Life and ministry are both good. I am learning, growing, being challenged and stretched every single day. I am blessed beyond comprehension everywhere I look. And I am continually affirmed that this is exactly where the Lord wants me, and he desires for me to pursue my relationship with him deeper still - and he will take care of the fruit of my work.
That being said, I seem to find myself struggling in two battles.
The grade 6/7's are sweet and adorable. They listen intently (for the most part), participate however they are asked, love listening to stories, and answer whatever questions you pose - whether or not they really understand what you are asking. They are ready to take in whatever you tell them. It has been a joy to teach them Bible and read them stories about Jesus. Most of them have never heard any of it before! It is new and exciting, full of unexpected twists and turns, complete with some of the most interesting characters.
BUT they have little concept of what in the world it all means. They are full of questions, although most are painfully unrelated to the topic at hand (of course, that's quite typical for children). What they have been exposed to and taught includes: Jesus died on the cross, that dead ancestors guide and protect you if you worship them [and taunt and attack you if you don't], and God is coming to earth in 2010! And sometimes I sit back and think, Lord, I cannot even begin to sort out all that they have been taught. I cannot even begin to explain to them what it means that Jesus is their Savior. I just can't do it!
No, you can't. You just plant the seeds.I think it is just difficult at times to actually believe that I am making a difference, that I am not just reading them stories that mean the world to me-and very little to them.
Faith like a child, Samantha. You don't need to understand how it works.
The Grade 8/9's are quite the bunch, very typical for their age. For the most part they are wonderful if you get them alone. They love to play games [when they think they're cool] and to have conversations [if they think it's cool] and to hang out with you [as long as you're cool]. But when they are all together, they just don't seem to care about anything. We sit in a circle in class, I ask a question or pose a scenario, and one or two students will respond. Every time. It is all very relevant to their lives - and of course, very important - but they are all much too cool and uninterested. Okay God, what about here? Am I just wasting my time with these kids?
I was talking to Brittany, one of the teachers here, and she said that one of the questions they were asked in missionary training was this:
If you were promised that during the entire extent of your ministry, every single word you spoke would fall on deaf ears, would you still go - just because the Lord told you to? Would you go solely out of obedience?
This is something the Lord has challenged me with before, and I have come to my conviction-filled, resting-in-his-strength-alone "yes!"
Pray for my obedience and faithfulness as I serve the Lord. Pray for my encouragement and strength. Pray for hearts and minds to be opened, for souls to be stung with the power and conviction of His Truth and Word. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray.
God is doing such amazing things here. I will write again soon, solely to declare his wondrous deeds. Today is just a day of exhaustion.
Thank you all for your faithfulness to the Lord, in your diligence of lifting up the Lord's work in prayer.