Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Milestones



I am currently in Guatemala, taking care of these 11 boys that have somehow managed to become like family to me. This Friday, two of them will be graduating from Junior High (Middle School) and I get to watch them walk across the stage and receive a piece of paper that marks quite an accomplishment in their lives. In Guatemala, where the majority of the population never get past 5th grade, I rejoice that these little boys of mine are en route to becoming professionals with a high level of education. One of them wants to be a mechanical engineer and has already picked out the college he wants to attend here in Guatemala. Looking back over this year, waking up these two guys everyday at 4:30 am to get ready for school, staying up with them as they worked on their incredible amounts of homework, taking them to tutor classes, soccer practices and other events, I am inspired by the DRIVE they have. Now, there were certainly days where they were PARKED, but it is beautiful to reflect and come to a simple  conclusion: they did it. One more step in this journey. 

More than educational milestones, I am also amazed at the ways they have matured. In small yet significant ways, I see these boys as more sensitive, more willing, more mature, more centered, more concerned and more loving. I want to say thank you to all who helped make this dream of higher levels of education a reality for these boys. Another one of the boys has done so well over the past two years that we are looking into the opportunity of getting him a scholarship at a college in Michigan. As I spoke with another mom who also has a 16 year old son that does extremely well in school, she said something that hit home with me: "As parents we just set the table, they are the ones who choose to sit an eat, and of course we know that God is the one who makes them hungry."  She said it as a way of humbling herself and portraying the fact that God allows us to share in victories that we really didn't have to invest very much in. This Friday, I will watch a simple graduation act with a lump in my throat and a smile as big as Texas: privileges that God allows me to have. For those who have invested in someone else's education, I applaud you as I see firsthand how much it transforms lives. For those who are thinking of how to help someone out, why not help give them skills that can radically impact lives by offering a quality education. Maybe if more people set the table, we would have more of these kids sitting down to eat.

 
It's not all studying at our house…FIFA 2014 Tournaments are quite frequent and can often get pretty intense. I know it's a close match when not one, but two of them are standing on the coffee table...

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