Some days are for forgetting.
Some are for living to the hilt.
Some are for searing your memory with remarkable souls that make you want to be better.
Claudine was one I was honored to meet.
She was young but laser focused on a different future,
A better future,
A future within grasp through a Christ infused business training program called DUHU. (See Rwanda #4)
On an ordinary day, Jamie would race up the road, heading to class. On this rainy day she noticed among the throngs of walkers, a slight young woman who looked familiar. Slowing and then stopping, she recognized her as one of the DUHU students.
Claudine gratefully hopped in.
The next day Jamie again saw her walking and stopped. This time Jamie began quizzing her, “Why don’t you take a bus or motorbike taxi? “How far do you walk?”
Claudine then explained that her parents had been murdered in the genocide and that she now lived with an Aunt and her family. Money wasn’t given her for rides so she walked.
Five days a week.
Though young, she knew she had been given a chance to make a life for herself. A way out of a home not her own—and a way to finding or creating real employment for herself in a job starved country. An opportunity that many apply for, but few are selected.
The obstacle of a few miles was not going to hold her back.
But that is not the real heart of the story.
Impressed by her perseverance, Jamie decide to arrange for her to be hired as a babysitter after school for daily exercise classes. Satisfied that Claudine would now be able to afford bus fare, Jamie put it out of her mind.
Weeks later, she passed a slight young woman on the same stretch of road. She realized it was Claudine.
“Why are you walking? Why aren’t you on the bus?”
She shyly replied, “I don’t mind walking, I’m used to it, and I am saving my money.”
Later in the semester they assessed who was beginning, or headed back to college, and who needed financial aid. Some money was available for a few of the DUHU girls. Claudine was one they were looking to help with her semester fees. When approached she smiled softly and proudly whispered,
“I don’t need the aid. I saved my bus fare.”
A remarkable young woman who had no sense of entitlement and saw past present circumstances to a bigger future.
Who reused to let poverty stand in her way.
Who dared to dream of a different future.
A brighter future with God at the helm and knowledge at her side.
Humbles me to think of how many times I have quit something because it was hard, or thrown my hands up in exasperation when I’m inconvenienced. If a long wait at the Wal-Mart checkout makes me grumble, what would the prospect of walking four hours every day birth in me?
I shudder to think of my response…
How fast we embrace that entitled attitude and forget our blessed life.
Proverbs 3:34-35 …But if you’re down on your luck, he’s right there to help. Wise living gets rewarded with honor; stupid living gets the booby prize.
– List 5 blessings you have because of your citizenship.
-Thank God for them and vow to quit grumbling over first world inconveniences.