If you involve the kids, you involve the parents and the village that supports them! To that end, WICC is building bridges between the generations and focusing on resources that will help excite the young activists in our lives.
Children love to do important things that help others, and it starts young. Many children and youth are already world-changers by the time they reach middle school and by supporting their mission to live peace-filled, just lives, we can learn and grow together.
WICC’s resources will be a way to help adults share our passion for restoring hope to women and children touched by injustice. Children, parents and grandparents all love bedtime stories, so the dream is to fill their dreams with hopeful prayer and prayerful action, so that they will be empowered and excited to help. We are finding the ways that the World Day of Prayer grants help children and make the world a better, safer place. Sharing that success in bedtime stories encourages sweet dreams and strong faith.
Our first bedtime story is below. We will have more stories available on Facebook, the WICC website and other social media. Enjoy reading, Bridge Builders!
Bedtime Story – “First Day of School”
Once upon a time, probably a month ago last Tuesday… a small girl woke up earlier than she ever had. She was too excited to stay in bed! It was her first day in school. She would get her new uniform, a desk to sit in, a clean Scribbler to write her lessons in and a bright new book to read.
Tene, was 8 years old. She was eager to learn to read and write and listen to the teacher just like her older brother had been doing since he was 6!
It was a long walk to school, but the miles flew under her feet as she imagined what it would be like to be in a classroom in the village school.
When she arrived, she found out that there were other girls that were going to school with her and she dreamed of having a friend. Her excitement knew no bounds until…
Well… until the schoolmaster, we would call him a principal, met the girls outside the gates of the school with two empty buckets each. They would need to fetch water for the boys and teachers before they could sit in the classroom and learn.
This was not what Tene dreamed of. The buckets were heavy and the walk was long.
Even longer than the walk to her village and when she and the other girls arrived, the water hole from which they were to scoop water was dirty and some days, it was even dried up.
By the time the girls got back to school with the heavy buckets sloshing around their legs and tearing at their uniforms, the day was almost done and they only had a few minutes to sit in the classroom with the boys their age before school was done for the day and the children were sent home.
Tene was very sad and the girls cried about this treatment because it was so unfair. One day, as the girls prepared to carry those heavy buckets back and forth to the watering hole, they saw some men digging in a corner of the school yard. They wondered what they could be doing, but grabbed their buckets and headed out. Word had come through the mail that money was coming to their school for a water station right on their grounds but the children didn’t know it yet.
One of the teachers had heard about the grants that were available through the World Day of Prayer. Money was given at church services in Canada when women praised God and when they put their prayer into action.
On the first Friday in March every year, women and men from around the whole world gathered to worship and pray. During their worship they made a donation of whatever money they could afford to give. Many, many people put five dollars on the offering plate and those small offerings grew into thousands of dollars which were then given in grants of up to $5000 to make the world a better, fairer, more hopeful place for girls just like Tene.
One day, when Tene and the other children arrived at school, they were told that there were no classes that morning and they found out that the girls did not need to go for water. Instead, they were all led over to the water station in the schoolyard where the schoolmaster pumped the handle and made fresh, clear water flow into those old buckets. There was a celebration of great joy and giving thanks while the children splashed about in the free-flowing water!
After the party, the girls and boys joined arms and marched into their classes together.
Finally, the girls could really go to school and sit in the desks and learn their lessons all day just like the boys. Everyone in the surrounding villages was happy that girls could now dream and learn and be anything they wanted to be if they studied hard enough! So last Tuesday, Tene had her first full day of teachers and lessons and school and her joy knew no bounds!
Thanks be to God!
Good night little one! Sleep well and dream big! You are loved and beloved and you can learn to make dreams come true at church, home and school when you pray and listen to God! Dream big world-changers!
Rev. Steph McClellan,
WICC Board President