The idea of light being as necessary as water, food, and shelter fully hit me one day as I was in my apartment in Buenos Aires. I had two major exams and an essay due the next day and I was working hard to complete them on time. Then the electricity went out and there was no light. Fortunately, there was a coffee shop nearby that had light and electricity, and I was able to finish my work. Unfortunately, people in other parts of the world do not have this luxury. Lack of light severely limits a student’s ability to study, learn, and perform well. If education is a major part of the solution to the poverty problem in our world, light is nothing less than a necessity.
As I prepared to leave for my study abroad year in Buenos Aires, I was searching for a way to make a lasting and significant impact on Argentina while overseas. I came across One Million Lights, and after meeting with Anna Sidana I came to the conclusion that working with OML would be a good way to accomplish this goal. Hard-working students should not be limited in their studies by the hours of daylight. It was my hope to help enable driven students in Argentina to succeed by removing the barrier imposed by lack of light.
One weekend, our Pepperdine study abroad group of seventy students all went to the Adulam in Buenos Aires in order to serve the community. Although this particular village had access to affordable electricity, I had a hunch that one of the other Adulam villages may be in need of light. I began talking with Omar, the head pastor and founder of Adulam, and he informed me of the situation of the Adulam in Tres Arroyos. Soon after, two friends and I visited Tres Arroyos in order to assess the situation. Christie Myers and Jordan Nason played a critical role in helping to translate as the people in Adulam only speak Spanish. After analyzing the information we obtained through our visit, it became clear to me that this particular village and Adulam as a whole would benefit greatly from the donation of OML’s solar lamps.
Twenty-four solar lamps have been donated to Adulam in Tres Arroyos. This light allows the students to study at night for four hours after the sun goes down. Because of this, time is freed up during the day. Students now use the daytime to work on the farm and develop agriculture skills. My hope is for a 3-pronged benefit to the community. First, more students will be attracted to the theology school because of the fact that they will also be learning farming skills. Second, the students will bring the agricultural skills that they learn in Tres Arroyos back to their respective communities and increase production. Third, the output of the potato field at Tres Arroyos will increase, bringing more food and income to Adulam as a whole.