You, Jarvis Lunalo, and the Man Who Saved My Life
- 2007 Aug 30
In high school I had an absolutely brilliant, wildly popular English and theater teacher named Rick Hornor. It's no exaggeration to say that by taking me more seriously than anyone had ever taken me before, Mr. Hornor saved my life. He consistently took precious time out of his 12-hour days spent teaching and directing plays to make sure that I understood that I was special, that I had talent, that I was worth infinitely more than I thought I was. It is his genius that he made a lot of kids feel that way about themselves.
Mr. Hornor's unstinting love and belief in me forced me to change my image of myself. The way he lived his life (he was and is a Christian -- which at the time I counted against him) forced me to change my deep cynicism about people.
Mr. Hornor is now Dr. Hornor, and is today chair of the Theatre department at Whitworth University, in Spokane, WA. (I've stayed in touch with him all these years because ... well, because it's not like I ever doubted he was one of the greatest men I'd ever meet.) He is just back from a six-month sabbatical spent in Nairobi, Kenya, where, at Daystar University, he designed courses of study for a major, minor, and certification in theatre, with an emphasis on theatre in ministry and education. (Both Whitworth and Daystar are Christian colleges.)
Among his many new Kenyan acquaintances who particularly impressed Rick was a Daystar student of his named Jarvis Lunalo. Rick wrote back home of Jarvis's strong, positive character, his open-heartedness, his selflessness, his deep commitment to Christ. He was also struck by Jarvis' rare acting ability. "This devout young man," he wrote, "is simply a natural on stage."
Rick was so impressed by Jarvis that he arranged for Jarvis to be enrolled at Whitworth University, full-time, for four years, beginning ... well, two days ago. Jarvis feels very strongly that God is calling him to study theatre, and then return to Kenya to full-time ministry and evangelism.
Whitworth has agreed to pay all of Jarvis's tuition and school fees. Jarvis has also received a $3,000.00 work study grant that allows him to work on campus. From family and church friends also came a donation of (amazingly enough) $1,000.00.
For the year, that leaves Jarvis in the hole -- for room and board, books, insurance, and miscellaneous expenses -- about $9,000.00.
Jarvis' financial picture at Whitworth will of course change over the next four years. For that reason (and to allow for tax-free donations), Whitworth has established the Dedicated Scholarship for International Students in Theatre fund.
My plea today is that you donate what you can to this fund, so that Jarvis Lunalo can get his exceptional education at Whitworth, return to Kenya, and do God only knows how much good in the world. For that to happen is going to take money. This whole plan depends upon ... well, the kindness of strangers. Like you, I'm hoping.
Please be assured that 100% of your donations will go directly to helping the young Mr. Lunalo. As I say, that's the entire purpose of the fund.
This kid deserves our love and support. Please join me in showing Jarvis how Christians in America take care of their own.
Send your tax free donations to:
Attn: June Hanson
Re: Dedicated Scholarship for International Students in Theatre
300 W. Hawthorne Rd.
Spokane , WA 99251
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