Yesterday morning/afternoon I experienced all those emotions after Esther (from OLA) graduated from secondary school. I was feeling them not for Esther, but for Hope, Daniel and Joe who were there as well watching Esther go through the ceremony of graduation.
I was so excited for her and for them to be able to see the fruit of what hard work and diligence and perseverance can produce. At the same time I became a bit panicky of the statistics stacked against them; being poor and fatherless, being behind in their schooling due to lack of supervision with their studies, education alone in Nigeria is not high nor is it easy to come by just because of how it is run by the government.
I quickly realized that for more success stories to take place, God will have to step in and intervene for them; through funding, through mentoring, and through tudoring. I also realized that me alone, or even Back2Back alone could not tackle this gigantic task. It is for the body. A body of believers who are committed to the orphan child. Believers who are willing to lay down their life for someone else. People who are interested in considering others better themselves and worthy of all that can be offered.
Sitting through the ceremony yesterday I felt choked up because these Nigerians truly celebrated the moving forward of each individual and child. They are proud of where they are coming from and even more proud of where they could be headed and where God might lead them.
Esther can make a difference, not just because she is educated, but her education will give her a platform to be able to reach more people and she will be able to use her God given mind to discern what is God's perfect and pleasing will for her.
Daniel, Joe and Hope saw Esther celebrate a new season and stage of life. A new beginning and my prayer is that as we were all sitting there, they were becoming inspired to take another step forward, no matter how daunting the task is for them. We are all a part of the body, the body of Christ that can together raise another generation of believers are willing to move forward.
Just for note: the pictures starting at the top are of Esther's class (she is in the red shirt, black suit).
Then it is her classroom. My heart still breaks to see what materials they have to offer to help in their education.
Then it is Esther in her graduation ceremony dancing. Her hat blew off and I thought it was just a cute one of her personality.
They showed all of the guests some tribal dancing, which still blows my mind watching little kids move their bodies in a way that just doesn't seem natural for me. :)
Then Hope is sleeping with me during the ceremony (I am sure she is being inspired through osmosis:))
The last is most of us who went to watch Esther graduate. We were all so proud of her accomplishments.