How to Live Before You Die

THIS WEEK OVER FOUR HUNDRED children and youth from around our city converged on our school Charis. And so, a new academic year begins. Over 400 stories being created in the fusion of our CREATOR, his creativity, and his creation. Every sentence spoken, every kick of a ball, every conversation, and warm greeting another stroke of holy ink scrolled across the Creator’s canvas.


Kezia, a 7th grade student from Borneo nervously settles into her chair. A 12th grader named Nathania ponders her growing desire to become a physician, while her best friend Fonda is excited to become a kindergarten teacher. Two teachers on campus have fallen in love. A chess tournament is forged into the memories of 5th grade children.


Story after story; each filled with meaning and purpose.


SPEAKING OF STORIES, I really enjoyed this video of Steve Jobs speaking at the Stanford graduation.  His talk is titled: HOW TO LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE. He launches his talk with, “Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.” His three stories are most certainly worth listening to. They portray how the events of our lives converge to form stories; stories that can be of immense benefit to others.


As I promised a few days ago, here is a second story from another one of the students in Borneo.


CALL ME RAHMAN. My father’s name is Sader and my mother’s is Mastainah. I have a younger sister, Santi Widia Astuti, and a younger brother, Yanto Wijaya. My father works in another man’s rice field. Every morning, he goes to the rice filed and after school, my younger brother and I help him. My mom usually comes to bring us lunch at noon. We live far away from town and there isn’t a Senior High School. I like to study, but it was impossible to advance from Junior High school. My parents had no money to pay for my studies. We were just trying to figure out how we were going to eat each day, let alone pay for an education.


          One day, my father’s friend told him that there is a Christian school with a dormitory in Banjar Baru that might possibly offer a scholarship. Could I? I couldn’t believe it! I desperately wanted to go to that school. It was my chance for a better future. We did not have money for go to Banjar Baru, but my father sold some stuff that was in our house and borrowed money from the owner of the rice field, so that we could travel to Banjar Baru. Every night on that trip, I prayed to my gods (I believed they live in the trees, rivers and mountains), and asked them to give me a sponsor so I could study at that school.


          One day, we received a letter from the Mustard Seed school. I had been granted a scholarship and could stay in the dormitory! So, now I study at the Mustard Seed Senior High school. I am so happy! The chance to go to this school is beyond anything I had ever dreamed. Right now, I am in 12th grade. God is so GREAT! He takes care of me and my family.  He is the reason that I can study at the Mustard Seed School. He has a perfect plan for my life.


          At the Mustard Seed school, I have discovered the Creator, the loving God. I couldn’t understand why people who didn’t know me would become my sponsors and help me to reach my dreams for an education. I didn’t understand… I wanted to know more about a God who would love me this much. This God has taken my heart away from the gods of the mountains, the trees and rivers that I worshipped as a child. This God has rescued me, given me a sponsor, so that I could have an education. I met Jesus in this school and received Him to be my Savior. Jesus is lovely, not like the gods from my childhood.


           The teachers love me.  I can see feel, hear and experience God’s love through them. I hope that my parents and my younger brother and sister will know and receive Jesus Christ as their God. Nothing is impossible for Him. There is a chance for me to continue studying, and I am starting to dream about continuing my education at the university level. My parents don’t have the money for it, but I can work. I believe that if God can give me the chance to continue my study at the Mustard Seed High School, He can also make my other dreams become a reality. I need to do my part to study hard and believe God for His provision.

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