Happy New Year

With 2015 in the history books, it’s always fun to look back on a few highlights from the past year before looking ahead to the brand new year before us all.

Once again, through grace and generosity and lots of hard work, we were blessed with amazing abundance, with new projects, new partners and new fun for the entire Mission.

The year began and ended with the largest fundraiser in our history. The Orphan School campaign launched in late January, looking to add new science labs, a new computer lab and room for 180 new students. It was an ambitious undertaking that needed supporters from all over the world to be successful.

But it wasn’t until the Saxena family got involved, to honor their beloved son Sam, that all funds were fully secured, topping $114,000! Incredible! The work continued all year long and construction finished in late-November, with a dedication ceremony taking place in just a few days.

Jimika and Trudy; our campaign poster girls!

Jimika and Trudy; our campaign poster girls!

The top floor going up!

The top floor going up!

Just getting started. The first walls are going up in February.

Just getting started. The first walls are going up in February.

And the finished project! Our beautiful new addition.

And the finished project! Our beautiful new addition.

The first floor roof coming together.

The first floor roof coming together.

We also took another big step towards complete self-sufficiency, with two great harvests of wheat and rice (which we sell in-part) and 123 new admissions in our school. These sources of income now cover 65% of our total Mission expenditure while also covering all school operating costs.

65%! Our best total to date! And this number does not include ANY donations. To be able to support ourselves has been a long-standing dream and 2015 took us a little closer with more to come.

Kids heading off to school in the cold winter weather.

Kids heading off to school in the cold winter weather.

Harvest. We keep what we need and sell the rest.

Harvest. We keep what we need and sell the rest.

Our paddy fields starting to grow.

Our paddy fields starting to grow.

Our Maxton Strong School wasn’t the only place on the Mission property that saw construction this past year. A complete kitchen renovation is nearly finished…new walkways were erected…the pool was finally walled in and a concrete border created…all buildings were painted…a new water system was installed…new solar panels added on each hostel…with many smaller improvements constantly underway.

Most of these were only possible thanks to generous supporters, many of whom targeted projects and earmarked funds for their completion. It may sound like a cliché but for these jobs it’s true: We literally could not have done this without you. Thanks.

New pool enclosure will keep the thirsty cows away, finally.

New pool enclosure will keep the thirsty cows away, finally.

Solar power keeps the fans spinning when the power goes off.

Solar power keeps the fans spinning when the power goes off.

New tiles on the new kitchen floor.

New tiles on the new kitchen floor.

New books arrive all the time. Thanks for every page!

New books arrive all the time. Thanks for every page!

From new books, new clothes, new games, even new walls and electricity, so much has been given to us with love in the past year with these hats that arrived this week being  just  the most recent examples of how richly we are blessed.

Santoshi rocking the new blue knit cap.

Santoshi rocking the new blue knit cap.

Rajesh and Shivani, ready to model for "Knitter's World" magazine.

Rajesh and Shivani, ready to model for “Knitter’s World” magazine.

Clifton leading the way on an impromptu New Year's Day tractor ride.

Clifton leading the way on an impromptu New Year’s Day tractor ride.

Of course, there was no shortage of fun this past year, with Summer Games 2 being the centerpiece of the excitement. 40 days of team games and new experiences filled our kid’s summer holiday with unforgettable memories. Zombie Day, Splashternoon, camping in the Himalayas and a trip to Fun City theme & water park were just a few of the highlights.

After a slow start, the Elephant Team pulled out a surprise victory, getting their name on the coveted Summer Games Cup and earning their spot in the Mission book of legends!

The full cast of characters at Zombie Day.

The full cast of characters at Zombie Day.

The Cobra team during the dreaded Plopsticle Course.

The Cobra team during the dreaded Plopsticle Course.

Wet fun on a hot day. We call it Splashternoon.

Wet fun on a hot day. We call it Splashternoon.

Opening ceremonies are always a time of great celebration.

Opening ceremonies are always a time of great celebration.

Roma scoring points for her team during Fish Fest.

Roma scoring points for her team during Fish Fest.

It's fun to play but it's even more fun to win! Congrats, Elephant Team.

It’s fun to play but it’s even more fun to win! Congrats, Elephant Team.

Nursery kids are the center of attention at the Fancy Dress Ball.

Nursery kids are the center of attention at the Fancy Dress Ball.

2015 was also a year that saw the Mission giving back, providing aid to Nepal following the devastating earthquake that rocked the country. Aid bags were arranged, packed, loaded on a bus and hand delivered to some of the hardest hit areas of the disaster. While our contributions were just a drop in the overall flood of donations arriving from all over the world, it felt wonderful to serve others in need when so much has continually been given to us.

Packing bags for delivery to Nepal.

Packing bags for delivery to Nepal.

Passing out aid is a humbling experience.

Passing out aid is a humbling experience.

Buildings collapsing. Aid is still greatly needed.

Buildings collapsing. Aid is still greatly needed.

Police escort through Nepal.

Police escort through Nepal.

And so another year has ended. Following a rollicking Holly Jolly Christmas (watch our brief Christmas video if you haven’t had the chance to see all the action), we are preparing for the start of school and wondering what excitement lies ahead. With more volunteers, more sponsors, more friends of the Mission helping us improve the lives of these beautiful children in our care. It has truly been an honor to do this work together and we look forward to new adventures and more fun in 2016.

[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoqAxvXV_n8″ responsive=”no” autohide=”yes” showinfo=”no” rel=”no”]
2016-10-21T12:09:26+00:00

About the Author:

This blog post was written by one of our members of staff.

Leave A Comment

*