June 4, 2017

The Fruits of Sacrifice

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"It could have been easy just to send my little sister and me to work," she said to her mother, who was sitting with the rest of us at Cornerstone Presbyterian High School's graduation ceremony.

"It could have been easy just to send us to work."

But her mother didn't.

Despite the whirlpool of poverty lurking on the edge of her family of three, her mother refused to slide into survival mode. Survival mode: dictating that her young daughters must join those other children in Belize who spend their remaining childhood days in menial jobs rather than completing an elementary education, let alone the dream of high school.  Surviving, but knowing full well how quickly she and her daughters could be trapped in a cycle of poverty for a lifetime, with no key to open the exit door to a better life.

So even if it meant living apart and working all day long and late into the night, her mother made sure that her girls could afford to go to a Christian school.

The graduate continued to speak: "It could have been easy just to send us to work.  But you loved us so much that you did not.  You took the challenge and now we are here, seeing some of the fruits of your sacrifice. ... You are an example that when you want, you can. Thank you, Mom, for making the impossible possible.

Imagine that mother sitting there, hearing her daughter's words of deep gratitude.  Imagine how the rest of us were feeling.

"The journey hasn't been easy.  Thank you for playing the role of a mother and father at the same time.  Thank you for working so hard to give my little sister and me an education. ... I am sure that my mother is not the only parent who struggles in order to give her children an academic education.  I am so proud and thankful to God for making me part of Cornerstone Presbyterian High School."

She finished with this astute observation about her class's graduation theme: Opening Doors with the Key to Success--Education.  "It has been difficult to find my key to success but we did, and today we opened the door.  We did, just to realize that there is another one waiting to be opened."  She knows that her high school diploma is only a stepping stone in her educational journey.  More learning will be needed for her to be a stronger contributing Christian, helping to transform Belize.

What a privilege it was for me to hear that story!

For some time now, I have been promoting the work of Edu Deo with an elevator speech that goes like this:

 "The best way to break out of the cycle of poverty is education.  And if you add the good news of the gospel, infusing that education with a biblical world view, what can happen is transformation, both for those students and for the community in which they live and serve.  Edu Deo partners with select Christian school organizations globally, walking and working together to make that vision a reality."

Wonderful words; easily said.

Yet, when I attended that high school graduation at a Christian school connected with Edu Deo, my elevator speech pales in comparison to the young woman who spoke.

Words of gratitude; wisely said.



Rutilia Hernandez
Jun 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Thank you...!!!! It was so beautiful to read the article...Thank you for your words. I Know that it is not going to be easy but I am determined to continue my journey. With God in my heart,it will be possible.

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