Esther Joshua: Worlds Apart

Esther Joshua.

I know next to nothing about Esther.

What I know:
We are worlds apart.
I am a teacher.
She is a student.
I am from Canada.
She is from Nigeria.
I am safe.
She is not.
I can freely teach and be educated.
She cannot.
I have full access to protection and education as a woman.
She does not.
We are worlds apart.

I know that on April 16, Esther was kidnapped from her boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria by the Boko Haram. I know that Esther was seeking an education, something that many women around the world take for granted. I know that Esther was brave in seeking an education when many in her country did not approve. Through seeking education, Esther was working to change her world and the world of others.

I know that when girls are educated, the whole world can change.

We are worlds apart.

What I don’t know:
If Esther is alive, well, and safe.
If Esther can feel my prayers.

What I wonder:
Has Esther been forced to marry?
Was Esther in the video footage that was released today?
Was Esther Muslim? Was she forced to convert?
Is Esther safe?

When the list of the girls kidnapped was released, I knew that I wanted to pray. When I was scrolling through the name list, Esther’s name jumped out at me.

First, Esther; the story of Esther has always interested me. Here is a woman who had such courage and risked her life for God’s people. Here is a woman who was brave, a risk-taker for the Lord. I imagine Esther Joshua to be the same – brave, taking a huge risk by being educated to better her world and the world around her.

Second, Joshua because throughout a time of waiting and unknowns, Joshua has always modeled courage and faith in His Lord. I imagine Esther Joshua to be courageous in time of unknowns.

So, Esther Joshua – courageous, obedient, risk-taker, strong.

I imagine Esther to be very brave. She must be if she chose to go to school despite the odds against her. I imagine her to be curious and studious. I imagine Esther to be powerful; she must be if a group of men felt it necessary to kidnap her. They clearly are weak and frightened of what a girl can do once she is educated.

I imagine Esther is scared. I imagine she longs for her mother’s arms and her siblings’ laughter. I imagine she wishes to be back in the classroom, learning about the world around her. I imagine she struggles to sleep at night, wondering what the next day will be like, when she will be able to return home.

We are worlds apart.

And yet, I hope our prayers unite us. I hope she knows that people all around the world are fighting for her rescue. I hope she knows that girls all around the world are fighting for her safe return and her right to protection and education.

I hope she knows that I think she is brave. She stepped into a classroom, knowing fully well the power education had; moreso, she stepped into a classroom knowing the threat this education posed on others. And she learned. And I pray she will be able to continue to learn.

So, though we may be worlds apart, Esther Joshua is on my heart and mind daily and I pray for her safe return.

Please, please #BringBackOurGirls.

 

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