This week in PCUSA Mission:
Christmas Joy Offering Gifts
Help Student Apply Heart and Mind to Vexing Problems
Growing up in Rwanda, Joshua Karangwa often saw rural women and children carrying heavy cans of water on their heads for miles, just so their families could survive. His memory of people engaged in this back-breaking endeavor pierces his heart and challenges his mind. Karangwa, a 2018 graduate of Presbyterian Pan American School (Pan Am) in Kingsville, Texas, wants to tackle water accessibility and other issues that confront the developing world. He is now a first-year engineering student at Presbyterian-related Schreiner University.
Karangwa dreams of the day when women and children will no longer have to tote large water cans, whose average weight exceeds 40 pounds when filled. The task is exhausting and can lead to strained backs, shoulders and necks. “It’s an issue that I want to address by using all the means I have acquired,” Karangwa says. He wants not only to design ways to make water more accessible, but also to help communities learn how to find their own solutions to problems like poor accessibility to water.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Christmas Joy Offering helps Pan Am, and other Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color, prepare future leaders like Karangwa to serve the church and society. At Pan Am, Karangwa experienced a school committed to meeting his academic and spiritual needs. He says that when he came to Pan Am, reading was an arduous task and he “couldn’t finish a book.” An intensive reading program at the school changed all of that. “They got me reading lots of books and now I enjoy books,” he says. “It’s a completely different view than what I had.”