By Retired Bp. Raymond Aumae
Good people of God in Solomon Islands. It won’t be long from now when you will hear from me again through SIBC, social media, and other local media outlets that a charitable organization known as COMPASSIONATE EDUCATION TRUST FUND will have been legally registered in the Solomon Islands. The purpose of this Trust is to help raise funds both locally and overseas to support the education of the unprivileged children in Solomon Islands who suffer in their education due to lack of alternative financial support.
I believe that compassion calls us to work unceasingly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human beings, to come out of ourselves from the centre of our world and put others there and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being treating everybody without exception with absolute justice, equity and respect.
After being in the village for fifteen (15) years working alongside our people as a retired pastor of the church, I have come to discover and experience the challenges and hardships that many of our children are experiencing in their education from forms 1-7 or even at SINU.
Some of these children have even been compelled to leave school, deprived of their future. Any hope for them to reach a better life is an impossible dream. Their poor widowed mothers are simply not able to support the education of their children.
I do not deny that financial support is given to some schools for some children’s fees by their government representatives but the cries for support can still be heard in the air above our communities.
As Christians, we cannot just stand and watch them suffer. We must extend our willing hands in whatever small way we can to give them a future.
And so you ask, where are they?
We do not have to go up in the sky to find them nor do we go down to the bottom of the ocean either. No! They are right in front of our doorstep patiently waiting in humility to hear a voice of love from someone who loves them. So I am calling upon all Solomon Islanders, both men and women, boys and girls from North to South and from East to West to come out of ourselves and put our minds together and do something for ourselves to solve the problem affecting the education of our unprivileged children. Please support this organization when it comes to being sometime in March.
It will be an organization that will be born out from the very soil of our land, an organization that we can call “OUR OWN” established and supported by Solomon Islanders. Let us tell the world that we can also do something to help ourselves.
In the creation story, God the creator gave us the power of dominion over all creation (Gen 1:26) a masterful position and not that of a slave or a beggar. But this position is not a free hand out from God. We must work to gain it – God said to the man: “ IN THE SWEAT OF THY FACE SHALT THOU EAT BREAD TILL THOU RETURN UNTO THE GROUND” (Gen 3:19)
To cut a long story short, I would like to leave with you a short parable for thought.
“A large number of people are huddled together under a large food-laden table. They can smell the food, but all they see is the underside, the base of the table.
All they receive are the few crumbs that fall beneath the table. Only a privileged few are seated around the table, enjoying the fullness of nature’s bounty.
Some are totally unconscious of what is happening underneath the table. Others are dimly aware of it and occasionally pass down some crumbs to those below. But several of those at the banquet knew well enough who is under the table.
They are doing their best and worse to keep things as they are. They don’t want anyone to spoil their meal. They don’t want to upset the status quo.
A person enters the room and walks across to the table. But instead of taking his place in a seat of honour, he stoops down and gets under the table.
He sits with the hopeless down below and shows them his love and concern. With him as their head, they begin to have hope. God loves them, he has something good in store for them.
They join in small groups to sing, pray and study his word.
In time, they will be ready to come out from under the table to join the privileged few in a common meal around the table.
MAY GOD BLESS SOLOMON ISLANDS
FROM SHORE TO SHORE.