With God All Things are Possible: Promise's Graduation Story

07/27/15

“If it wasn’t for COTN, I would be married by now,” Promise begins her story.

When she says “married,” she’s not thinking of the happily-ever-after occasion most of us associate with the word. For Promise, and most girls in Malawi, marriage would mean children, housework, and the end of her education. And for a young woman with few resources in Malawi, that’s usually how the story goes. 


                                   In Malawi, girls often drop out of school to marry and have children. 
 
Promise had it harder than most. She was one of nine children her parents were struggling to provide food, clothing, and school fees for. Putting just one child through secondary school, which is not free in Malawi, is hard. As one of nine children, Promise knew she probably wouldn’t get to attend high school. But she still held on to hope—her parents were doing everything they could to see that she was educated. 
 
But just before Promise was ready to begin high school, her family fell apart. Her father died, leaving her mother with no source of income. “The death of my father was really a heavy blow to us since he died when we needed him the most,” Promise explains. Most of her siblings were already in secondary school and had to drop out. “Life became very hard for us and especially for my mum to provide for the nine children.” 
 
At this point, Promise expected to follow the path of all the other girls in her village. “Most of my friends are married and have children,” she says today. For a girl with little education, marriage is often the only hope for survival. These are marriages of convenience, sometimes forced by a girl's parents, as the burden of providing for her is transferred from the parents to the new husband. 
 
But here’s where Promise’s story takes a different turn from most. After she lost her father, generous people like you stepped in. Through child sponsorship, Promise was able to stay in school, even as she watched her friends marry and drop out. 


                             Promise was able to stay in school and go on to university because of her sponsors.
 
Promise didn’t just stay in school, she fought hard to pursue higher education, even when it wasn’t easy. Her first round of college applications were all rejected, and she watched in disappointment as her COTN brothers and sisters from her class went off to universities without her. 
 
During this year of waiting, Promise admits she was tempted to give up. “But I always kept in mind Mathew 19:26, which says, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible,’” she says. One year later, she was at it again. This time, she was accepted to African Bible College. Through COTN’s university program, and the generous support of her sponsors, Promise was able to attend.


 Promise on graduation day with COTN founders Chris and Debbie Clark, and fellow COTN university student Francisco. 
 
In June, Promise finished her education in a way few Malawian girls even dream of. Instead of quietly dropping out and giving up, she beamed as she walked across the stage to receive her degree in Christian education. Her goal now? To make it easier for Malawian girls to achieve what she has. 
 
“I hope to transform my nation by mentoring teenage girls, especially those living in remote areas,” Promise says. “Such girls do not have access to education due to forced marriages and financial reasons. I want to provide them with guidance on how they can reach their goals.”

Make education a possibility for a girl like Promise in Malawi. Sponsor a child today!