A Shining Light
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
As a child, she took a new name when she was baptized: Helen, which means shining light, the bright one. Her father knew Helen was special. To provide a better life for her, he sold a camel so she could leave their remote village and go to school.
Now Helen has finished her schooling and returned home. She is the only one in her village with more than a basic education.
For her, higher education means choice. She watches as girls as young as 10 years old are married, often in exchange for a camel. The girl is immediately circumcised, and surviving that, is tasked with caring for her new husband’s animals. Animals are very important in the village: transportation, food, currency. Caring for animals is vital work. The women drive them to water and to pasture, and keep them safe.
Helen, as an educated person, receives respect from everyone in the village. Her value lies in knowledge, not just in her ability to care for animals and children. She now has the power to decide if, and whom, she will marry. She has value, identity. And for Helen, most important is her identity in Christ.
She wants to teach the people in her village: the women, the children. “When you tell a woman something, her man will hear it too. Same for children: if they are excited about what they are learning, they tell their parents.”
At the end of the day, after caring for the animals, the women gather in the center of the village. Helen wants to be their teacher, using the Word of God as their text. She is so grateful for the Bible she has just received from our local champion, “No one sees us. There are no roads leading to our village. But God found us, even though we have no roads. God sees us.”
Helen is excited to be part of Bible-based adult literacy coming to her village. The Bible she has received is just the beginning. The local champion will return soon and bring training materials with him. Her face is shining.