Some people still find it difficult to understand that, when God places a vision in you, He also places the gift to fulfill the vision. Sometimes, your gift is so apparent, everyone you interact with will clearly see your future potential. And sometimes, like William Kamkwamba, you will be the only person who can see it.
William Kamkwamba was 14 years old when Malawi experienced, what the BBC reported as, “a famine emergency.” The drought was so severe that, in less than a year they reported that the “food shortages were killing Malawians,” and “70% of the population was starving to death.” Like other Malawians, William’s family was relegated to eating one small meal of maize each day; because, the drought meant no water for the family, and no water, meant no crops; no crops, meant no money; and, no money, meant no school.
As the youngest of seven children and his parents’ only son, William believed he had a duty to save his family. Although he was barely literate in English, his daily escape to the village’s tiny English library fostered his dream. It was there that he found books on physics and energy; and, where he began to study diagrams of windmills. He began to build a crude windmill out of discarded scrap metal he found at a local scrapyard. His windmill generated enough electricity to power a few light bulbs so he could study after dark. His parents really did not understand what he was doing, or why it was so important, until foreigners began forming lines on the family’s compound to charge their cell phones and other portable electronic devices. By the time the international reporters came, he had already built his second windmill —a water irrigation system that reused run-off water to irrigate the family’s farm.
His book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, has been translated into 15 languages, spawning a children’s book with the same title. He received a scholarship to Dartmouth College in the U.S. where he graduated in 2014. And, he was awarded the PCI Humanitarian Award for his “visionary” role in changing the lives of rural Malawians.
William Kamkwamba was 14 years old when he allowed the Spirit of God to guide his natural gift for physics. It changed the trajectory of his life, and saved his family and village from starvation. Prior to this, he had never left his small village; he had never seen a computer, the Internet, or a real windmill.
The Bible says, without vision the people perish. In this case, those words were literal. —Starvation propelled William’s gift into full bloom. —Must tragedy propel yours? L.
Study Reference: Proverbs 18:16, Proverbs 29:18
From: "A Vision To The Future." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell