|Photo Credit: R. Stoll|
To be human is to hope, to set one's heart and mind on an outcome and to desire with all that I am to see it come to pass.
It doesn't take long for us to learn to hope. I ran into the Mom of one of my first graders from last year who told me that her son, all of seven year's old, has been shedding tears. He loves Sahel and he had hoped to be there again this year. He is grieving the loss of that dream because he knows Sahel is damaged by flood waters. His five year old sister, an incoming kindergartner, is sad too because she's been looking forward to being at Sahel with him.
On the other end of the spectrum, I think of one of my former first graders, now a senior, hoping to get a scholarship to play softball in college. She had been diligently practicing and working out all summer on our softball field. What will happen to that dream now that our softball field is underwater?
It's a death. It's a death of the hopes and expectations of almost every student and staff member at Sahel. It's hard and we are grieving it.
Paul's words in 2 Corinthians1:9 resonate. "Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death." But then, they go on to remind us of a glorious truth. "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead."
This school, this ministry currently underwater, belongs to God, who raises the dead. Just like Paul said in verse 10, we, too, can say, "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again." We went through this in 2012 and God brought our campus back to life. Yes, it is far worse and deliverance may not come in exactly the same fashion - we have so many questions about the future but "on Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers." (2 Cor. 9:10)
This is key, we are being helped by your prayers - those of our community, those of our friends and churches in faraway places and those of our fellow international Christian schools. Your prayers for us are sustaining us during a chaotic and overwhelming time. As you continue to pray, we know that God will be our help. He has helped us to locate and rent two school buildings. He will help us to see the work on these two buildings, particularly the elementary, completed so that we can fully move in and bring some order out of the chaos. He will help us, students and staff alike, to understand that He is a God who raises the dead, that in Him our hope is secure. "Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many." (2 Cor. 1:10 & 11)
If you would like to help the school recover from this devestating loss you can do so through TeachBeyond, one of the organizations that partners with us to provide staff.