Tuesday, October 28, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Ten Thousand Girls

How the poet Maya Angelou inspired an African American teacher from Michigan to overcome the tragic loss of her daughter by setting up an amazing school in Senegal, Africa.

Podcast version here

John 13: 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

I was listening to one of my favorite poets yesterday, Maya Angelou, giving a telephone interview on CNN. She was talking to an African American woman in Senegal, Africa who, along with her five granddaughters, has set up a school for girls. The grandmother has always admired Angelou and quoted one of the great poet’s sayings, “When you learn, teach.”

The grandmother, Viola Vaughn, took her five granddaughters to Senegal, along with her husband, to give them the opportunity to experience a different culture, as well as several languages. She home-schooled her grandchildren and when girls in the town came to her for help with their lessons, Viola decided to open up a girls’ school.

She has a wonderful vision of touching the lives of 10,000 girls across Senegal and teaching them how to be independent. Her school teaches crafts, as well as a general curriculum, so that the students can make their own items to help pay for their education. It’s an amazing mission and a wonderful opportunity for the young girls who come under Viola’s care. What she has learned, she is now teaching. Or as Jesus would say, what Viola knows, she does. This is blessing to Viola, her family, and the Senegalese community where they live.

If you want to see for yourself what Viola is accomplishing, visit her website at http://www.10000girls.org/. You’ll be amazed at what she is doing.

I think Viola puts into practice what Jesus is teaching. His disciples were given a great deal of knowledge of God, and about how Christ wanted them to serve one another. He taught them to take that knowledge, share it with other people, and put it into practice. After all, the Gospel is of no earthly use if people do not act upon Christ’s message. As Maya Angelou and Viola Vaughn could have said: What we learn from Christ, we teach to others.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for the privilege of hearing the Gospel. We pray for opportunities to share, practice, and teach Your beautiful message to others. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

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