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60 Stunning Photos Of Girls Going To School Around The Globe

 

60 Stunning Photos Of Girls Going To School Around The Globe

Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And it’s true, education is one of the greatest resources the world has to offer. Unfortunately, young girls and women ― half of world’s the population ― are rarely given the same opportunities as boys to learn, study and succeed.Globally, 65 million girls are not in school. Out of the 774 million people who are illiterate around the world, two-thirds are women. There are 33 million fewer girls in primary school than boys. 60 Stunning Photos Of Girls Going To School Around The Globe

thumbnail courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Fight Like A 2 Year Old

The first time I read this article, I felt hope leak out of me. Who wouldn’t. And the photos didn’t help since they made this little girl’s short life and its finality very real. But, by the grace of God, I was able to pivot my emotions so I could find light in such total darkness.

This baby didn’t battle cancer and die without leaving us a valuable message. Life is a fight. Different battles at different times. And here we have a 2-year-old girl showing us how to fight with grace and hope. I want to thank this lovely little lady for what she personally inspired in me today… To fight like a 2-year-old.

Life interrupted: A photo essay about one girl’s battle with cancer – Russia Beyond the Headlines

A personal story in photos of a small Russian girl who could not overcome cancer. By Ksenia Isaeva, RBTH. Dasha. Scroll down to see more. Yulia Skorobogatova. Russian photographer Yulia Skorobogatova created a photo series about a small girl … Life interrupted: A photo essay about one girl’s battle with cancer – Russia Beyond the Headlines

thumbnail courtesy of rbth.com

You Say I Am Orphan; I Say I Am Loved!

By Greg Pai
Inspired By Andrea Mani
Photo Credit: Andrea Mani

This is a time of the year where many feel lonely or empty.  Especially those who have no family to speak of. Our hearts have to place orphans at the top of that list. What we learn from this story inspired by Andrea Mani, is that we are all orphans if we don’t connect with and depend on God.

IMG_7211__© 2015 Andrea ManiOrphans have seemingly perfected that connection and dependence as a means of survival. In fact, they do not see themselves as orphans; They see themselves as God’s blessed children. Experiencing His abundant, unconditional love as no earthly parent could ever offer.

“You say I am an orphan,” the hearts of the unwanted cried out. “But, I say I am loved. Loved by He who made me.” Andrea Mani fell in love just moments after she arrived for what was six months of service. At a little known ministry in Jocotepec, Mexico, orphan children are changing everyone who comes in contact with them – One soul at a time.

IMG_7246__© 2015 Andrea Mani

IMG_7979__© 2015 Andrea ManiThe orphanage cares for twenty-one girls and one boy. “One boy!” you say. Well, eight-year old Chuy (pronounced “chewy”) is one of three siblings and when the orphanage converted over to an all girls institution a few years back, they didn’t have the heart to separate Chuy from his two sisters, one named Milagro (meaning Miracle in English). A victim of physical and emotional abuse, it was only by a miracle that 8-year old Chuy survived those earlier abusive years. Cigarette burns on his body and later, months of being mute, unable to speak. Inevitably, Andrea would take a special interest in Chuy as he faced the journey of healing ahead of him.

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The other children learned not to depend on “man.” God was the provider of everything in their lives and that suited them just fine. It wasn’t long before the children challenged Andrea. “You won’t last two months,” they said. These children were used to people revolving in and out of their lives, often under duress or anxiety.  Andrea not only endured, but also learned why others did not. When a person signs up for this kind of work, they do so assuming they are the “strength” coming to the aid of the “weak.” To the contrary, they quickly learn that the children become inspirational and essential to their own personal journey. Radically changing their heart and perspective. Maybe even feeling inadequate and unnecessary in the ways they expected to make an impact. This is when the process flips on its head and starts to become more of a self-examination of our own lives; a sometimes difficult awakening. However, necessary.

IMG_0828__© 2015 Andrea Mani

Most of these children came from situations too difficult to write about. Even called “rats” by those the heartless of the community. Some had mothers who were prostitutes while exploiting their children sexually for favor. Absolutely tragic. However, how would you know any of this by just looking at them? They are beautiful in every way.  Inside and out, their hearts and smiles radiate.  Yet, they have nothing.  Or do they? Andrea expected overwhelming sensations of abandonment on her arrival. She did not expect what God was about to show her.

IMG_7836__© 2015 Andrea ManiThe children had a life about them that projected pure joy. Amazing as it may seem, the children had a ritual of occasionally going into town and donating their clothing to any one of four impoverished villages in the immediate area. Yes – you read that right. Even though their very limited wardrobes were precious to them, they believed that whatever they gave up would be replenished by God’s own hand.  And guess what?  They were never without. Somehow, newly donated clothes always found a way to their personal shelf (that’s a single shelf). Such faith. I suppose when we have nothing to lose and expect no earthly gain, we are capable of giving and doing our most selfless work in this life. These children are living proof. They see their glass not as a quarter full or three-quarters empty, but overflowing.

We have convinced ourselves that we are somehow more equipped or better off than they are. Hence, we neglect to ever seek or find the orphan in us.

What is orphan about these children. The dictionary says the noun form is defined as a child who has lost both parents. That is innocent enough. Interestingly, the adjective form is used to describe one who is abandoned. Quite a difference. Unfortunately, we have adopted the more negative connotation as the global definition. We have convinced ourselves that we are somehow more equipped or better off than they are. Hence, we neglect to ever seek or find the orphan in us. There is that “difficult awakening” thing again!

At some point, Andrea observed a young girl’s mother (a recovering prostitute) visit the orphanage expecting to take her little girl back home. However, with the best of intentions, the woman realized that her daughter was better off staying because she was unable to offer her the same stability and nurturing.

IMG_7163__© 2015 Andrea Mani

However, I believe that God speaks to us through His beloved orphans. I now see the love of God when I see an orphan. Not an abandoned soul; But a soul that’s whole!

As I documented this story, I struggled with internal conflict and confusion. I love God and He fills my life, but am I abandoned enough to really feel the fullness of His love? Many of us have family and good friends around us who bring us a great deal of joy and companionship. But what is it like to have no one but God? Please don’t get me wrong. Family is a blessed gift from God. A special treasure from above. However, I believe that God speaks to us through His beloved orphans. I now see the love of God when I see an orphan. Not an abandoned soul; But a soul that’s whole!

Yes. God Cares Very Much About Syria.

It is primarily through photographs that most of us are witnessing the pain God is feeling for Syria and Syrians. We can see it in the capture of this young girl’s struggle. God’s pain is embedded in her face. As you gaze at this picture, imagine how God feels about the oppression that man has placed on his fellow man. This picture should inspire us to get up tomorrow morning and do our part to heal the broken people of the world and strive to wipe the sadness from God’s face.

Syria’s Pain Captured in One Heart-Rending Photograph – TheQuint

Painful image of a girl with her father on a wheelchair, asking for help to pay medical bills from passers by. read more at thequint.com

Image credit thequint.com

Smile, and Put Your Best Foot Forward…

So often we are the central subject of our photographic memories when we travel or set out for new experiences. Pictures of us in front of landmarks and scenery; on the beach or in the pool, group photos at the dining table. Oh – and all those selfies.

I believe those photos really miss the opportunity to capture the inspiration we felt that very moment we experienced the miracle or miracles we were encountering. For example, a picture of a couple taken in front of a setting sun can be timeless, for sure. But what that couple experienced individually, and together, when they set their sights on the blazing beauty of God’s handiwork, is almost completely lost.

Photographer, Tom Robinson took on a very interesting project where he began to document his family’s travels by taking pictures from their “vantage point” and only showing their feet which personalizes the photo. I find the results quite amazing and can see how looking at these photos 10 years from now can bring them right back to those special moments.

Feet First: Photographer documents his family’s travels by showing only their feet | Creative Boom

While sitting on a Brighton beach in 2005 with his new girlfriend Verity, photographer Tom Robinson thought the view of their feet pointing out to sea would make a nice photo. Since then, he’s continued to document their travels around the world in this way, resulting in a growing collection of over a hundred images. read more at creativeboom.com

 

Even If You Didn’t Sneeze…

Unfortunately, overused and under-appreciated. One way we can share God is to share Him by name in the form of a blessing. Nearly every culture, language, and faith holds such a prayer in the highest regard. But somehow, we have reduced this glorious expression of love to a reflex in response to a sneeze. I pray we all share God every day through this expression, even if someone doesn’t sneeze.

Dear God. I Know You Are There…

“I Know You Are There Because I Am Here.”
by Greg Pai

I have been young
I have been old
At times withdrawn
Other times bold

I’ve felt rich
I’ve known poor
It’s loved that I love
And ignored I abhor

I seek joy
Avoid pain
Told I’m predictable
But can act insane!

Often I’m smart
Sometimes not so much
Occasionally strong
Sometimes needing a crutch

I can be honest
And yes, I can lie
Because I am not perfect
Except in Your eyes

But the one thing I’m not
Since You made yourself known
Is trapped in the darkness
of being alone

It can’t be defined
And barely explained
But If I don’t at least try
Only I can be blamed

So I’m telling the world
I know You are there
I know this my God
Because I am here

deargod_gregpai