It’s why I judge a book by its last two pages. And it’s the reason I’m emotionally attached to the stories I came to know through Food for the Hungry (FH).
As a young girl growing up with very little resources in the Philippines, all I wanted was to be in school. To learn a new language, graduate with decent grades, and make my parents proud.
It’s a universal dream. And in places where FH works, many young boys and girls, even adults, get to alter the direction of their lives because of generous people who believe in happy endings.
It’s a party!
Such is the story of Elena, a young adult from Guatemala. When I and some FH staff came to see her, Elena’s mother greeted us at the door of their modest house. She had a shy smile and was quick to apologize about her house being messy.
Well, the mess she warned us about couldn’t be more praiseworthy. Plastered on the wall of the living room was a big graduation paper cutout. Graduation caps and rolled-up diplomas hung from the low ceiling. And tied to the house beams were big pink balloons.
Elena, who was a sponsored child through FH, had just graduated from high school. And the night before, she hosted a celebration at her house for some of her friends and relatives. You see, Elena was the only student in her village who finished secondary education that year!
What did God say?
Elena could have easily lost her dream. When she was young, her parents, who had never been to school, wanted her to work rather than get an education.
But God had a plan.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
He created the world without our help, and He can change a life all by Himself. But in His goodness, He invites people like you and me to be a part of what He’s doing.
Elena wanted to be a teacher and send her own siblings to school. She, too, will be an agent of change and an inspiration for many young dreamers in her community.