No room at the inn

Jan 18, 2022 | News

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In early 2021, we ran an appeal for a hostel in Pakistan. In order to house and dis­ciple the next intake of stu­dents, the hostel needed $10,000. You and others raised over $18,000. Our Mission Partner who serves there reports back on the power­ful impact this will have for these stu­dents and their communities.

In order to protect her, the min­istry she is involved in and the com­munit­ies she inter­acts with, the Mission Partner who wrote this article is kept anonymous.

No room at the Inn. What dif­fi­cult news that would have been to hear when Mary and Joseph arrived in Beth­le­hem. Yet we know the events, and that God made pro­vi­sion for where baby Jesus would be born. In 2021 it seemed the Diocese would have to tell new stu­dents wanting to con­tinue their studies that there was no room at their hostel. But this is not how the story unfolded.

Thanks to God’s pro­vi­sion, through your gen­er­ous response to the appeal, the way was made for our new intake of hostel stu­dents to come from their vil­lages to con­tinue their studies. Nine new stu­dents were accep­ted and joined the Dio­cesan Hostel.

After another covid-delayed start to the new school year, the boys joined 9th grade classes at St John’s High School in late August. They have since all received their covid vac­cin­a­tions, which is now man­dat­ory for senior stu­dents. Since joining the hostel one of our stu­dents has lost his father, being in the hostel will enable him to con­tinue his edu­ca­tion thus build­ing a stronger found­a­tion for his family’s future.

The oppor­tun­ity to be part of the hostel family opens up new doors for these stu­dents. Com­puter lit­er­acy in NZ is very high, in con­trast, most of these boys have never had com­puter access. The hostel laptop lab gives these boys the chance to build basic com­puter skills. Our College stu­dents this year were needing to put in their admis­sion forms online. I watched the senior stu­dents helping one another fill out their applic­a­tions and they said, “it is because we learnt com­puter skills at the hostel that we are able to do our online applic­a­tions.” These skills are import­ant for their future prospects.

Along with com­puter lit­er­acy, the new stu­dents will have oppor­tun­it­ies to grow through a variety of hostel activ­it­ies, expos­ure visits and train­ings. They will develop self-con­fid­ence, life, faith, lead­er­ship and voca­tional skills. Even the short term impact on others might be like Arjan (name changed) who last year learnt about girls’ rights. He said, “I told some of my rel­at­ives about girls’ edu­ca­tion. Now they are motiv­ated and agree to send girls in to school. Four girls take edu­ca­tion because of my little bit of effort. After this train­ing, I feel more respect for my sisters.”

Thank you for enabling these stu­dents to benefit from being part of the hostel family, and for the over­flow from this which will reach into their own fam­il­ies, their vil­lages and the wider com­munity. Your support is chan­ging the tra­ject­ory of these boys’ lives… and they are deeply grate­ful. Thank you for making ‘room at the Inn’.

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