It was nearing 6:45 am, and The Amazima School students were pulling up their uniform stockings, tucking in their shirts, and straightening their ties as they finished getting ready and made their way to devotions. The students gathered in a circle on the front porch of their house and sat down in the folding metal chairs, with Bibles and notebooks in their laps.
“What’s the theme we’re talking about this week?” their family mentor asked. “HOPE!” they responded in unison.
You see, every week at The Amazima School, students have devotions with their Family Mentors before they head off for breakfast and then to school. Each week’s devotion topic is based on the previous Sunday morning’s teaching/sermon.
As Term 2 came to a close this year, we focused on the theme of HOPE for the last couple of weeks before all the students headed back to their homes for a three-week break. The first Sunday message was based on the HOPE we have now. In the devotions to follow, we unpacked what it means to have HOPE as an anchor when life is difficult. We looked at Scripture, such as Hebrews 6:19-20, and John 16:33 and asked questions such as, “When life is difficult, what usually helps you to get through that time? Why do you think this helps?” and “Does Jesus’ promises about the future give you any HOPE? Why or why not?” We asked them to consider the HOPE that they have. Then later in the week, we discussed how to look out for false HOPE, which is rooted in false promises and is a common pitfall in the lives of many believers.
The second Sunday message was based on the HOPE we have to look forward to in the future. In devotions with the students, we all got excited as we discussed how one of many of the great promises of eternity is restored relationships. We also talked about how thinking about God’s promises for the future and eternity with Him will strengthen our HOPE. Over the course of the two weeks, we had so many great conversations with the students about true HOPE, its value, where to look for it, and how to share it.
And we had a great idea about how to challenge the students to put all they learned into action by sharing the HOPE they have. But first, we have to tell you a little back-story.
One of our teachers, Kayleigh, has a necklace from The Giving Keys and she loves to wear it when she teaches. Early in the year, several of her students asked her what her key necklace meant, and she explained to them the heart behind The Giving Keys and how their hope is to end homelessness through employment. She told them how the necklace owners are encouraged to embrace the inspirational word stamped on the key, and then pay it forward by giving the necklace to someone who needs the message.
To Kayleigh’s great delight, the more the students understood the mission of The Giving Keys, the more they wanted to be part of what they were doing. So Kayleigh reached out to the company to see if the students could partner with them in some way, and she was delightfully surprised to hear what they had to say…
The Giving Keys responded by generously offering to donate one necklace for every student at The Amazima School! They asked what word should be engraved on the necklaces, with the end of the second term in mind, over 200 Giving Keys stamped with the word “HOPE” were delivered to The Amazima School.
On the very last chapel night of Term 2, just a few days before the students went back home for break, every Amazima School student was handed a Giving Key necklace engraved with “HOPE.” They were challenged to take what they had learned and go home and share the HOPE they have with others in their communities. If they felt compelled, they were encouraged to give their HOPE necklace away, per The Giving Key custom, to someone who needed the reminder of HOPE more than they did.
Thank you to our ministry partners and The Giving Keys for helping spread HOPE to our students and the villages surrounding The Amazima School.