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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.