FROM SHEPHERD GIRL IN MOROCCO TO MINISTER OF EDUCATION IN FRANCE | THE STORY OF NAJAT BELKACEM

We all have purpose encoded in our being. Circumstances do not DEFINE, they REFINE who we really are. WHERE you are is not WHO you are. The cirumstances of your life do not determine the circumference of your influence. These thoughts ran through my mind as I reflected on Najat’s story. She was a shepherd in Morocco but today is a Minister of Education in France.

Many of us can relate to this. I have been there too. I just had a flashback to 1984. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. I will never forget one rainy day at our family farm in Juliasdale, Nyanga. Our Dad bought the farm in 1981 and every school holiday we would all go to the farm. My brother Livingstone and myself were looking after our flock of Merino sheep in the paddock. It was raining, thunder and lightning – scary for the young boys we were then in the overgrown summer grass. He was walking ahead and he looked back at me – he was crying silent tears and so was I. He didn’t say a word neither did I. It was tough. These were character defining moments for us. Today we look back at that and know that we were being shaped to know the discipline of work and to overcome adversity.

I want to encourage someone today – don’t judge your story by one chapter. God has not finished your story yet. It doesn’t matter what you have been through. It doesn’t matter what family or place you were born into – your purpose will locate you even from the pasture land like Najat or back end of the desert like David.

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