Sunday, December 9, 2007

Update on Our First Graduation

Words cannot fully capture the experience of our first graduation ceremony.

At the ceremony, Sokhom, one of our graduates, spoke. She spoke with poise and grace and expressed her heartfelt gratitude. Nobody told her what to write. She put her thoughts in her own words. What touched me most was the praise that she gave to our Lord Jesus Christ for the work that He has done in her life.

After Sokhom spoke, we presented each graduate with her Certificate of Achievement—an official document which would be an equivalent to a cosmetology license. Then starting with Ratha—one of our very first girls—we gave each girl a pearl pendant necklace, a gift from the members of Pathway Christian Church. As I placed the necklace around each girl’s neck, I told her how beautiful she is and how God has done a wonderful work in her life. Most cried in my arms. Some sobbed.

Nine young women took back their lives that night. They no longer are victims or survivors. That night they claimed victory—a victory made possible through Jesus and the supporters of this important ministry.

Thank you for sharing in this work of redemption. Thank you for bringing hope to these precious young women.

He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair. (Isaiah 61:3 NLT)