Despite the beauty of December and the anticipation that comes with the family tree, it’s easy to get bogged down in the frenzy of the Christmas Season. Relentless commercials and an endless flow of catalogs and coupons convince us that the shopping should never end. And sometimes, even those of us with the best intentions don’t stop to consider that saying “no” to a $2 stocking stuffer means we could say “yes” to something else. Something profound — like providing an education to a child in a developing country.
This Christmas, Oakwood’s Sarah Lema is working to turn the tide from holiday getting to holiday giving. And she’s doing it by connecting Oakwood students to a school half-way around the world…in Tanzania, Africa.
Mrs. Lema’s interest in that country began after college, when a friend introduced her to a Julius, the Tanzanian man she would marry. They went on to forge a friendship with George and Andrea Kitomary, another Tanzania/Michigan couple who began TOUCH Ministies and now live and work in Africa, running the school that Oakwood’s holiday gift will support. Julius was able to visit the school in November and both he and Mrs. Lema hope to return together in 2015.
But more than their personal interest in the school, Mrs. Lema has a vision for something bigger. She dreams of Oakwood students finding true joy in generosity and a developing a greater awareness of the reality of life in a developing country.
She recently shared:
“It is my hope that the students at Oakwood will learn how our acts of kindness can have a powerful impact on the lives of others. Through this opportunity, I would like them to also experience the joy in giving to others. Through Oakwood’s generosity this deserving group of students will receive one of the most important gifts we can give: an education. However, Oakwood students will also receive important gifts: a new cultural awareness and important lessons about making a difference across the world. This partnership will have a positive impact on both groups of students!”
Click here or on the image below to learn more about this project. Take a moment to view this presentation, meet the students they’ve been able to support, and see what Oakwood students are doing to change the world: