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Pray for students, no matter where they are

School teachers never turn down assistance and encouragement in their vocation. In fact, some request it.

My niece who is a first-grade teacher takes her year of molding young lives over-the-top seriously. One way is designating friends and family with student numbers or names for daily prayer.

I received my assignment — two names, a boy and girl that need prayers for learning and growing healthy, protected lives. The boy came with a reputation of being akin to the Energizer bunny. Obviously his overactive energy cells along with a background of scant discipline in the home make for a teacher’s challenge.

My niece believes love can conquer all, so she’s determined that her “bunny” can become an achieving first grader.

The little girl is being raised by her grandparents who tend to be over-protective and coddlers. I refer to her as my little “pot plant.” She too, will have challenges to mature and adapt without constant shadowing.

Like all teachers, my niece will work at instructing multiple personalities, different backgrounds and a conglomerate of needs. However, a tremendous help to her is a classroom equipped with pint-size tables, chairs, desks, hundreds of books, stacks of games, loaded toy chest and a reading nook, and all in a well-lit, climate-controlled environment.

As I began going through my prayer list and remembering my “bunny” and “pot plant,” I turned to my prayer calendar that lists special needs of oppressed and impoverished people groups in the world. The day’s request made that Alabama first grade classroom appear more like a dream world. The country was Sudan, located in Northeast Africa. The request read, “Pray for children whose schools meet in caves because of daily bombings.”

Suddenly my small, protected world of “show-and-tell,” copious library books, chocolate milk cartons served in the school cafeteria and sprawling, safe playgrounds turned into grander blessings, but convicting ones. We live amid extravagant educational opportunities and have gotten so accustomed to them that we hardly notice or appreciate their luxury.

Bunny and Pot Plant need my prayers, and I will be faithful to pray, but praying for them will always remind me to pray for the cave students in Sudan.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.