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Stella was too excited to sleep. The plans that she had for how to use manure were keeping her wide awake.

A passionate and determined student at Pentecostal Theological College (PTC) in Uganda, Stella had recently learned a new technique for growing banana trees. The first step was collecting as much manure as she could.

“The goal is for the students to learn a trade that they can take with them when they graduate, as well as be able to teach agriculture to others in their community,” said Eric Ranck, a Christian Reformed World Missions volunteer who serves at PTC.

Before Stella was sowing seeds in her agricultural classes, she was sewing beautiful dresses and shirts.

“My dad had an alcohol problem, and we always struggled with money,” she said. “I had to drop out of high school, but I learned how to sew and worked hard to raise money.”

Thousands of stitches later, Stella had earned enough to send all nine of her siblings to universities. Then in the fall of 2014, it was her turn.

Stella enrolled in PTC’s bridging program designed to help students who have not completed high school. Now she is developing both her ministry and agricultural skills that will help her future outreach thrive.

Although Stella is still deciding on the specific details of her future in ministry, Ranck is confident she will be a blessing wherever she serves.

“I always marvel at God’s work in people when I think of Stella,” he added. “She teaches me to love and extend grace to everyone I meet.”

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