Did you see the news on Facebook? We’ve raised $30,000 so far. Wow, guys…that is AMAZING! We still have a ways to go to reach $500,000, but I’m encouraged by the progress as we’re moving forward.
Most mornings when I wake up, this goal seems too big. But then, just when I need it most, God speaks words of encouragement to me. This week the pick me up came through an old college friend that I hadn’t spoken to in years. But she sent me a beautiful letter about my God sized dream of a school in Kenya. She had just heard a speaker talk about taking risks. My friend wrote in reference to this speaker:
We live with the perspective to not take risks, to stay safe, but life is risky! Then she (the speaker) got to the part that made me think of the school you want to build. She talked about Noah and how he was willing to build something that hadn’t been built before, for a flood like he had never seen before. It was risky. It looked foolish to the people around him….But if we are willing to look foolish, we will see the same results that these great heroes of faith did throughout scripture.
Friends, I know that this vision looks foolish to some. I have seen a few eyebrows popping when I try to explain, and even I myself realize how big of a task this is. But God is bigger.
And I always bring it back to the kids. I see their heart and passion for learning. I keep visual reminders of the kids hanging on my fridge. One of the little girls named Valary, wrote me a letter filled with beautiful marker decorations, that said, “I hope your baby Ellis will be sliping well.” I smiled at the spelling and her thoughtfulness, and then I realized that this same girl herself might not be sleeping that well. She might go to bed every night on the dirt floor of her home, as so many kids in Kenya do, or likely sharing a twin bed or wooden seat with multiple other siblings. This is the reality that I know so many of our kids in Kenya face.
I want to build a school for Valary, and all the other kids like Valary out there. I want to change the opportunities for their future, to level the playing field from the start of their learning. Because when I think about Valary and the other kids, suddenly this feels like a risk worth taking.Leave a Comment
Tonight we are heading out for Kenya, and if you’ve seen me lately, you’ve probably noticed the swirling in my head of all the things on my mind. There is always a lot of anticipation on my end as I travel, and this year even more so as I push through wrapping up one chapter…Read More
I am a crammer, or rather I like to think of it as a time maximizer. I like to make full, purposeful use of my time. But all this cramming sometimes sets my head spinning, and this week was no exception. Although I’m had some nice rejuvenation time away this week, I came back feeling…Read More
Today we celebrate International Women’s Day. All around the globe, there women are making amazing accomplishments, in big and small ways. Grain of Rice Project and myself are privileged to be surrounded by incredible women of faith, hope and perseverance, and I often think that the unsung heroes are the average people who are doing…Read More
Last week my friend thoughtfully told me that it seemed like everyone was trying “win” their side of the argument in all the ongoing debates on social media and the news. And she said, “I don’t want to win. I just want to live in harmony.” That seemed very insightful because amongst all the discussions,…Read More
Independence. Self-reliance. Individuality. Personal success. These are some of the things that our Western, American culture values. We set out to achieve great things, often for personal gain. But I would like to offer an alternative idea: the idea of community, the idea of togetherness, the realization that our actions all affect each other. The…Read More
My Kibera sister rises just before the sun begins to poke out from beneath the horizon. She can hear the scratching of rats scampering around above her. Her four children are still asleep in the crowded room, with its four red mud walls and tattered tin sheet roof trying its best to protect them from…Read More
Today we are highlighting, Collins, who is an integral part of our team in Kenya. Collins is one of those people who does so much for people and yet gets so little credit. A faithful servant since the early beginnings of Grain of Rice Project, Collins started volunteering with us in 2013 and continued volunteering…Read More
I could make out the faint noise as I stood at the bathroom sinking washing my face and hurriedly trying to prepare myself for the day. I hoped I had misheard. I dashed into the kitchen and cracked open the sliding door and waited, listening intently. Nothing. So I had been imagining. And then, just…Read More