If you could make the world a better place for future generations, how would you begin? Nations answer this question by dumping billions of dollars into complex programs that are impersonal and ineffective. In contrast to that method, consider this one: invest personally in someone who has great potential to make a positive, lasting difference in their family and community. Patrick Readson is that kind of person. If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I met the Readson family when I went to Malawi, Africa last year. During that visit it became apparent to me that Patrick, head of the Readson household and pastor of a growing church, possessed the qualities desired of good leaders. All he needed was the opportunity to develop those qualities in order to realize his full potential. The key to a bright future for Patrick, his family and his community is a quality college education. Before I say more, I’ll let Patrick speak for himself…
I was born on June 1, 1982 and am the second oldest in a family of eight children: two boys and six girls. My parents, who are still living, raised us all to revere and worship God. Although they took us to church, I was not born again until after leaving home. I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord through the testimony and example of a pastor. In 1999 I sat for the Malawi Primary School Certification Exams, and was only student out of 650 who qualified to further my education. Unfortunately, my parents could only afford tuition fees for a year and a half of Secondary School. Without financial assistance from private donors, educational advancement would not have been possible for me. I am the only one in my family who has finished high school. I am married to my wonderful wife, Mervis, and we are blessed with two children, Joel and Esther. Also living in my household are a brother, a sister, a sister-in-law and a niece.
After graduating from Secondary School, Patrick went on to earn a Certificate in Theology in 2006 and a Certificate in Biblical Studies in 2010. These certificates are not college-level degree programs, but validations of training needed for church leaders. Patrick has been serving as Pastor of New Church of Christ in Blantyre, Malawi since 2006, and is very grateful to those who funded his training. In 2012, Patrick completed the 14-Step Discipling Process via Skype with Michael Weiss from Disciplers International Inc. (DII)
Malawi is a poor country with high unemployment. Although Patrick has some education, he needs a university degree to get a job that will meet the needs of his family, and enable him to make a positive difference in his community. Although the church he pastors is dynamic and growing in numbers, most are unemployed and without the means to compensate Patrick financially. His vision is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development as means to get a civic job that provides a steady income and opens the door for him to improve his community, and even his nation, in the areas of Education, Employment, Poverty and Sanitation.
After visiting the Readsons in Malawi late last year, Michael Weiss and I presented the board members of Disciplers International with a proposal to get Patrick started by funding his first semester of college. Their response was unanimous, and in January, Patrick started working on a degree in Community Development. The start of Patrick’s college education also marked the start of Operation Education, which is a ministry effort of DII to provide Malawians with scholarships for education at every level. As head of the Readson family, Patrick is first in line, but DII is already involved in raising support for other family members whose stories will follow in future editions. I am pleased to say that one family is now involved in helping to pay for Patrick’s next semester. I you want to participate in Operation Education, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Bart Physioc