Teaching English wasn’t the only thing on my agenda for this trip. I also wanted to minister to the kids I was teaching, but for the past month, I hadn’t really had the chance. I now see, that I may have not been seeing the opportunities placed before me…
Today, I had 4th, 8th, 5th and 6th grade (not all at the same time. THANK GOD!!). In 4th, 5th and 6th, I recapped some action verbs I taught them last time I saw them (like sit, run, jump, scream and the months). We also went over how to say when is their birthday. I guess, with my birthday in less than week, I got birthdays on the brain.
The 8th grade class went a little differently. I had them for 2 periods with their snack period in between. During the first period, we went over their homework and then went over verb tenses because they got the actions correct in their homework, but the tense wasn’t correct. During this first period, they were NUTS!! Screaming over each other, not listening…they were just all over the place. By the time the bell rang for them to go to snack, I was ready to kill them and praised the Lord for the break.
While they were on their snack, I prayed that the Lord would give me something to teach them that would not only calm them down for the moment, but also give them something to think about in regards to their behavior in general.1 Peter 1:15-16 came to my mind. This was the same verse that He brought to me in my devotion late last week and then again during Sunday School yesterday morning. I didn’t know what to do with the verse, but figured we could at least start by translating it.
I wrote the verses on the whiteboard. When they returned from snack, I explained that what written on the board was a Bible verse and as we translated it, we needed to remember that and show reverence for the Word of God. It worked!!!! For the most part, they were all attentive and participating.
We translated the verse word for word. Not in order. I asked the students to give me the Spanish words as they came to them. It was great. They were all working together. Correcting each other and not in the rude way they normally do. Once each word was translated, it didn’t read as exact as the Spanish version read, so I read it in my Spanish Bible so they could hear it properly. The next part, just came to me. Well, when I say “just came to me”, I mean the Holy Spirit gave me the idea.
I asked the students if they were holy. They shouted a resounding “NO!” I then asked if they thought they could ever be holy. Surprisingly, they also responded with a “no”. I said the verse we just translated said that we are to be holy because Jesus is holy so that means, and since the Lord never asks us to do anything we can’t do (without Him), we can be holy. I could see their brains churning.
I, then, asked who was the perfect example of holiness. They answered with an “obviously Mees Jeneefer” kind of tone, “Jesus”. Next, I said “for your homework”. Heavy sighs and groans all around. “I want you to tell me 1. do you want to be holy? and 2. what can you do or need to change in order to be holy?”
One student said “I don’t know how to be holy.” I asked the class what made Jesus holy. They gave me several examples. I explained that is how we are to be. Like they said, Jesus is the perfect example, so we can look to Him to know how we should be.
Jake was with me in all my classes today. He did everything the students were doing, but he would do it in Spanish. He couldn’t do much while we were translating the verse, but he has already started the homework.
It was such a Jesus filled time!! I was so happy that what looked to be the beginning of a bad day, turned into a GREAT day! What a HUGE victory!!
Jake and I are heading to the capital early tomorrow morning to stay with some friends I made on my last trip here. It should be a nice break for us. When we return on Saturday, a team from an Alabama church will be here. I will be one of their translators for them as they do VBS in the community and in the school. I am truly loving how the Lord is transitioning us into the second half of our trip! We have already been here a month! Can you believe it??