Material Hope

Recently, our church family rallied around one of our members to provide books for the students in her classroom. Read below as she shares the impact of this act of Generous Stewardship!
Over the course of the year, we’ve been studying an article that details the complexity of hope in urban education. The article tackles both false hope and real hope, but argues that we have to be realistic when dealing with hope; that in analyzing hope and realizing its power, we have to first acknowledge we are called to suffering, we are called into community, and it will be hard. But hard brings healing.

As a classroom community, we are daily tasked with facing down this painful path, and in so doing, we seek to find healing. One way we have been able to further study and implement change is through literature. Rarely do my students get books written for them by people who look like them. It is one way systematic oppression so clearly rules the education system. This leaves a gap in education.

When we study only the stories of others and are not fully able to engage the stories of our own people, some of that hope seems unrealistic. However, when we engage stories that show the painful path for what it is, one that is hard but brings healing, we are better able to problem solve the situations in our own lives and implement change on a larger scale.

Thank you for being a part of seeking these solutions. Through your donations, my kids have seen firsthand “material hope,” the type of hope that dictates action on a larger scale, in part by providing necessary resources. Books are a necessary resource. We are so grateful.

I am personally grateful that my kids got to see a merger of communities. In the past five years, I have raised money for books more times than I can count. Never has an abundance been collected so quickly. One of my kids remarked, “This is material hope in action, isn’t it?” She went on to comment that by providing books, we were able to focus more readily on creating sustainable transformation. Because you granted us this reprieve, we did not have to exert further energy to find resources. The kids saw a need met and fulfilled by people they’ve never met. And believe me, they are ecstatic.

As the books sat stacked on my desk before I could pass them out, generations of my kids were asking to borrow them. Some reluctant readers finished in a matter of days. But more importantly, it opened conversations. Some of my quieter kids related and saw themselves in the text. They sat with me for hours talking about the injustices present in the book, how they relate to our world, and how we can leverage the hope we’ve found in our community to create needed change.

Thank you for helping us facilitate these conversations and for sacrificing a bit of your income to help us carry on our legacy of hope. Thank you for allowing my kids to see an echo of their hearts in another community. They saw and felt your love. They thought it was dope that people would go out of their way to help them in this fight for healing. They saw the power and practicality of material hope, and like the inquisitive bunch they are, they asked questions— questions that are continuing conversations on healing and pointing them toward the gospel.

Thank you.

Cameron Storey has served as an educator in Bankhead for 5 years. She believes in forming relationships and fighting for them. The motto in her classroom community is, "Do everything in love."