ALI Blog

Trail Markers

As one hikes an unknown trail through the deep woods, it is very comforting to see trail markers on trees or rocks every 100 feet or so. They let you know you are going in the right direction in a place where you can easily get lost and feel overwhelmed. Today I saw a trail marker from the Lord that showed me we are on the right path with ALI here in Africa. Here's what happened.

As we boarded the jet for the last leg of our journey to Ilula, Kenya, where we will be working with teachers for the next eight weeks, we met a young Kenyan man in his 3rd year of a doctoral program in engineering. As we shared about ourselves, I asked him where in his education he felt he first learned to think critically. His answer surprised me. He said it did not happen until he began his master's work. In all the years he has been in school before that, he was told what he should know, what to believe, and he dutifully memorized all that information; apparently quite well. He went on to say that very few Kenyans go on to University, and even fewer people in Kenya enter a master's program!

I then asked a question that left him pondering. I wondered how he felt about so few adults in his country ever being given the opportunity to be trained to think critically and creatively; to process their thoughts, analyze possibilities, creatively apply knowledge, and evaluate the results? The expression on his face told me the answer. He was shocked to come to the realization that the vast majority of his countrymen/women are never empowered to embrace their God-given design to be thinking adults with a creative voice.

As I explained the mission of ALI, his face lit up again! He smiled from ear to ear as he told me of the need for what we are doing to raise up leaders/influencers for Kenya (and other developing nations). His affirmation was the marker on the tree that once again told me we are on the right path. God has called us to this task; He has equipped us through years of experience, and He will supply all our needs through His infinite resources. But we know that hiking this path is humanly impossible. We recognize that full success will come only through supernatural gifts from the Lord. He understands the path He has called us to, and He will provide the trail markers to keep us encouraged and maintain our compass course.

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