North Middle students help family in Africa

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 27, 2011

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of a group of North Rowan Middle School students, a needy family in Kenya, Africa now has a new home.
The students are a part of a Christian club at their school called the YCI MAVS for Christ. Every public middle and high school campus in Rowan County has a Youth Commission International (YCI) club and they are among the nearly 100 active clubs on school campuses across the Charlotte region and beyond.
Recently, Youth Commission International established its first club at Gethsemane Garden Christian Centre (GGCC), which is a school on Mfangano Island that serves many orphaned and impoverished children.
Each YCI club is encouraged to do at least one service project per year. The YCI club at GGCC decided to go out into their community and build new huts for families in need. The students in the YCI MAVS for Christ club heard of the GGCC students’ efforts and decided to help them.
“This was our first attempt at a fundraiser since our club formed in 2007,” says Sandra Hache-Tejada, the teacher who sponsors the club at North Rowan Middle School.
Students “sold subscriptions to Sports Spectrum, which is much like Sports Illustrated except the magazine has articles and interviews of Christian athletes and their faith! … We also received funds from the History club.”
By February of 2011, the students had raised all of the money needed. Their donation came just in time to help a pastor whose wife had drowned in a boating accident while he was away preaching. The villagers mocked the pastor and told him that this would not have happened if he had not gone away. After the new hut was built, the pastor said it was a testament to the villagers that “God takes care of His own.”
On Thursday, May 19, the Director of the Gethsemane Garden Christian Centre in Kenya, Naphtaly Mattah, visited North Rowan Middle School to personally thank the students for their donation. The North Rowan Middle School YCI MAVS for Christ club also received the 2011 Club Award at the 10th Annual YCI Eagle Awards on Friday, May 13. It is a ceremony held by the organization to honor those involved in the ministry.
Several other members from Rowan County were recognized at the awards ceremony; their names are below.
For more information about Youth Commission International, visit their website at and to learn more about Gethsemane Garden Christian Centre log onto
YCI Eagle Award winners from Rowan County:
2011 YCI Club Award: North Rowan Middle School
2011 YCI Outstanding Christian Leadership award:
Alexander Weant (Salisbury High School)
Raven Corbett (East Rowan High School)
Nate Cobb (Corriher-Lipe Middle School)
2011 YCI Campus Pastor award: Hope Oliphant (China Grove Middle School)
2011 YCI Teacher Sponsor award: Debbie Hoffman