Inside Story: Such a Little Thing

Twelve-year-old Yvette walked along the dusty path, carefully balancing the plastic water jug on her head.

Image © John Baker from

Image © John Baker from

She didn’t want to spill even a drop of water. She passed children walking toward a nearby school. They were dressed in dark skirts or trousers and white shirts. Yvette’s steps slowed as she thought about the children learning to read and write and do math. Sometimes she could hear them reciting their lessons aloud in the little school. She sighed heavily and walked faster. Her mother was waiting at home. There were meals to prepare, a garden to water, and clothes to wash.

Jean [John] Claude walked along the narrow path gently prodding the family’s cow with a large twig. He tapped her away from a neighbor’s property as she searched for fresh grass to eat. His stick kept her safely away from the nearby road where cars and trucks whizzed past.

Jean Claude paused and looked up at the green patchwork gardens on the hills that surrounded his home. The honk of a large truck stirred the boy from his thoughts, and he hurried to catch up with the cow.

The happy voices of children floated on the warm afternoon breeze. Jean Claude used his branch to nudge the cow off the pathway so the children could pass without getting dirty. He watched them pass and wondered if he would ever go to school. His father explained that they couldn’t afford to buy him a school uniform or school supplies. But in his heart Jean Claude continued to hope that someday he could join the children in the school.

Schools in Rwanda no longer charge tuition, but many children, such as Yvette and Jean Claude, still can’t study because they don’t have a school uniform or supplies. Without an education, these children will continue living in the cycle of poverty into which they were born.

A school uniform is such a little thing. But it makes a big difference to a child who can’t go to school without one. Recently Adventist children around the world helped provide school uniforms through the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Because of their gifts, children such as Jean Claude and Yvette can now attend an Adventist school.

Our mission offerings and our Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings help make a world of difference to people we may never meet by providing schools, clinics, evangelistic opportunities-and even school uniforms-to reach them for Christ. Thank you for faithful support of mission through your offerings.

Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.  email:   website:



Inside Story: Such a Little Thing — 6 Comments

  1. [Please add your full name when commenting on this blog as explained in the Comment Guidelines. Thank you.]

    We need to put more investment towards Adventist education. Even in first world countries like the UK, it is still very expensive for most parents to send children to Adventist schools. Adventist children are naturally gifted in music, language and leadership to name a few. If we believe that today's children are the hope of tomorrow's church, as a proactive organisation called to 'train up' our children should we provide more opportunities or scholarships (e.g academic, music etc) to allow them the privilege of Adventist Christian education? I feel really sad that Adventists who have pioneered an excellent Christian curriculum are now lagging way far behind other Christian denominations (e.g Roman Catholic, Church of England) in the area of education. I just imagine how the gospel could spread very quickly if we invest in our promising young people who can attract other young people and adults alike.

  2. I am sure there is a lot I am missing about the necessity of wearing a school uniform, but on the surface it appears that the uniform itself, as described in this story, creates a "caste" system (the haves vs the have-nots). One thing I know from my local public school system is that here, in my county in the U.S.A., uniforms (consisting of shirts with collars and no logos and pants or shorts, all of which can be one of three specific colors plus the school's particular colors) are meant to create a "classless" population. It all sounds so humane, but the truth is that the fallen human heart still seeks ways to create a social structure where some children are "more equal" than others. Only in Christ can we find the perfect classlessness we so desire in uniforms. As I said earlier, I am sure there is something I have missed and am focusing on the unintended.

  3. I was a public School teacher for 12 years and now am a public school nurse. The schools are not places for our children and I agree that every one of our children need to be in one of our schools. Our schools are expensive and we have made no effort to change that. Our schools still operate the same way they did in the 1800's and times have changed e.g. technology. We do not offer on line education or degrees which is less expensive and appeal to the people that want to home school their children. We do not offer mentoring for young parents, nor opportunities for parents and children to pay for their tuition. We need to take this problem to the Lord with much prayer.

  4. I teach at an Adventist school and know why Adventist Education is sooo expensive - the school must fully fund almost all expenditure with very little help from our conferences which receive 100% of tithe income. I contend that since the work of education and redemption are one some tithe income should be used to subsidize teachers' salaries so that the entire burden of hiring highly skilled and well qualified teachers is not on the school. Teachers' salaries make up the bulk of expenditure at our Adventist schools. Even a small subsidy would enable each school to charge a lower tuition.

  5. There are always reasons why something has to be expensive and why some will get help and some not. The conferences will also have their reasons and excuses... so high costs...
    GOD taught me what is really needed, when I am happy to have 1 meal a day, a place to sleep and a few clothes. There are so many things I'd like to have to live with more comfort but I learned I can live without a new computer, motorbike, mobile phone and so on... it's not the "things" that make a difference but how we use what we got from GOD. Less can make more... maybe there's a lesson in it for our conferences.


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