Didier is our first high school graduate from Matara. He graduated from high school late this summer in Bujumbura. He was one of the students living in the Student House downtown. After years of dedicated study he graduated and made the entire village of Matara proud.
If Didier looks familiar – it might be that there is a family resemblance. He is the son of village leader, Francois! The family invited friends from the community to join them on the bus ride to town so they could all be there to watch Didier get his diploma and celebrate together. (You might see Jean Bosco and Salvator amongst the celebrants…)
Francois has had a banner year – the birth of another child and the graduation of his eldest. What fruitfulness for his family. He has every reason to ‘walk tall,’ as he once told us he would do.
What is worth considering is the difference between the first born and most recent born son. When Didier came into the world, there was little hope for a proper education or a viable future for him. Prospects were quite dim. But with life in Matara, expectations have clearly changed. The reality has changed! Now this little one cradled in his arms will grow with expectations of education, this little one will watch his siblings all go to school and graduate. He will one day follow in his big brother’s footsteps across the stage for a diploma with his name on it! Papa Francois has every reason to hope for the best for all his children now.
Our God gives that kind of hope. He changes our circumstances from famine to abundance, nameless squatter to voting citizen, drop-out to high school graduate. God transforms landscapes, lives and expectations.
We celebrate with Didier, Francois and the entire Matara community for the new story unfolding up on this mountain. This is a place where every parent can anticipate throwing a graduation party for their sons and daughters!
P.S. Didier’s sister, pictured above, is next!