Education is power. Sometimes when finishing math homework late at night we can forget that, but it is true. Being educated is part of the five talents that God gives us in the gospel this Sunday. Most of us have access to great education, which will open doors for us to walk through in terms of vocation and occupation. Education helps us claim our gifts and use our skills to make the world more beautiful. When school gets tough, it can help to remember that education is a gift that God wants us to use. Expanding our minds can honor God and help multiply our talents. School can help us identify what we are passionate about and give us time and space to expand our skills to use in the world.
What makes you come alive?
What do you love to study?
What questions expand your mind and heart?
Naming our passions and skills can help us stay awake in life, living with passion and purpose.
In Nairobi, Kenya, a man named Abdul Kassim started a secondary school for girls, KGSA, in the middle of the biggest slum in the city to try to help lift young women out of poverty. He has a passion for educating girls because he was raised without a father and has daughters of his own. He sees that girls in the slum go to school less than boys, and he knew he had the power to change that. Some girls do not go to school because their families cannot pay for uniforms and notebooks. Others have to stop school to start to work and add income to the family. With only a partial grade school education, there are not good work opportunities available for these girls. The girls want to go to school, they want to learn, but for many without a safety net, education becomes an unrealistic luxury instead of a human right. Because of Abdul’s passion and willingness to multiply his talents, KGSA has been open now for five years. The girls work very hard in school, seeing an opportunity to get into the University in Nairobi as a dream come true.
Mookie Tierney loved art and science in high school. By the time he started taking classes at the University of Minnesota, he understood that he could combine his love of drawing and science in the study of architecture. He is now a graduate student in architecture at the University of Portland, using his passion and skill of architecture to change the world. He will travel this summer to Kenya and meet with Abdul. The goal is to design and build a space efficient, self-sufficient food system consisting of chicken, tilapia and spinach for KGSA so that the girls do not have to pay for lunch. This will help keep the girls’ minds fed during the school day and may even make education more available to young women in the area!
Mookie and Abdul are two men who are using their talents to make the world better while encouraging others to do the same.
How can you honor your passion in an educational setting?
What skills do you want to hone?
How could those skills be used to make address injustice in the world?