Merriam-Webster defines PERSISTENCE as the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people.

When I was teaching 5th and 6th grade on the M/V Anastasis, the Junior High and High School students always had a three-day off-ship retreat.  It was always a great time, but the younger students were not able to participate.  

One of my students asked me why they could not go. I am sure I said something like it was too hard to organize, we did not have the money, or that younger students would not be able to spend the night off the ship without their parents.  “You will just have to wait to till you get older,” I told this 5th grade student.

That was not a good reply and the next day she came back to me with a written proposal.  We talked some more and I gave her some requirements (such as creating a retreat schedule, planning a menu, raising funds, getting parental permission, and some other difficult details to work on) that she would need to meet before I said yes.  It took her three days to meet my requirements and I promptly took them on an overnight retreat as a result.  During this retreat we painted a school and had a great time in the Liberian countryside. This was the first school retreat for this age group! 

I think that this South African girl just might be president one day!

Don’t give up on the difficult desire!  If you work on it faithfully and persistently, it might just happen!


By Brian Blackburn – Academy Data and Systems Manager