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Rafiki Foundation  |  Training Africans to Transform Africa for Christ
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The Rafiki Difference: Training the Whole Person

The Rafiki Difference: Training the Whole Person

What do the citizens of Calvin’s Geneva, Puritans in England and America, and those in the ten Rafiki Villages have in common? Each group seeks to serve the whole person, recognizing the importance of meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of God’s people.

In their book The Doctrines of Grace, James Montgomery Boice and Philip Ryken describe how the city of Geneva became a center of social and spiritual reform under Calvin's direction in the 1500s. As the inhabitants learned about both the sovereignty of God and personal responsibility from Calvin’s biblical preaching, they turned a once-struggling city into a God-honoring society, building Christian schools, intentionally caring for the poor, and training pastors and missionaries. Later in the century, the Puritans also tenaciously sought the glory of God, pursuing diligence and excellence in every sphere of life.

At each of our ten Villages across Africa, Rafiki seeks to train the whole person for a life of service to God. In Rafiki schools, students’ minds are stretched as they learn about creation and experience new opportunities. On a recent field trip to the Kilimanjaro International Airport, students witnessed how the skills they learn in school can be used outside the classroom. After the visit, many students expressed their wish to be either a pilot or air traffic controller. At the Kiliflora Rose Farm, the students’ study of plants and electricity came to life as they learned about the farm’s hydro-electric power supply.

Rafiki also equips students with practical skills, teaching them to do all things for God's glory. At the Rafiki Village Zambia, the resident students are responsible for weekend kitchen and laundry duties. They share the responsibility of making Village meals, washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen and dining area, and doing laundry. Like the Genevans and Puritans before them, the students learn the value of discipline and working with their hands.

Even as Rafiki seeks to mold the minds and skills of Rafiki students, our chief endeavor is to mold hearts with the truth of the gospel. Through the Rafiki Bible Study, young minds are discipled every day as they begin to form a biblical worldview. Consider what the mother of a second-grade day student recently shared: as she helped her son Josh to bed, he prayed aloud, “Heavenly Father, I thank you for making me creative, You are the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, [and] the Rock of Ages. You are such a good God, and I love you so much.” Josh’s knowledge of God lays the foundation for him to use his mind, skills, and passions for God's kingdom in Africa.

We train the whole person because God uses the whole person. Soli Deo Gloria