Schooling to Save a Dream

Schooling to Save a Dream

Will you help Ana’s son, Arya? Ana has suffered from cancer, but she wants her son to succeed. Her dream is to raise enough support to cover his 2017 tuition and books. This is a time when extra help could make a big difference.

While a graduate student in the late 70s, I felt compelled to reach beyond my own world and help someone in a concrete way. Not raised to think “globally,” I had no idea how to start.

One night, actress Sally Struthers appeared on TV for an organization called Christian Children’s Fund. Her appeal touched me so much that I wanted to sponsor a child. Thus began my relationship with Ana in Surabaya, Indonesia.

An emotional meeting with Ana in 1987 became possible through a Lufthansa Indonesian-German promotion. Shy, holding her sister on her lap, Ana had eyes that sparkled when she dared look up at me. Being with her in Surabaya boggled my mind. Her intense poverty never left me. Nor have I forgotten her mother’s tears, thanking me improving her daughter’s chance for an education.

meeting anas family

After Ana grew too old for that program, we kept in sporadic contact (when she could afford the cost of writing). I learned she had developed a wonderful voice, singing frequently in churches. I learned her gentle mom (seated beside her in the picture) had died, leaving Ana alone to care for her sister. Tragically, Ana contracted cancer as a young woman. She survived but lost much ability to sing.

Then, contact was lost . . . until she found me on the Internet about 8 years ago. She even had pictures from our meeting.

By then, she had married and had a son. But she suffered more cancer. Her husband worked as hard as he could. She tutored mathematics. Still, they made little money. Their pride and joy was their smart son, Arya.

The poverty of people in this part of the world cannot be fathomed unless you have been there. Her magnificent faith in God has kept her going despite staggering difficulties. But the biggest challenge now is finding a way for the son to continue in technological college.

Ana managed to pay for the fees for his admission. But there simply was not enough money for tuition. They accumulated some of it, and my husband Hank and I stepped in for the rest. Fortunately, the costs for schooling are modest by comparison with the US.

But now next year’s tuition is due. Ana’s health is failing even more. She is resigned to the fact that she cannot afford the medicine necessary to relieve her pain. Every cent is going toward Arya’s education. However, they simply cannot earn enough.
arya and the hope of education
Arya has done well in school. But he feels he should quit school to help pay for his mom’s health needs. She is desperate for him to stay in! It’s not like the US, where you can drop out of college and go back whenever you wish.

Will Ana survive her present medical challenges? I don’t know. But, her sole and fervent prayer is for her son to complete his education. It’s his only chance and she knows it.

My dream is to raise enough support to cover his 2017 tuition and books. We will continue to help, of course. But this is a time when extra help could make a big difference.If you are moved by this story and feel led to add to the campaign (no matter how small) or spread the word, it would be marvelous. We would be grateful beyond expression. I will, of course, keep you updated and post more pictures.

(Author – Dr. Carol Reynolds)

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