Something which impresses me about this small group is how diverse it is. Each person comes from an extremely different background from the next. Each one has a wonderful, difficult human story. The two leaders of the group are passionate, yet inexperienced. By the world’s standards, they do not qualify to be teaching or leading by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve abandoned their success for something seemingly much smaller. The students are similar in their choices and difficulties. One is a young single mother, whose daughter has been struggling with being sick. One is an orphan who has chosen to follow God’s calling even though he has no family support. And a girl who traveled by taxi with very little money to get to the group, who was not sure what to expect or what she would gain from the program. Another is a recent refugee who traveled by foot across multiple countries to find a new start. Still another traveled to a new continent foreign to her own comforts and understanding, knowing that the culture adjustment would be an uphill climb. Each one of these people have their own struggles, yet a strong measure of perseverance when it comes to pursuing their dreams.
One thing you should know. I am one of these people. For the past three months I’ve been helping lead Ten Thousand Home’s new Aspire Discipleship School. And I’m not sharing this story as a pity party. I’m not begging for your money. What you read about us before is only part of each of our stories. Here is the other part.
The young, single mother loves fashion and design, and wants to make the world bright with this interest. She also dreams of opening up a center for girls with a story similar to hers where they can find help and counseling.
The orphan has a passion for learning new things, especially in music. He has a heart so filled with compassion for others, and has chosen to have a learning attitude in every circumstance. He wants to use music to connect people to their own stories, and give them hope in their futures. He hopes to someday find his mother and earn enough money to buy her a car.
The taxi traveler is a creative writer. She wishes to spread hope through her writing and other skills in every sphere of society. She has a passion to interpret art and life in a way that others can relate to.
The refugee is a builder and a musician. He has a heart for helping people, whether that’s through his talents or by serving in whatever way possible. Part of that is his passion in teaching and equipping young people with the knowledge they need to be successful.
The continent crosser is an artist. She dreams of painting murals and doing public art around the world that communicates hope and meaning into people's lives. She is a person filled with creative ideas on how to communicate a message through the arts.
The Aspire leader is an entrepreneur. He has a passion to see young people from underprivileged backgrounds reach their fullest potential. One of the ways he sees this happening is by giving them practical learning experiences through business.
I am a storyteller through my words and art. I have a passion to empower people by communicating through stories. I desire to see people all over the world to be more aware of what’s happening with their brothers and sisters. I want to see people reach for and accomplish things beyond their craziest dreams.
And what I love so much about this group is that we don’t forget about the difficult part of our lives. It is a part of our story. And the other part of our story is a result of overcoming the struggle. Our story is wonderful. Our story is a story of redemption and hope.
For the past three months we’ve been restructuring ourselves. We’ve been breaking down the bad, and building ourselves to be stronger. We’ve been learning how our talents and dreams can truly change this world. And now it is time to act. Now that we’ve gained the wisdom, it’s time for us to do things. For the next two months we will be travelling around South Africa partnering with many different organizations. So far we’ve began a couple of projects, and hope to do many more. Right now we’re working with Ten Thousand Homes at their different programs. We’ve been building tables for children to eat and do homework on. We’ve also been painting a mural about family and belonging at the Embonisweni After School Program. We hope to continue to go to Capetown and Durban after we are done at Ten Thousand Homes. We will be doing street art and performances, helping with different organization’s programs, doing different teachings and testimonies wherever we go, and serving however is best at each location. Our goal on this Outreach is to spread the message of Christ in a way that draws people in, in a manner that doesn’t push them away. We want to spread the message of hope across South Africa and help people realize that accomplishing their dreams are possible.
One thing is holding us back, though. Right now each of us are struggling financially. We hope to go forward, but if we don’t have enough money, we won’t be able to. We’ve been practicing our entrepreneurial skills by doing local business with roadside barbecues, car washes, and bake sales. But in the next few days we still need to come up with nearly $10,000 to be able to go on.
Would you consider partnering with us? By donating to these guys and girls, you’re not giving them a free ride. You’re empowering them to develop their skill sets and reach their dreams so that they can then go back to their own communities and bring the same impact; so they can then empower those around them.
By partnering with us, you are a part of domino effect. If you would like to know more, or would like to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our Aspire School of Artists and Entrepreneurs Facebook page. Thank you for your time and interest.