We owe teachers a lot.
This pandemic has made us all appreciate the hard work of teachers, day in and day out. When school went online in the spring of 2020, it caused a lot of us to realize how valuable it is having qualified, trained teachers to lead our students.
Class subjects, social skills, and problem-solving are all valuable lessons kids learn at school. But for six-year-old Jayden, school was not possible.
While there are resources, educators, and learning strategies for students with disabilities in the United States, the reality is different on the island of Grenada. Limited training and guidance leaves many teachers feeling helpless as they struggle to provide meaningful instruction. And their students often feel left out, misunderstood, or simply don't attend school. This was the situation Jayden found himself in.
I was eating french fries when I had my first challenging conversation about faith.
Now I’ll be honest, before this moment I thought I was completely prepared to talk about any aspect of my faith. I was fully convinced that, if challenged, I would be able to spew forth such a brilliant argument that even a die-hard atheist would become Christian. I should also mention that I was only 14 years old and full of that youthful “immortality” mindset that made me believe I could conquer anything.
One of the people in my friend group at lunch asked if I believed that the flood actually happened, to which I responded, “Yes.” Immediately I was met with a hailstorm of questions.
When I was in college, I struggled with an eating disorder for 8 months. My junior year had some rough patches and without realizing it, my harmless attempt to lose a little bit of weight warped into an unhealthy habit.
I put myself through intense workouts every morning at 5am and kept a list of every single piece of food I ate throughout the day. I was hungry all the time. I would binge eat and then starve myself for the next day out of guilt for letting myself consume more than 1,500 calories.
Deep down, part of me knew what I was doing was unhealthy, but the way people commented on how good I looked kept me from reaching out for help.
How much water do you use in one day?
Think about it for a minute.
On average in the United States, one person uses upwards of 80 gallons of water per day.* Water that can be accessed simply by walking to the sink. For most of us, we don't have to worry about gathering, collecting, or storing the water we need for each day of the year.
But for Reza and his family, water had to be collected by carrying as many plastic jugs as they could carry down a hill to the river, fill them, and make the trek back up the hill.
Lisa, a retired engineer turned library director, sat looking at her phone as she sipped her morning coffee. It had been a year since she had retired and she was looking for something, some new way to connect with and love those around her. Not knowing what path to follow, Lisa prayed.
Elsewhere, Tricia and her husband John also prayed as they held the hands of their little foster son, five-year-old Sam. They had been to several hospital visits, sat in a number of waiting rooms, and watched Sam go through one painful round of medication after another. They weren’t sure how they would make it through to the next day.