Making our Future Hope a Present Reality
Melissa Guthrie, Director of Impact
One morning, on my first trip to Uganda, I decided to walk with two of our scholars to their first day of school for the year. We walked along the busy highway, eventually turning off to wander on dirt paths toward their school.
I began to sing a silly, made up song about going back to school, while the goats and the cows ate grass. The girls looked at me like I was crazy and rolled their eyes a little, while also laughing at me – typical teenage behavior, I suppose. But our laughter eventually took a more serious tone, as we continued to walk and I began to ask them about their school.
What do you like about school? What is your favorite subject to study? What do you hope to be one day?
A teacher and a nurse, they each replied.
I began to hear that same answer from little girl after little girl, teenage girls, and even some of our older women we have sent back to school.
It puzzled me. So I began to ask some questions about this. Why does every little girl want to be a teacher or a nurse? Not that there is anything wrong with those professions, and they certainly are viable, necessary jobs in any community, much less a third world country like Uganda.
And not that some of them shouldn’t be teachers or nurses… but why is that all these girls think they can be?
I began to spend more and more time with these two girls and some of their friends. I learned more about their schools – that sometimes teachers don’t show up for weeks, that their classes are overflowing in numbers, that the performance of the students is only average at best.
And the more I became friends with them, the more I found them to be these bright, vibrant women – made in the image of God – with a hope and a future beyond what they can see.
Sometimes I would see them walk by or hear them outside my window in the morning, and I found this desire begin to well up in me for them to know how capable they are, to know they can be the future decision makers in their community and country, and to know that they can have the faith to dream big dreams for their lives.
But I don’t want that hope and future to be only a distant dream, never realized, always on the horizon but never actually coming closer; which is why I believe so deeply that building this secondary school brings that future hope into a present reality.
We’re calling forth the Kingdom realities of our God into the present – and saying to these girls (and the many little ones who will follow them) on their next first day of school:
“Here is a place for you to come and learn, come and belong, come and discover who you are in God’s eyes.
You matter. And you are future teachers and nurses, and lawyers, engineers, business owners, politicians, and so much more.”