Sunday, February 01, 2015

Making An Indelible Mark

Our motto is “Faith Leads Us Beyond Ourselves,” and in case you missed it, over the last month, local papers have run three extraordinary stories about members of our senior class. I want to bring them to your attention:

Grace Wood went to Uganda with Michael Koen and Christian Cook in their junior year and did service work at an orphanage. The orphanage was necessary in this particular village because many of the adults there died from AIDS. At the orphanage, Grace, Michael and Christian met a little girl who had an umbilical hernia protruding from her stomach, and Grace talked to her family about sponsoring the girl to have surgery to get it fixed, and they did so. Had this little girl not met our students, doctors predicted the hernia would have ruptured and killed her. So I think it’s literally true that they saved this young girl’s life. 

Grace was so touched by her experience that she decided to go back to Uganda last summer. You were very generous in helping Grace raise monies—over $1800—which then helped her purchase goats for the villagers there. Goats are very important because they provide milk for the villagers, and so even after Grace returned back to us, she is continuing to have an impact on that village.  You can read more about all this here:

Anna Veazey also went to Uganda through a different program with her father and members of her Church. They visited several villages, helping people get eyeglasses whose eyesight was affected by malaria. During her stay, Anna befriended a little boy who had no parents, and Anna learned he had no shoes and had to walk to school a great distance each day.  After being with this boy for a few days, Anna noticed he was getting sick, so she took him to the local clinic, where he was diagnosed with malaria. Had she not noticed, doctors believe this boy would have died, so Anna, too, literally saved this boys’ life, and continues to sponsor this boy, sending money once/month for medication, food and clothing.

Anna, like Grace, has been so touched by her experience she’ll be going to Haiti this month and hopes to help Haitian farmers raise chickens, so they can provide chicken to the orphanages and schools and give the kids protein in their diet. She talked about this earlier this year with you and sought your help. If you can give more to assist her in this noble effort, I am sure it’s not too late. Anna, when do you leave?  You can read more here:

And then, in this week’s Registrar, there is the story about the senior class project. Through an organization known as “Special Spaces,” the seniors decided to do a “dream room makeover” for a 13 year old girl they learned about through Vanderbilt Hospital suffering from leukemia.  Seniors raised the money, then worked with contractors to do a complete makeover of the room as a gift to the girl.  You can read more about this fantastic service work here:

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be headmaster at a school that has students like you doing such amazing things for people all over the world, literally. You are living out the gospel command “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” You are making your lives matter to others. You are making an indelible mark. 

I encourage more of you to follow the lead of these amazing seniors Maybe you can’t travel abroad, but you can make an extraordinary difference in the way you tackle your Christian service, the service you give in your churches, how you help out with youth in your Church, or in your neighborhood.  We can all make our mark in this world if we have the courage to take that first step.

Bravo, seniors. Bravo, JPII.

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