Thursday, April 17, 2008


those of you who are following the story know that b has been on a major faith journey. she had maybe the happiest day of her life when she was admitted (early decision, no less) to columbia, her first choice for university. it's the most ethnically diverse of the ivy league schools and situated in new york city-- a city of great excitement and tremendous needs -- all of which appealed to her. but the joy turned to anxiety when the financial aid offer was impossibly low for a family of our relatively modest means.

what were the alternatives?
  • apply elsewhere. other schools were interested and recruiting her. maybe she could get a better deal there.
  • apply for scholarships and trust God. this would mean reserving the spot at columbia, and withdrawing applications at other schools. all the eggs would be in one basket.
our family prayed, discussed, and agonized over the options. it was an intense, sometimes contentious, emotional conversation. at the end, we believed that God was saying that we should trust for columbia. this was a challenge to walk by faith, not by sight -- my favorite... (-: more than one supportive friend wondered how in the world this could ever work out. but many got on their knees to pray for what could reasonably be termed a miracle.

b started writing her scholarship applications. and she chose some big scholarships. the good news in that approach: they offer a lot of money. the downside: they're nearly impossible to get -- some with odds as low as one female student in the entire united states. b worked like crazy on the applications -- and we prayed together as a family nearly every night. then we waited.

last month, she received the news that she had been chosen as a ron brown scholar -- one of only 20 in the whole country; it's a generous financial award, along with the promise of a longer-term community in which to network. and this month, the news got even better when she was notified that she had been awarded a gates millennium scholarship -- with a full ride for her undergraduate education and the possibility of money for graduate school, if she is inclined to pursue an advanced degree in one of their preferred fields of study.

it's been an amazing season for b -- and we give glory to God. he has been lavish in his generosity, and there is no one like him. as i told b, she is an excellent student and a great person; we are very proud of her. but there are so many bright, high-achieving, accomplished students -- perhaps equally qualified. when the odds are as long as they've been and you keep ending up with the golden ticket... well, there's more going on than meets the eye. there are times when the working of God is low-key and understated. and there are times when he is dominant. this is one of those times.

from of old they have not heard, nor perceived by ear,
neither has the eye seen a God besides thee,
who acts in behalf of the one who waits for him
isaiah 64:4


Bora said...

WOW!!! This is amazing, wonderful news and I celebrate with you all! Time for more SUSHI (or whatever B's favorite food is). I praise God for beautifully timed provision and I also congratulate B. Those scholarship applications are a marathon of work in and of themselves--so kudos to you, B, for working so hard and hanging in there. YIPPPPPPEEEEE!!!!!!!

Zhi Wei said...

that's wonderful to hear! i'm really happy for you, b and your family! may b continue to glorify God with her scholarships and studies!