Wednesday, May 19, 2010
It's a little known fact that watermelon plants can actually grow in the desert. It seems contrary to the nature of a desert to allow for any sort of agriculture, let alone that of such a turgid fruit, but surprise, surprise!
Following my offer of a small plot of land to one of my students, John (you may remember him as "Job"), we decided to plant the new watermelon seeds I had imported from Nairobi. The package says 10-14 days for germination, so let the countdown begin!
However, I must admit my slight anxiety over how these seeds will have to struggle to sprout, let alone produce fruit. There are these terrible ants that will eat just about everything green if they burrow their nasty little selves into the shamba, and we have to worry about the nutrient-poor sand we've planted in. I'm very proud and committed to our garden, but at some point reality must be addressed.
And so, as I've been thinking how to bring up this next topic, a metaphor based on these watermelon seeds comes to mind.
Our school, Tirrim Secondary, is in serious financial trouble. As it's a free school for poor nomads, we don't have many tuition funds to draw from, nor do we have many large donors. Maintenance costs of the school are exorbitant compared to the money we have available, and unfortunately this discrepancy has caught up with us. Without God's grace and mercy, the school may have to be closed at the end of the term in July. I'm not worried about me at all; I'll find other ways to serve the Rendille. But the national teachers, and the kids... I can't imagine how their hearts will be broken learning that their school days are over as there really aren't other options for the sons and daughters of poor herders. They've worked so hard already, and what they've learned to this point will serve them well, but one of my greatest desires is to give them the opportunity to keep learning.
My T.S.S. students are like my watermelon seeds. Full of awesome potential, but rooted in a volatile place. If things go well, it's astounding and beautiful. If things don't go well... there's no where else really to go. I've tried my best to put these kids in fertile soil; literally given them food and water, as well as knowledge, love, and support, but that's where everyone's human abilities end and God takes over.
I don't know anyone who prays for their garden seeds, and quite frankly, I think that's weird. But I know tons of people who pray for impoverished children all over the world, especially in remote desert lands. If you would please pray for the funding to come into T.S.S. we would all be so very grateful.
I realize we can't contend with the course of nature, but I believe in a God who can.