I was talking with some mothers while watching a soccer game in Uganda this past May. The mothers were watching their daughters play a game they had
never played themselves. It was fun to share in their excitement and at halftime one of the players ran to her mother and exclaimed, “This is so great! Thank you for being here. I want to be just like you!” As the girl turned to run back to her teammates, her mother yelled after her, “Don’t be the same, be better!”
The response of the mother caught me by surprise so I asked what her dreams were for her daughter. A great discussion followed as each mother shared the dreams and hopes they had for their daughters. Collectively they all wanted their daughters to grow in their faith, have a family, develop their talents, and bless the people around them. In other words, the dreams for their children were much the same as those of any parent. When asked what they thought the greatest obstacle was in order for their daughters to achieve these goals every mother shared that for their daughters and their community to “be better” they needed two things—to learn about God and to get an education! The first mother went on to share how her daughter was being nurtured in her faith by the Sports Outreach staff as well as being helped in school through an Andrew Popp Memorial Scholarship.
After the soccer match I sought out the young girl who had visited her mother on the sideline. Upon inquiring about her education the girl told me that she wanted to be a police officer to help make her community a safer place to live. Though her mother had never gone to school and this girl did not know her father, she knew she wanted something better for herself and those around her.
The Andrew Popp Memorial Scholarship Fund helps to meet the cost of education for over 1700 children being served by Sports Outreach. The fund began with memorial gifts from Andrew’s family, friends and church who wanted to remember this young man, so full of promise but whose young life ended tragically. Its goal is to help children with the greatest financial needs to enter school and assist them until they have completed high school, and, if they qualify, college. The fund is helping to accomplish the very thing that the mother desired for her daughter—to grow a generation that is not the same, but better!
Would you please consider making a special financial gift to the Andrew Popp Memorial Scholarship Fund? If you are unable to support the fund financially will you please pray for the children who are currently being funded and also for the hundreds who are waiting for additional funds to be made available? Together, we can help the mothers of those we serve in Uganda and Kenya to realize the shared dream they have for their children . . . not to be the same, but “be better!”
Rodney L. Suddith, President