It's natural to care deeply about community. Real love for family extends to neighbors—and overflows for the whole of society. This occasional column tells of how a spiritual perspective has been helping Sentinel readers help others and make a contribution to healing some of the collective challenges facing communities today.

In one particular school in the mining area in our township in South Africa, students were dissatisfied about the treatment they received from the faculty and the principal. But they didn't have a way to channel these grievances, and that had led to a big gap in communication and the closure of the schools. I was one of the people who was approached to go and negotiate with the management to help the schools reopen. This situation was emotional and sensitive; I had to pray about it. I needed to know more about God's authority, which includes no conflicting forces working against each other. I had to recognize that the law of good must prevail.

What impressed me about the whole thing is that in the end we negotiated structures at that school that the department of education said were unprecedented in South Africa. We managed to negotiate a parent, teacher, and children association, a teachers' constitution, and the parent body constitution. We also managed to include black parents in the management council of the school. The school was only managed by the mine's management.

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Spiritual vision and the human need
July 1, 1991

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