Lap the Lough 2024

Andrew McCormick and cycling friends

Andrew McCormick, Drew Curran and Robert Poole are tackling the challenging 89-mile Lap the Lough cycle ride on 25 August 2024. They aim to raise money for Ark Quest, our partner in Western Kenya, a school which urgently needs new classroom furniture for its pupils. In total, we need to raise around £6,800 for new chairs, desks, library shelving, whiteboards and teaching aids for the school which serves a rural area with limited access to affordable education.

Andrew writes:

Ark Quest classroom‘I became aware of Ark Quest when my sister Grace and her husband Brian visited several years ago. Their connection came about through the school their children attended – Bethlehem Collage in Tauranga New Zealand. A partnership had been formed to support and encourage both schools. Trips were organised for students at Bethlehem to Ark Quest, to see and experience all that was being done. School buildings were erected, animal stalls created, and hearts were opened to the need of this beautiful people and land. Grace and Brian visited several times along with some of their own children.

January 2013 became their last visit. Tragically, Grace and Brian lost their lives in a minibus accident along with two others: Catlin Dickson – a New Zealand student and Christopher Mmata, a Kenyan national.

Thereafter, the draw to the people and work being done in at Ark Quest was established. Grace always spoke so highly of the founder, Calvine, we really wanted to meet him – in 2022 my wife Heather and I had the opportunity to meet Calvine and visit the school. What an eye-opener – difficult to put into words the impact.

ArkQuest classroomFrom the first pictures we had seen of rough handmade mud huts for school rooms to the beginnings of a concrete block two-storey classroom block. 100+ children getting food, a Christian education giving hope for their future. Catlin’s family funded the boring of a water hole – meaning there is clean drinkable water on site. The elements of a farm taking shape – chickens, cows, goats, and a collection of various vegetation including maize and bananas growing both for  human consumption and feed for the animals.

The day to day challenges faced by Calvine in choosing how resources are used is beyond my comprehension. With a limited resource do you buy food for today? Buy school books? Repair the roof? I have huge respect for Calvine as he manages and coordinates Ark Quest. We pray that he is given wisdom for all those decisions.

From our visit I came away thinking ‘what if?’ How can all the elements of the existing farm develop –imagine if all these bits could be coordinated to the next level – milk, eggs, maize, bananas, water managed to help the school to become more self-sufficient and maybe further to be able to help the local community?

There are a group of us aiming to cycle this Lap the Lough event in August as an opportunity to raise some funds to help Ark Quest – we’re hoping that this will fund a significant amount of classroom furniture that will help the children learn more effectively.’

Please give generously.