Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Build-a School project

I was delighted and buoyed by the success of the school we were able to build in Chhom Trach. The dramatic change that occured in the village as a result of the new school and well was more more than evident. Somehow, the villagers and the children seemed so much more cheerful, healthy and positive each time we re-visited them.

That was when the idea of building schools in other villages began to take shape. If it could be done in Chhom Trach, couldn't we do this in other places? It wasn't difficult to do, yet the outcome was just so positive and encouraging. Surely education was the way to break these villages out of their helplessness and seemingly hopeless poverty cycle.

It was clear to me that the school should not be a direct handout. Neither should it be a solution foisted upon the villagers by an visitor and a foreigner. It should be a part of a solution that the villagers themselves wanted. And they must take ownership of the process. Thus it became a mandatory part of the equation that neither I nor the church I represent must own the school, or try to manage the school. So this will have to be a gift to a recipient who desires the gift.

Just writing this gave me goosebumps because I suddenly realized how much of an analogy that is to the gift of grace and salvation that God presents to us. While it is available to all, it really only makes sense to those who seek it and desire it.

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