[notice]A year ago we published a remarkable story “The school that God established” about a grassroots Christian school that came into being through the favour of God. Recently I visited the school again and found that it is indeed being blessed to be a blessing.[/notice]
“God has blessed us with another campus,” said Blessing Christian School founder, Blessing Marunga, beaming at me across his desk in the Port Elizabeth building where he launched the school in 2010.
“Our high school and primary school learners were together, which was not ideal for the young ones. So we started looking for a new place and it was not very difficult. We thank God for a beautiful new campus.”
But the exciting news about the new primary school campus in a grand, leased double-storey house in Park Drive, was in fact not what Marunga was most eager to talk about.
“We have started what we call a Connect Group. It’s a ministry whereby our high school youth visit other schools and share the Word of God through music and scripture,” he said, introducing a project about which he is clearly passionate.
“We just find it necessary for our people to start witnessing for Christ at an early age — to develop the skill of ministering for Christ. And we are so grateful that schools in the city have been responding positively to us and inviting us.”
After much planning and preparation the Connect Group ministry was launched last term and to date teams from his school have led assemblies at several PE primary and high schools, said Marunga. He said the ministry presentation was done exclusively by the learners.
“They preach a message about what they understand from God’s word and what God is doing in their lives. And they minister through song.”
The music ministry is a story on its own. The songs are a collaboration between Marunga who writes the lyrics and the learners who develop the tunes and create the accompanying computer beats.
Marunga said he was not a musician but the lyrics — which he describes as teaching songs about the blood of Christ and His powerful life in us — came naturally.
“When Christ loves you so much and transforms your life, you cannot contain that — you want to share the word that has transformed you, you want to share that experience,” he said.
The school has just produced its first music CD, featuring six of its repertoire of more than 20 home-grown songs. Nearly every one of the school’s 60 high school learners is involved in at least one song on the CD.
“It makes them confident and convinces them that their dreams can come true,” he said.
Marunga said he was inspired by the response to the school’s outreach ministry. He had seen children’s faces light up as the Word of God was shared. At one school teachers said they saw the glory of God upon the Connect Group team. Another school has asked them to come every term.
Marunga said the meaningful ministry experience was also impacting his learners, most of whom had come to know Christ for the first time at the school.
“They are beginning to experience a joy in Christ and in just being different. It’s wonderful.”
He said one of his Grade 12 learners had shared that her friends from other schools were excited about going to university next year and starting careers. But she said she was sorry to be finishing school because she just wanted to stay there and continue doing the work of God.
Marunga sees the Connect Group project as the foundation of a bigger vision. He said the school wanted to raise youth who could be role models throughout the city and that music opened a door to offer an alternative to destructive youth entertainment activities. The next step up in the outreach project would be a “Varsity Connect” to minister at university at the weekend.
But his ultimate goal was to see young people from schools all over the city coming together before the start of the school term to worship God and to intercede for their schools.
“We don’t want Port Elziabeth to be like some places where youths carry knives and guns at school. So we want to equip them with the power of Christ.”
Marunga, who started the private school in Westbourne Road with limited resources in 2010 said the school was greatly blessed by its fellowship and partnership with established schools such as Harvest Christian School, St George’s Preparatory School, Kabega Christian School and Erica Girl’s Primary School. These schools continually helped Blessing Christian School to assess its academic standards and contributed resources and expertise that were needed. He was also grateful to pastors from around the city who addressed the learners and their parents every week.