I am honored to be one of the voices for AAI Secondary School. For a school that opened in Feb. God has increased my faith bc we started with very little but a great faith! He has carried us through and given us the most amazing 135 students that I truly see within them the future of Uganda, a new day dawning. They are bold, they are intelligent, they are talented and they are falling more in love with Jesus. We just baptized 35 students last month!!
I first came to the Secondary School campus in 2010 and there was absolutely nothing there. Pastor Godfrey expressed to us the vision that God had given him to build a Secondary School. A school that our babies could come to after they left our babies home and our primary school. What an incredible ministry the Lord has given us just in our babies. We get to provide them a “home” all through their years and then one day we will say, “You are ready…go into the world and know you have everything you need to be equipped to change the world around you. You have your foundation, The Solid Rock. Jesus, He goes before you and has destined your days. You possess the knowledge, the talent and the integrity to begin a career. To be a leader and to set the example.” What a privilege and a weighty responsibility to do it well.
We also have that same heart and responsibility for the 135 students that He sent us in February. We all thought Pastor Godfrey was crazy to start the school when we had almost nothing but the structures to hold the classes. All you need is the faith of a mustard seed. I have seen it move mountains. We received in His perfect timing, desk, beds, solar panels, paper, cleared fields, uniforms and every daily need. The teachers never complained about their housing conditions. The students did not complain for having to sit on the floor while they received their lessons. They were thankful. What always amazes me is that when I visit I always expect the children to be a little upset about not having certain things that we would not consider a luxury item but necessary and they always just greet us with a smile and say thank you.
For us Americans, we would walk into our school and see the tattered shoes or lack thereof, we would see beds that need mosquito nets, we would see “mattresses” that are as thin as a blanket and see their meals and want to give them more and we immediately want to meet those needs. It has taken me a long time to get this and I never will fully, because I have not walked where they have walked but we want to meet those needs when those things are not necessities to these students. This is their life. They have come from much worse. They are thankful to have a ceiling that doesn’t leak when it rains, to sleep on a clean floor instead of mud. They are thankful that the distance from their room to the classroom is just a few feet instead of having to wake and walk miles upon miles, barefoot. They are thankful to have three meals a day, even if it is the same meal over and over. They are thankful to be in a place where if they get malaria, they have the opportunity and the means to get treatment. They are thankful to be there to get what they could never get on their own. Education. Teachers who are well-educated and are committed to loving these students, who are willing to live in difficult circumstances as well, willing to take a pay cut, and to pour into the lives of these students. They are thankful for a ministry that loves them like Christ tell us to love- the hands and feet.
This past term I was blown away at the talent of our students. Every time they would invite me for a program, I will be honest and say I went with low expectations but I was amazed and beyond impressed that these students were capable of putting on such a show. Some of our students could be on Broadway. They can sing, they can dance, they can debate, they can play sports, they can see their future is more than they ever thought it could be. When I leave, I leave wishing I had all the money in the world to give to them. I want to make their dreams come true, along with everyone here at Arise Africa. Reality is, this is beyond me. This is beyond Pastor Godfrey and the staff at AAI. This is God’s dream. These are His children. These are His future men and women who will make His name famous. So when I look at what needs to be done in the next few shorts months, I get overwhelmed, I get stressed. We need two additional dorms because we have filled ours and we have no where for the students that are to come next term to sleep. We need staff housing so that the teachers who have sacrificed can bring their families to stay with them. We need to plant acres of maize so that we can be self-sufficient and teach the children responsibility. We need computers. We need a library. We need…We need.
We need Jesus.
Let us fix our eyes on the Perfecter of our Faith. He will show us all that all we need is Him. We can put on rags now so that when we have worked hard, gotten our hands dirty, believed when we had nothing, sang praises in the dark, trusted when it seemed impossible…we can put on nice shoes, sleep on thick mattresses, and feast on the finest of foods. For we will have been thankful for where He has brought us. We have all come from far. May we never forget.
I ask of you to be a part of what He is doing. If you are not involved in something bigger than yourself, I humbly ask you, “Why not?” It is something He has commanded of us. I cry and my heart hurts when I see what little money can do here and we are so quick to spend it all on more “things”. For what? Our gain. America, we (including myself) have way too much. We do not know how to suffer, truly we don’t. We are not ready. Here, these students know suffering. They have lost their parents, they have gone hungary, they are 14 years old caring for the 4 younger siblings, they have suffered dark nights sick with no one to care for them. Can we truly give what we have in abundance to see His name go out throughout the nation of Africa? I can promise you that before they are getting an education, they are getting Jesus. They are being taught to go back to their place of hurt and tell others of Who brings healing. If you can’t come here, you can be a part of the Gospel going forth. I am believing that every person who reads this will feel a prompting in their spirit to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It is fulfilling. Wherever He ask you to plant and bless, that you will do it joyfully.
I am believing that God will provide the money for the dorms. I am believing that every student will be sponsored. I am believing that every need we have on our budget will be met.
We all have a part to play. No part is too small.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
*For more information on how you can sponsor a child, give financially, or just even pray..please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org