Reading, Teaching, Learning

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - BOLD

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
 
For the last couple of months we have been writing about each other's One Little Words.  Please join us!  We're almost done after Donna Smith's word this week, BOLD.  One more week was added to the original schedule.  See below!
 
With Salva Dut and #ReadWalkWater co-leader, Tracy Kleis
 
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. - 2Corinthians 3:12
 
     If you follow my blog or social media sites, you know my school has been involved with Water of South Sudan for 3 years now.  We read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park with our 6th graders and then hold several events to fundraise money to help WFSS build wells in the villages of South Sudan.  When we first began this project (which is part of a Social Injustice unit we've put together), we dreamed of sponsoring a well.  A well in South Sudan costs approximately $15,000.  To sponsor one, we had to raise $5,000.  That first year we raised just over $5,000 and were thrilled.  Last year, WFSS put out a new challenge called the Iron Giraffe Super Challenge.  The organization needed a new drill, so they put out a challenge to schools to raise $1,000 to put toward the drill, but they upped the ante for the Super Challenge.  The first school to raise $25,000 in two school years would have the honor of a visit from Salva Dut, the founder of WFSS, real live character in A Long Walk to Water, and a "Lost Boy of Sudan".
 
     Earlier this year, we got the notice that we had won!  The visit was yesterday.  Lynn Malooly, the executive director of WFSS, expressed that when they chose $25,000 as the winning goal, they didn't know if anyone could do it.  I can't possibly write everything I need or want to write yet.  It's too  overwhelming.  More blog posts will be forthcoming.  The day was unbelievably amazing and humbling. When I realized that this week's word was BOLD, I immediately knew I had to write about this experience with Salva. 
 
     Everything about Salva is bold.  His courage when fleeing for his life during Sudan's civil wars and leading a group of 1500 boys to Kenya.  His perseverance when spending years in refugee camps without a family.  His hope when relocating to America and beginning a new life.  His compassion when deciding to return to his country to help his people by bringing clean water to South Sudan.  His grace when choosing peace, not revenge or hate.  His leadership when encouraging young people to make a difference.  His humility when putting others before himself.  His  love when uniting races, religions, and cultures. Because Tracy and I spent the day with him, I can truly attest to his genuineness.  To have endured what he did when he was young and accomplish all that he has, those traits: hope, compassion, grace, leadership, humility, and love have to be bold.  
 
 
     Salva mentioned God several times during his presentations.  He gives God the credit, and points to his example.  So do I.   We can dream little dreams, but God makes them big.  He has a vision greater than we can imagine and can accomplish so much more than we can alone.  So often, we make God too small. Think big.  Think bold.  God is great.
 

 
January 14: Carol Varsalona - BELIEVE
January 21:  Margaret Simon - PRESENT
January 28:  Michelle Haseltine - SELAH
February 4:  Justin Stygles - (Blind) FAITH
February 11: Leigh Ann Eck - INTENT
February 18:  Irene Latham - DELIGHT
February 25:  Violet Nesdoly - MINDFULNESS
March 3:  Julieanne Harmatz - ADMIRE
March 10:  Holly Mueller - WAIT
March 17:  Linda Kulp - SIMPLIFY
March 24: Doraine Bennett - SHINE
March 31: Donna Smith - BOLD
April 7th: Bobbie Ann Taylor - MERCIFUL
 
 
 
 
 
 

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for blessing us with your sharing about the commitment you and your students have that resulted in their coming face to face with an amazing testimony of Godly boldness--"To have endured what he did when he was young and accomplish all that he has, those traits: hope, compassion, grace, leadership, humility, and love have to be bold."

    God bless you, too, for inviting and challenging us to accept our personal God-given missions of boldness: "We can dream little dreams, but God makes them big. He has a vision greater than we can imagine and can accomplish so much more than we can alone. So often, we make God too small. Think big. Think bold. God is great."

    What a beautiful faith witness during this Easter Season of resurrection and new life. Please let your students know how edified we feel by their holy determination, generosity, and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, whom they have embraced as brothers and sisters. You must be very proud of them, as we are very proud of you! Thank you! May God bless you and strengthen your bold living for Him.

    Thank you, too, for adding my OLW. You've just fleshed out that word in this post. Blessed are the merciful. Again, God bless you!

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  2. This was an amazing feat, only accomplished by the hand of God, as is his life's story. Incredible! Congratulations for having the boldness to even attempt a challenge such as this!
    And thank you for this wonderful Spiritual Journey Thursday experience. It has made Thursdays a pleasure to wake up to.

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  3. YOU DID IT! "We can dream little dreams, but God makes them big. He has a vision greater than we can imagine and can accomplish so much more than we can alone." Holly, I just read this to my son so he can remember that God is our provider and guide. I have followed your school's story with delight. Yesterday, must have been an amazing testament to God's Hand in your journey. (I am so happy to see that Bobbie is joining our OLW journey.)

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  4. How inspiring you and your class are! Thanks for introducing us to Salva--he sounds like a truly inspirational man. And I love his kind of BOLD.

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  5. Thank you for sharing the link to this post. It was exactly what I needed to read.

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