Graduation Day

Graduation day was Saturday and oh what an exciting day it was! I thought I was going to burst with praise for our great God! I’m so honored to be the one God chose to work through on the American side for Next Life Foundation. The students looked great, the girls had their hair and makeup done and the boys looked sharper than tacks. Their families were in attendance and the mood was very festive. I can’t tell you how many times “Bwana asifiwe” was proclaimed by the many speakers at the front table. It means “Praise the Lord” in Swahili. (Those were about the only words I understood during the three hour ceremony!) The poor photographer didn’t know which way to turn. Everone wanted a picture with this friend, with this teacher, with this Mzungu (westerner…that was me)! After the official ceremony was over a meal was shared with sodas of many kinds. The neighborhood children who had been peaking over and through the fence during the set up, the ceremony & the past two years of these students training were invited in to share the meal and merriment. Then the dancing started, or should I say, continued; some students actually began dancing when we were waiting for guests to arrive.

It’s exciting to see these students complete their training in a skill that will sustain them physically by providing an income for them but it’s even more exhilarating to know they have heard the news of Jesus Christ. Some have accepted him for the first time and I pray others have deepened their faith. That is always my prayer for our students.

I met my friend’s three daughters at graduation and two of her daughters were wearing hijabs, which are the head coverings worn by Muslim women. My friend is a woman of strong Christian faith. It breaks my heart to see that two of her daughters have married Muslim men. It makes me realize how important it is to pray against this intermarrying of the young people. God is always at work and we know He is answering our prayers. Because 1 John 5:15 tells us “And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” We have seen the Holy Spirit at work on our site. We give all the glory to God and look expectantly to what He will continue to do. Thanks be to God.

~Patti

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