Hi, guys. I’m re-posting this with the slideshow that served as the finished product to this writing workshop. It was really interesting to see which beliefs the student writers chose for the slideshow and equally interesting to see which ones they didn’t choose. The finished product is about eight minutes long and leaves me teary-eyed each time I watch it. I’m so proud of these kids and am honored to call them mine.
Storms and power outages here have been intermittently casting the evenings into quiet darkness. Malaria is fever has struck several people I know and ringworm is leaving its itching, festering mark on the faces of the kids I love. Life is hard here and I know I’m only scratching the surface.
Last Saturday I held a voluntary writing workshop for the high school kids at the school. There were about fifteen writers including students, myself and two teachers from Sweden who I’d met in town and wanted to join in the fun. We were a small, but mighty group of writers and we tackled the topic of writing about our beliefs, using Tarak McLain’s This I Believe essay as our model. We brainstormed topics to write beliefs about and the students chose to write about God, love, education, friendship, life and then they added on any other beliefs they felt strongly about
One of the student writers summed up the last couple of days perfectly when he said, “Life is demanding in terms of keeping good health.” It is so very demanding and I’m on my face grateful for my own health.
Maybe you or a loved one are facing the demanding battle of fighting for the precious gift of health. Maybe you feel a bit in the darkness as of late. Maybe your spirit is feeling impoverished. I know mine has been as of late.
Last night as lightning and thunder struck simultaneously in the sky above me, I sat under the light of my flashlight reading the beliefs my students had penned. I was reminded that hope rises above darkness. Hope rises above disease. Hope rises above poverty. Hope rises. Period.
Need proof? Here are just some of the beliefs they wrote that are striking all kinds of chords with me.
This I Believe about God:
- I believe God is our breath.
- I believe with God we can do better.
- I believe God is my best friend.
- I believe in God’s mercy.
- I believe God can do wonders in our lives.
- I believe God gives us unique gifts.
- I believe in the miracles of God.
- I believe God can feel my heart.
- I believe God is always present in me.
This I Believe about Friendship:
- I believe a friend who encourages is a friend of great value.
- I believe friendship without trust is nothing.
- I believe friendship is a choice.
- I believe friendship is magical.
This I Believe about Education:
- I believe education is boldness.
- I believe education needs one heart.
- I believe education is a way to tour the whole world.
- I believe education gives us hope in the future.
- I believe education can eradicate poverty.
- I believe education can stop violence in homes.
- I believe in education as a solution to ignorance.
- I believe education builds up the family.
- I believe education is for everyone.
- I believe education is the best gift my parents can offer me.
This I Believe about Love:
- I believe love fulfills.
- I believe love never hates.
- I believe without love, I am nothing.
- I believe love is what you show.
- I believe love is life.
- I believe love makes us stay in peace.
- I believe if you have love, you won’t kill.
- I believe love does not rejoice in bad acts.
- I believe love is giving confidence to the broken-hearted.
- I believe love always forgives.
- I believe love does not hide anything.
- I believe love is holy.
- I believe with love we can transform this world.
This I Believe about Life:
- I believe life deserves respect.
- I believe life has no spare parts.
- I believe life is given by God.
- I believe life without the soul is impossible.
- I believe life is full of adventures.
- I believe life is putting others first before yourself.
- I believe life means giving comfort to one another.
- I believe life has no price.
- I believe everyone has the right to have life.
This I Believe about Other Things:
- I believe in my mother.
- I believe a family is someone who protects you.
- I believe faith rescues.
- I believe I have a future.
- I believe I am a blessing.
- I believe I can change the world.
Your turn. What do you believe?