[the africa diaries] day five: finishing with our first group

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

August 27, 2009

Finally! Today is my day to teach! Well, at least for half of it…

Day two of our lesson plan calls for two important subjects. First up was the financial session. In this session we covered such basic, yet critically important, topics like keeping your business and personal money separate, and how to create a budget. This is the session that I got to teach! Then we wrapped up the training on the second half of the day with a session on business planning. Here we talked about things like putting God first, and using all of the information that we covered previously to create a business plan.

dan king teaching in makogeniBecause I am a teacher by nature (a corporate trainer by profession, and a small group and ministry teacher at church), I was super geeked about getting to teach my lesson that day! And as I got started, I had the opportunity to share my personal testimony with the students. What I shared went something like this…

Hi! My name is Dan King.

I’ve tried to be successful in business for a long time. But, I’ve always failed at whatever I tried to do. I was not good at business. I was not good at relationships. The only thing that I was good at was failing. After a while I started to realize that I must be missing something, but I could not figure out exactly what it was.

Then I met a friend who had what I was looking for. It was the one thing that would make my life make sense. This person eventually led me to Christ as my Lord and Savior! I was so thankful for what she did, that I married her! And we’ve been married for 10 years now!

One of the things that was so special about her is that she believed in me when no one else did. And the more that I grew in my relationship with Jesus, the more I started to realize that there was One who had believed in me all along, and His name was Jesus! And He believes in you! I believe in you, and I know that the rest of our team believes in you! Now I am discovering that I can be successful in many things. I am earning success at work, in ministry, and with my family! And today I hope to share with you how you can be successful as well!

After that introduction, I was ready to teach! I was ready to pour my heart into these people’s lives, and I had a blast working with them! My session had some cool activities in it that allowed me to get interactive with the people, and I could see that my points were sinking in with them. That felt SO rewarding! 

africa 211My session finished around lunch time, and we finished the lessons in the afternoon as planned. So as we closed our first two-day class it was time to have our graduation ceremony. And this ceremony was one of the bigger moments of impact that I had on this trip.

Most of the participants that we just had in our two-day training session had never been part of a graduation of any kind before. The ‘diploma’ that we gave them that day represented one of the biggest academic accomplishments of their lives. This was a powerful experience for me because I realized how much we take something as basic as our right to an education for granted in the United States. Sure… the system isn’t perfect, but most of us at least have the opportunity to get a decent education. I thought back to my high school graduation, and the thing that I was happiest about was the fact that I didn’t have to get up and go to school in the morning. I, like many others in America, really didn’t care about the diploma that I had just earned.

The participants of our meager two-day training session may have just earned a piece of paper, but to many of them it was one of the greatest accomplishments of their lives. I’ll never forget the pride that these people had as they walked up to the front to shake the hand of our team leader and accept their certificate.

graduation at makogeniAfter our graduation ceremony, we went out in front of the church for a group photo. This was an event that was important to capture! It represents a moment in time where the future was never brighter for these people. There was hope like no other time in their lives. Many were about to walk away now with the tools that would enable them to provide their children with the education that they never had. It was the beginning of a future that was now full of possibilities.

Lord, thank You for allowing me to be a part of something so special in so many people’s lives!


Check out more from this series in the africa diaries.


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[the africa diaries] day five: finishing with our first group

by Dan King time to read: 4 min