Tuesday, March 3
On my way to meet a visiting mission group, I had bought a newspaper. When I sat down to read it, Ezekiel, one of the boys hanging around, picked up the sports pages. He read an article aloud, not perfectly but quite well. But when members of the mission group asked about his age and grade in school, we discovered that this boy who had just read the newspaper as well as most adults was 13 years old but only in the first grade!
His teacher agreed that Ezekiel is very bright, but she said he gets bored in school and therefore doesn’t come. He has never completed a school year. Later, as we talked to Ezekiel, he told us he was stupid and couldn’t do well in school. Besides, sometimes his parents needed him in the fields, and he wasn’t smart enough to bother with school.
That week the group worked to convince Ezekiel that he was not stupid and that he could learn very well. He read us articles from the newspaper and, with translation help, learned the multiplication tables from one of the teachers. He mastered them quickly. Members of this group were the first people ever tell him that he was smart, not stupid—the first to praise his ability to learn.
The day we left, the bus passed the school. All the children came out to wave to us. Leading the group, taller than any of the kids around him, was Ezekiel. We all pray that he is still in school.
—Rev. Douglas Orbaker, former PC(USA) mission coworker serving with the Council of Evangelical Churches in Nicaragua
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Council of Evangelical Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD): Carlos Cardenas Martinez, disaster mitigation / risk management training, Justin Sundberg, partnership facilitator / delegations coordinator, Rev. Renee Sundberg, team ministry
CEPAD: Damaris Albuquerque, executive director • Interchurch Center for Theological and Social Studies (CIEETS): Jairo Arce, general director • Moravian Church in Nicaragua: Rev. Cora Antonio, superintendent
Presbyteries of Giddings-Lovejoy, Lake Michigan, Missouri River Valley, and the Pacific, with CEPAD
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
For children who learn in schools, for teachers who help them learn, and for the many ways all of us learn of your world, we give you thanks, O Lord. Amen.