What is the end goal? What is the purpose of providing education, food, and sponsorship?
Early on, I imagined a pipeline of excellence. I dreamt up stories of kids...
thriving, going on to do great things...
I'm grateful that there have been a few such stories.
The truth is, though, that on average the kids we support are in the middle of their classes academically. More than a few have been towards the bottom. Some have had to drop out of school. Some are highly motivated. Others require a lot of encouragement. A few students have excelled academically and are at the top of their classes. And of course it won't surprise you to hear that we have already told you those stories!
But I am learning to appreciate the small stories as well. Like the student who is working part time selling shoes while they take computer science courses. Or the student who has switched their course of study twice because they can't figure out what they want to study. Or the young man who is cobbling together a modest life in Uganda selling chapati's, hoping to farm one day. Most of the stories are unremarkable. And quite frankly, unremarkable is hard to sell to donors.
But I've been thinking about smallness this Lent. The Psalmist tell us to number our days. Even a full, well-lived life is described as a vapor. What an affront: to be told that we are small! Embracing our smallness before God is counter cultural. And it is incredibly freeing.
The kids in Uganda are receiving a good education, a community who loves them, and an opportunity to live the small lives that they deserve to live as human beings made by a loving Creator. I have to confess that I yearn for the home run stories. I have to remember that those stories are not actually why we do what we do. We raise money, we send kids to good schools, we pray for them in their ups and downs. We are proud of their smallest achievements. And we do all of this simply because it is worth doing.
I do believe that some of them will go on to do great things, but that would be a cherry on top for me. It's not required. It's not the goal.
Thank you for continuing to support the small stories playing out in the lives of these kids. We appreciate you so much. Grace and Peace,