People say that Fredericksburg Christian School is a family. Often, that trite statement fails to remind us of the divinely orchestrated brothers, mothers, or uncles we gain as children of God.
The story of Joseph Owiti ‘17 is one such example of God’s hand in the lives and hearts of those at FCS. Brenda Storms—librarian at the Upper School campus—met Joseph on a month-long missions trip to Kenya. After working to bring a library to the Royal Kid’s School in Mombasa, Brenda spent four weeks overseeing the progress in-person. It was there that God began to stir her heart.
“We were empty nesters,” says Brenda about herself and her husband Jay. “We weren’t even thinking about bringing a student to come live with us.” But, as is so often the case, the Lord had something special in mind for the Storms. Before leaving to come back from Kenya, the Lord confirmed Brenda’s desires to bring Joseph to America. And, within hours of being home, Jay and Brenda were discussing their hopeful future with this young Kenyan.
Home Away From Home
Just a few months after Joseph was asked to come and study at Fredericksburg Christian School, he arrived in the States. “We had a lot of support,” says Jay. To help Joseph’s second attempt at obtaining a VISA, Congressman Rob Whittman and Rick Yost provided excellent letters of recommendation. “From the very get-go, there was never a question about whether or not FCS would welcome Joseph,” says Jay Storms. “Rick has been a tremendous blessing to us.”
As soon as Joseph arrived, he jumped right into life at FCS. And, at a time when he didn’t know even one student, his new classmates made sure he felt welcome. “I didn’t eat lunch in the commons at first,” explains Joseph. “That’s where all the middle schoolers were, so I ate lunch in Mrs. Cox’s room. But, on the second day, the classroom was crowded because all the other students wanted to eat in the same room as me.”
A Legacy of Many People
After attending the school for four years—and on the verge of graduating—this young man of God has much to show for his efforts. Joseph has been Class President, Student Council President, and Team Captain. He’s been part of the ACSI Leadership Team, National Honor Society, Pro-Life Club, and has received the William & Mary Leadership Award. (That’s just naming a few of his accomplishments.)
Joseph attributes his success to a desire to give back to those that have helped him. “It’s that belief that has directed what I do here at FCS,” says Joseph, “how I interact with the students and teachers; how I treat my studies.”
Brenda believes his success comes from a depth of character, and to the many people that have poured into Joseph—both in Kenya and in the States. “He lost his his mom at age 3 and his dad at 12,” explains Brenda. “There have been so many people that have helped raise him into the great young man that he is. He’s a legacy of many people.”
He’s proud to say that he accepted Christ through his time at FCS. “Putting God in everything you do—I feel like that’s a life lesson that translates into how you talk, how you act, how you treat other people.” Because of the excellent teachers and mentors he has had, Joseph feels ready to tackle whatever his future holds. As the valedictorian, Joseph is excited to see the prospect of college. But wherever he goes, God will use him.
Brenda sums it up in a beautiful way: “Joseph falls into step wherever God puts him.”
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