The past two days at the Willow Summit have been awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I had to leave early and say uncle cause my noggin was too full for the last session.
In particular, God has been braining me with the life work of two women: Wendy Kopp and Catherine Rohr (photos to the right). Wendy Kopp is founder and leader of Teach for America, an organization that challenges top university graduates in leadership to give two years of their lives to teach in the worst school divisions in the nation. She’s aiming at reversing the discrimination that occurs when the best teachers go to the cushy jobs, meaning the poor areas get the worst teachers and perpetuate their problems. One of her alumni started in a school in an area where 7% of the students finished high school. Now 90% of his graduates finish college! It’s flippin’ awesome.
Catherine Rohr is founder of the Prison Entrepeneurship Program, which trains convicts in business admin with a major ethical component and helps them get work when they get out of prison. The prison system typically gives ex cons $100 and a pat on the butt when they’re done, not doing much to help them re-engage. Somewhere between 50-60% end up in prison again within a year. Of those that enter Catherine’s program, less than 10% fall again.
Here’s my life lesson: Both of these women believe strongly enough in their mission that they shamelessly, and I mean SHAMELESSLY, promote it and ask for financial help from those who can give it. They are bold without being ornery. And I sensed God saying, “You’ve got something to learn from these two ladies. Step it up. Stop apologizing for the great things I’m calling you to lead the church into.”
Amen. But God, give me courage!