“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
In 1992 while attending Prince Edward School for my “A Level” studies, I was sent home from school for failure to pay school fees. I had received a bursary (scholarship) from the City of Harare, but it was not enough to cover the whole school fees. As I walked toward the bus station in downtown Harare— as a last hope — I stopped at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters.
The Army’s secretary of education there — a European woman — listened to my tale of struggles to get the school fees. She promised to help, but warned that it would take at least six weeks or more. That sounded like the end. I could not stay out of school that long. I went home, dejected and disappointed. Within a week the Salvation Army called to tell the great news that I would be receiving a donation from Europe to pay my school fees. Without that financial assistance from “strangers” in Europe, I would not have finished high school. People I do not know made a huge difference in my life.
I recently had the pleasure of walking into the administration office at a (primary) elementary school in Zimbabwe to pay school for a second grade child. I also had an opportunity to pay for examinations for another teenager. I was able to pay school fees for a dozen elementary school children. There is a sense in which the world has become a small village. What happens in one part of the world has a direct effect on those on the other side of the globe. Who knows? Maybe, one of these children will be my doctor, nurse, dentist, president, international scientist, or astronaut someday.
Going to bed knowing a few children will get an education gives me joy. In the depth of these children’s poverty, there lies seeds of hope and riches untold. I have found pleasure in being absorbed into something bigger than I. Helping people who are walking the path I walked, gives me purpose. Rather, I have discovered my purpose. It is to bring a smile on the face of a suffering child. My purpose is to make someone’s life better. My purpose is to introduce Jesus to the hurting, the hopeless, and the helpless. I continue to pray that I may serve and bless others every minute of each day.
Thank you to my colleagues and to my wife for your generosity. Thank you for empowering me to be the conduit of grace to those in need. Let’s do this again, soon.
- Have you discovered your purpose? What is it?
- When is the last time you helped someone in need?
- Who has God placed in your path to help?
- How are you responding to the call to help those in need?
- What is stopping you from seeing, and helping those in need?