Most Tibetan people don’t value education very much, and are usually satisfied with their way of living as it has always been. Parents don’t want to spend money on education that they don’t view as important. This mindset has led to many students dropping out after finishing elementary school, and people remain trapped in the cycle of poverty. This leads to a generally low quality of public education, as well as people having difficulty with language. The role that education plays in communities is to prepare children for their future, and that is simply not happening in a majority of Tibet.
Sponsoring students so that they can go to school is wonderful way to connect with these Tibetan families and make a real difference in their lives. Through this sponsorship program, we have helped over eight hundred students and teachers. This program also provides a way for our ministry’s field workers to reach and maintain relationships with many of these families that are scattered across the countryside. Visiting them regularly is crucial for these relationships to flourish, but these visits take time and money, both of which are often stretched very thin.
Our field worker in the area recently had this to share:
“To visit the Tibetan students in our sponsorship program, I have to drive six hours for several hundred kilometers into remote villages. Most of the time I make the drive by myself, and I feel lonely on the endless roads. This summer, a few friends came alone with me to see what it was like. During our drive, a song called Under a Vast Sky started playing, and the lyrics profoundly touched my friends riding along with me, with the theme of never giving up despite constant opposition. At the end of the song, I saw them wiping away tears quietly. At the movement, my heart felt the comfort of their tears. I felt that they had a better understanding already of the work that I do. I said a silent ‘Thank you!’ to them in my heart.”
This field worker has been diligently and faithfully working with our ministry for ten years. His son is two years old now, and has been unable to adapt to the highland climate where the mission work is done due to lack of oxygen. Because of this, his wife and son have been living in another city at a lower altitude, and he drives twelve hours round trip to see them once a month. A young couple recently joined him on the field, and they are the ones to stay behind to keep the work going while he goes home to visit his family. Before they came to help, he was the only one doing this work among the rural villages.
This is a great reminder that it is not only the unreached people groups that need your prayers, but also the field workers that go out to reach them. Please continue praying over this young family, that they will continue to work through these complications while still staying involved with this important ministry.