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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Elementary School (07/19/04)

By Anthony David


“Ding dong, ding dong, ding dong,” the bell rang. There is a steady pitter-patter as the children troop into the makeshift hall. This hall serves as the elementary school for Ghanpur, a tiny hamlet. It has a single teacher Pavan, who is enthusiastic and encourages his students.

The children look clean and neat. But if you look closely at them, you can make out that they are poor. Their washed clothes are worn and torn and most of them are barefoot. Yet, their eyes gleam with joy as they consider it a privilege to be able to study. They yearn to come up in life and live a better quality life than their poor parents.

Gopi, one of them is full of questions. Some of his questions baffle Pavan too. But Pavan encourages the inquisitive spirit of Gopi and helps him to go for higher studies.

As he contemplates the entire class, squatting on the bare floor and eagerly waiting in front of him, Pavan begins to think. “ I wonder what these kids will be when they grow up? Will they remember me then?”

* * * * * *

Twenty-five years fly by. The village of Ghanpur is agog with excitement. The swanky new elementary school building is being inaugurated today. Mr.Gopi Myneni, the donor is now a flourishing entrepreneur whose concerns are multinational. Gopi, as he was then known as has really arrived, in the world. Yet, he is a grateful man.

He takes time and pain to trace and call his old teacher Pavan. He honors Pavan, now graying and feeble, before all the guests on that day.

“Sir,” says Gopi, “ I owe you a lot. I can never repay you for you have lit the flame of knowledge in my life. I want to felicitate you in thanksgiving Sir.”

As Gopi formally wraps a shawl around his shoulders, Pavan’s eyes are filled to the brim. He sheds tears, tears of joy as he thinks back on all those years he had toiled.

* * * * * *

Today as I face my teenagers in the Bible study art church, I wonder how they will turn out. They are so naïve, so attentive (most of them, anyway), so keen to learn the word of God. Some of their questions floor me completely. Yet, they are so earnest in their walk with God. With the world always around them, always battering them with its own culture, will they be able to cope? I wonder.

Yet I know in my heart of hearts, these young ones will be the leaders in the Church, in the community at large too, years from now. Perhaps some of them may be leaders in business and in the government. Who can say? As I collect myself and begin teaching them, I whisper a silent prayer, “Our Heavenly Father, I pray for all these young ones you have placed in my charge. Please keep them faithful Lord, to you. Let them always find time for you, to talk to you and to listen to you. So bless them Lord that they may enter your celestial city at the end. Amen.” I know that God will answer my prayer for these kids. That is the only reward I need.

* * * * * *

© 2004: Dr.M.A.David S Kumar

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight07/26/04
Excellant entry! Thanks for sharing it
Corinne Smelker 07/26/04
I enjoyed reading this - good story, and makes one think of the impact that teachers, and buildings, have on the young ones.
Deborah Anderson07/26/04
I stand in agreement with you on your prayer to teach the children. After reading this though, I think you'll do just fine. Thank you for sharing and God bless you.
Karen Treharne07/27/04
Amen, Anthony. I don't know if it was your intention, but to me your story seemed to carry the message that we don't always see the fruit of the seeds we plant, and when we do it is truly a blessing from God. Is this a true story, by-the-way? Whether or not it is true doesn't matter, though, because it was well told and your prayer one that we could all pray for our own children.
L.M. Lee07/28/04
the only reward...wow, some days that must be hard to remember, but I know it is the one thing that keeps really good teachers focused on the goal. nice piece.
Angela Moore07/28/04
Thank you. I liked your parallels.
Anthony David07/28/04
Dear Karen, thanks for the comments. This is based loosely on a true story.
Norma OGrady07/31/04
I love your article.

This is truth, some are poor in living and some
are poor in parental guidance.

I too realize that we are all God's children God give's us life and what we do with it is up to us. Children are our future they didn't ask to be here, yet they are treated like burdens by some parents,
The bible say children are a blessing and the more you have the better you are blessed.
Why has Christians taken up the view that it's not possible to give them what they need so they try to limit their children to one or possibly up to three?
God has a plan for every child born, he never said anywhere in is word to give them everything the world has to offer.
We always can remember God is still in control it doesn't matter what the storm looks like God will see us through it.
He created the storm, too
Yeshua bless all your endeavors