World Changers

They only weigh an average of 50 lbs. each and none of them more than 52” high. Their colors range from creamy vanilla to warm chocolatey brown, but they are too young to notice the difference yet. They are coming into their own, but still have baby faces and sweet baby voices. There are 20 of them. They are small in size. They are first graders world changers.

It started out as a project, part of the expeditionary learning model at Doulos Discovery School. The first grade theme is Families Around the World. Trevor and I are in a unique position that we get to experience the fruits of our ministry through the eyes of our own children—being that Luke is in first grade and Emily in Kindergarten. Their classes are a purposeful and perfectly split-mix of full-tuition paying students and scholarship-funded kiddos. So it becomes this breathtakingly beautiful thing when they begin exploring the ways that each other live.

Instead of just telling them about the children that don’t have mommies and daddies, they actually went and visited an orphanage and made observations. Science. They were welcomed into the modest homes of a small poor neighborhood to interview the locals about their family dynamics. Language Arts. They learned about families on each of the seven continents. Social Studies. And then graphed the ones that have clean water and those that do not. Mathematics.

But somewhere in between bar graphs and world maps, they learned about this place called Africa. I know, because Luke has not stopped talking about it for weeks. They learned that just like their own country, Africa does not have clean water. And they also learned about the millions of bellies that go hungry every day. And this is when Social Studies and Language Arts turned into something bigger. Their tiny hearts were touched and they wanted to do something. Let me remind you, this comes from kids that have next to nothing, wanting to do something for those that have even less. Each first grade family contributed the equivalent of $2.50 to give food to local families in need, many of them stretching their contribution over a couple weeks as it was more than they could afford. And then they wanted to do even more. So with the help of some grown-ups the first grade class is hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser this month to send all of the money to Mozambique, Africa.

Doulos meets a need of this community, but it doesn’t stop there. These little ones are already paying it forward.

Look out world! Great things come in little packages. And their journeys have just begun!

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Making observations at the orphanage as a little girl washes her plate.

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A little boy and girl show the first graders this family’s outdoor kitchen. The students were collecting information about about families.

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Our little “African” in his traditional garb and his South American cutie-pie friend showing off their graphing skills at Expedition night.