Friday, August 28, 2009

Love Story

Gin Gin barely towering over the children at Hwol Yarje School.

Artwork at Hwol Yarje School outside Jos.

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."

Newly built Faith Alive Community School at Hwol Yarje.

A reflection from Gin GIn Diokno of the Faith Alive Team:

They say when you fall in love, you think about that person day in and day out. You can’t wait to see him again. You only want to do things to make him happy. If that’s the case, then I have fallen in love.

I’ve fallen in love with a special place called Jos and a farm called Hwol Yarje. This is our story.

People in this farming community do not have access to clean potable water. Yes, that is still the grim reality even in the outskirts of the city of Jos. Children did not have access to school. Dr. Chris and Naomi, later joined by Amos, the architect, told us about the history of how the temporary school structure came about. We entered the three classrooms adorned with simple posters of alphabets, letters, and drawings hanging on the aluminum walls. We walked a few paces further, and there it was: an empty lot full of promises.

In front of us was a football field of grassy untended land, surrounded by a low hollow brick fence, waiting to be dug and built upon. This is where 200 plus kids can comfortably sit on their desks learning not just about Science, Math, Reading, Social Studies, English but also their Christian Faith. This is where girls and boys will gather to sing to their visitors at the top of their lungs in unison:

You are welcome to Faith Alive Community School

You are welcome to Faith Alive Community School

You are welcome to Faith Alive Community School

You are welcome….

This is a place where they can play in the courtyard during their recess breaks. This is where they can have a library and read to their hearts’ content. This is where young girls like Blessing can pursue her dream of becoming a nurse someday, and her classmates can dream of becoming a judge, or a doctor or a pastor. They will learn that with the efforts of their community hand in hand with Faith Alive partners and their hard work studying their lessons, nothing is impossible. This is where children will dream big and pay it forward.

This opportunity fell on the Faith Alive Team’s lap and everybody embraced it. I felt this was our higher purpose. No commitments were made except the ones we made to ourselves that we will make it known that this is a special place. We can make a big difference in this community, in the lives of these children and their future. We saw hope in those children’s eyes. A clean well will meet a basic human need for these people. A school will further feed their minds and their souls.

I joined this trip with an open mind and an open heart. I guess you find love when you least expect it. God works in wondrous ways.

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