Our group spent the majority of Wednesday traveling from Oujda to Rabat. Though the drive was tiring, it was good for us to spend the day fellowshipping and learning more about one another. Upon our arrival and check-in at the hotel in Rabat, we immediately arrived at the Rabat church which is in the heart of the capital city of Morocco.
Tonight the CEI Leadership Team emphasized the scholarship assistance portion of their program. African students who come to Morocco legally as students are often sent from their home by family, friends and villages who use many of their financial resources to get them to Morocco. Additionally, these students receive various scholarships from their home country for attending the university in Morocco in exchange for their return back to their country to work after they earn their degree. Unfortunately, the money is not enough for them to afford school, rent, food and basic needs. When the money runs out at the end of the month, often these students will choose to go days without food so that they can stay in school and pay their portion of the rent. This is where the CEI helps as they offer scholarship assistance
The scholarship assitance CEI offers is to those who are in their final years of school, yet have ran out of financial resources to complete their coursework. CEI distributes funds it receives in partnership from the Julich District of the EKIR (Protestant Church of Germany) and through KBF/CBF. The CEI leadership team receives and processes applications for these scholarships and then interviews the applicants. Tonight in Rabat, we representated the KBF and three representatives of EKIR from Germany were present to assist in the interview process.
After yesterdays disturbing testimonies which left us filled with hoplessness and anger, our evening ended with an overflow of joy as we met so many young African students who are working so hard to educate themselves and make a better life for their family. We heard story after story from these young people who had projects and ideas on how they will make the world a better place - if only they can complete their education with a little assistance. These students we met are not unlike any student studying at Georgetown College, the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky or any academic instituion in the US. They are full of hope, they are full of ideas, they are representatives of the uncharted future.
We are pleased to know we played a very small part for these students who will receive assistance to comlpete their coursework. We are pleased to know that tonight in the sanctuary of Rabat, we were part of casting a more fully alive vision of God's kingdom at work today in the world.