On Making Hard, Beautiful Choices

As I type the list of our candidates, I am absolutely overwhelmed, to the point of tears and prayer. How am I a part of deciding futures for these students? Of choosing the next ten for our Christ School Orphan and Vulnerable Children Scholarship Program?

For 10 of them, their lives are about to change. They will be welcomed, cared for, supported, taught about Jesus, given rich knowledge and life in this place.

For the other 22 candidates who we didn’t select to join the OVC Program, their dreams may be shattered. We get to say, “Welcome to Christ School Bundibugyo!” to ten. Yet there are so many more who are not on that list. They may never finish beyond a P7 education (about 6th/7th grade education). Their dreams may be crushed as I type each letter of this list of ten names. It’s heavy y’all.

This is not an easy process. Some of the decisions were very clear cut, and others our committee wrestled with intensely. From 32 applications and interviews, to village visits and investigations of the top 15, to a list of ten names. I am so thrilled to welcome those ten. I mean, I can’t stop smiling when I think of each of them and can now pray for them by name, not just as numbers we’re looking for. There are names and faces for each one, and stories He is weaving and writing that we at CSB get to be a part of. I wish I could tell you every one of their stories, or at least the small snippets I know. These children have seen so much, walked hard roads, and are still dreaming big for their families and themselves. They are resilient and strong and beautiful. They inspire me.

But just as true as that is for these 10, there are names and faces and stories for the 22 who aren’t joining the program. There are children we interviewed who I fall asleep praying for and who are on my heart throughout the day. What will their stories now hold? I am trusting He will provide and He is at work, but oh how I wonder and my doubtful heart runs to worry. I’ve sat in some of their homes, I’ve heard their stories, and now that I know, I am responsible.

What does it look like to walk with these ten and trust the other 22 to Him? I’m not really sure. But I welcome prayers as I sort that out. I know these 10 and the other 50+ already in our program here are the ones I am called to love and invest in here and now. I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I am thrilled and nervous and excited to the depths of my being about this year! But today my heart is burdened for the others as well.

Is this a taste of how the Lord feels when He writes names in the Book of Life? How he so desperately longs for all to come in, to partake, to be a part? I’m not sure. But its heavy and beautiful, its exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Who am I to be a part of this crazy, messy, wonderful, life-changing process? Completely, absolutely humbled and on my knees, both for the students who will come and be a part of this and those who will not. What I do know is that I am only a part of this process because He chose me, He loved me first and then sent me to use my gifts, my skills, and His love to enter in here. Only because of Him am I a part, and only because of Him are each of these precious students a part. He is writing our stories and weaving them together into a masterpiece.

I’m praying that He will meet each of them in unique ways and lead their hearts and souls to Truth. May He receive the glory and be the theme and end of each of their stories. May the enemy not steal the joy of the ten who are coming, may we rejoice over each of them and may they see a glimpse of His rejoicing with singing over them. May His truth and His love capture them, move them, and begin to give wings to future leaders for this community and this world. What a privilege and joy to be here as a part of this journey!

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