Today, the 17th of March, was the second graduation in Sonrise School history. In the prior evening, it appeared there was a chance of rain, but not one raindrop did fall that night or on this day. The sun was shining and the wind provided a gentle and comforting breeze to all of us in attendance. The ceremony took place on the walkway between the primary school and St. Michaels. This walkway, which had numerous tents, chairs, and benches set up, was approximately 120 yards long by 30 yards wide. There were over 40 graduates, and in addition to their families and friends in attendance, Bishop Mbanda, Bishop John and his wife Harriet, the Mayor of the Musanze District, the Governor of the Musanze District, and a high ranking official in the ministry of education were among the other dozens of guests present.

The entire ceremony took place over three and a half hours. The graduates proudly marched to their seats underneath their tent in their caps and gowns, and they marched behind a beautiful banner that Tam Daley had made and we had brought for this occasion. There was much dancing, praying, and speeches for the students and all the attendees to see and hear. To try to go into all the details of every song and speech is beyond the scope of this blog, but everything said and song was heartfelt.

One of the main themes that seem to come across to me that many of the speakers were talking about was that they wanted the graduates to continue in their journeys and to help the nation. There is a sign above the school that reads “the light upon a hill”. A candle is not lit just for it’s own shake, it is lit to provide light so the lighter and others might better see. Attending and graduating Sonrise will help these men and women have a better chance of achieving their dreams, but it will also help them to help others they encounter and the larger community. However, they will not go out alone, numerous speakers, including Bishops Mbanda and John, pledged they will continue to walk with them. Graduation is an achievement and not an end, and I hope we all will continue to support these men women in prayer and other means as the Lord calls us so that they might truly live their dreams and be “the glory of the nation” as they sang during the ceremony.

Written and Posted by Otto Zimmermann