I (Vivian) didn’t get to meet 7-year-old Osama, a Muslim student at the elementary school sponsored by SWI, (Strategic World Impact) but the story the principal told us about him makes me wish that I had. It was just too bad our team left the very morning that classes resumed at a school where Muslim and Christian girls and boys have the rare chance to learn alongside each other.
Osama’s father, we were told, came to speak to the principal about something Osama had said at his house the previous day. Concerned that this Muslim father may want to file a complaint, the principal listened warily.
Osama had come home very excited. Interrupting his father, who had been entertaining visitors, little Osama waved his hands, stood on a bed, and declared, “Listen to me, I want to say something.” His father, curious as to what the announcement might be, gave him permission to speak. Osama wanted to tell his father and guests what he had learned at school that day. Osama spoke, “Jesus says to love one another.”
The principal immediately asked Osama’s father if he was upset or had a problem with this. To his surprise, the father said no. In fact, he insisted, in these days of turmoil, and war, this is what Pakistan needs.
The principal had a smile on his face as he recounted the story and I smiled as well. To lead a school where children can learn truth in the midst of chaos and hatred is an amazing opportunity. We hope that Osama will continue seeking truth and make a difference in his generation.
If you would like to help persecuted Christians in Pakistan by supporting this school that offers scholarships to poor Muslim and Christian children, please go to www.swi.org for more information.
Photo of Osama taken on previous trip in 2007
(Canon 5D, 28mm 1.8, 1/80 sec, f2.1, ISO 500)
Article ©Vivian Padilla-Chapman
Photo ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman 2007