
I believe this is a very important verse of scripture. To disregard God says about human discipline and the society we live in will bring us to a place where there are no restraints. We shall live in anarchy and rebellion, and society will be lawless and uncontrollable. Isn't it getting like that NOW? What about the almost daily murders in London alone!

TESTIMONY SCHOOL still has the cane in place. It is known to be in the Headteachers office. It is not used very frequently, but it is known to be there, on hand, when needed. It assists in keeping discipline even when it is at rest. We also have alternative methods of discipline. The School is well ordered, peaceful, and respected. Perhaps it is an island in a turbulent sea! We look to God for wisdom and advice in all our ways.

TWO more children admitted this week to the Homes. One to Jacaranda, and one to Tyndale - a girl 8 and a boy 10 years. Victims of the unrest, they have lost their mother who recently died, and their home which was burned to the ground. We are now 140 in number.

God bless you all, and be with you. Be ANXIOUS for nothing, but look to Jesus, letting him garrison your mind around about. Hallelujah.
Lovingly in His Wondrous Name and Grace.

John and Esther

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