Posted by Kay Pardue on December 5, 2014
Dear High Schooler – A Letter from Sarah Rooker
I want to hug you and high-five you. You are caring for orphans. Whether this is your first time stumbling across the idea of caring for orphans as a high schooler (crazy, right?), or this is the millionth blog you’ve read about the millionth and one way to care for orphans, congrats. Orphan care is a journey- long, hard, and good, but you are right where you need to be.
If you’re anything like me, you probably feel a little bit isolated from the ‘rest’ of the high school population. While the rest of your peers are probably on Pinterest or Instagram getting a good laugh or reading some enlightening article, you are reading a blog about orphan care. Now, we both know that as soon as you get done reading this, you’ll probably be doing the exact same thing, but in the moment, you feel different. Embrace it. Now imagine if in five, ten, fifteen years down the road, every single high schooler across the country was thinking about orphan care…
You see, something unique happens when a handful of high school students decide to play a part in a greater purpose. And when that handful sparks a roomful of students towards a movement, something extraordinary happens.
But like I said, sparking a roomful isn’t always easy. So here are some things that I wish I had known when I was a part of The Movement.
You are a Student- So What?
A friend of mine often says, “Never underestimate a student”. He cautions adults against taking us for granted, because he had seen what we are capable of. One day as I was nodding along, I realized that I was underestimating myself. I wish that I had jumped up on stage in front of fellow students and yelled out- “Never Underestimate Yourself!” How often do we keep ourselves from doing something, simply because we tell ourselves that we are students? The fact that we are students makes us more awesome, not less. We have dreams, passions, goals, and aspirations. All of that can come together to create something world altering.
There is Wisdom in Numbers
In the beginning stages of the Movement, I often found myself seeking after other students that thought similarly to me. But I soon learned that this way of finding other students was more harmful than helpful. Every single student brings uniqueness to orphan care. Every student can care for orphans. It doesn’t matter if they are tall or short, athletic or studious, cool or dorky, humorous or corny (I think you get the point). Also, don’t just simply invite every student you know into orphan care, listen to them. Wisdom concerning orphan care comes from the brains of many, not just one.
Doubt is Normal.
I remember first being stirred to care for orphans. Some friends and I were sitting at an event and stories of lives changed flowed through my ears, right to my heart. I found myself desiring to play a part in this orphan care movement. But almost as soon as this passion came up, so did a big blob of doubt. I was only 16 after all. I was still learning how to keep my car inside the lines on the road, let alone care for orphans. I doubted how much we could really do, and I was ashamed of my doubt. But, I slowly realized that doubt was understandable. We were taking part in things that the very world told us we couldn’t do. Of course we would doubt ourselves! But, I found that as I formed friendships and alliances in the student world of orphan care that my doubt began to diminish. As we worked together, our dreams and our goals seemed much more attainable.
Remember the Extraordinary Days
When trying to change the world, it is easy to become discouraged. Some days, the very world itself seems to fight us. Other days, we fight one another. Doubt reigns. Hardship rules. And failures hurt. But on other days, really good days, extraordinariness will reign. You will experience the very awesome reality that although we may be students, we can start a Movement. And that will make your heart so happy. You will skip, hop, and dance. You will cry happy tears with friends. You will see the silver lining. Hold on to those extraordinary days. Take pictures. Literally. And post them on your wall. So that, on the not so good days, you can remember days when goodness and joy reigned, and so that you can keep moving forward.
Keep up the good work!
Sarah RookerSarah is a junior at Lipscomb University pursuing Nursing. She was one of the founding members of the Movement is passionate about Jesus and caring for waiting children all around the world.
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