“Are you proud of me?” Dorcas asked. In truth, my heart was bursting with pride for the girl standing before me in a crisp blue and white high school uniform.
I met Dorcas for the first time in 2013. She was a partial orphan, slightly delayed in school due to a difficult background, and she was used to the feeling of hunger. I was captivated by Dorcas’s joyful spirit. She was a leader among her peers; when she spoke, they fell silent and listened.
“Your name is in the Bible,” I told her, and Dorcas responded quickly.
“Acts 9:36. ‘Dorcas was always doing good and helping the poor.’ This is what I want to do when I grow up too.”
Dorcas was the most gracious young woman I had ever met. With my hand gripped tightly in hers, she took me from building to building at the Eruli orphans school.
“This is my dormitory. Aren’t I the most blessed girl in the world to have a bed to sleep in? Did you notice my mosquito net? Did you see that my sponsor gave me shoes? Have you seen our water well? I think we’re the most blessed of children to have clean water. Come to the dining hall—isn’t it nice? Have a bowl of rice. I want you to taste how good and nutritious our food is. My sponsor gives me this food.”
I was awed by Dorcas’s attitude. “I’m going to pass my exams and make it into high school. Will you be proud of me then?” she asked. I was already proud of her… but to see her reach her goals was my new prayer.
Two years later I climbed out of the matatu onto the Eruli High School campus. The first person to approach me was Dorcas, her smile lighting up her face. “Emily,” she said, embracing me, “are you proud of me? I did it.”
Indescribably proud of her.