We were back to teaching classes again today after having a week off for Semana Santa. (Holy Week). We had a team join us from Ohio for our morning classes and they were a huge help to us as they acted out the Bible story and participated in the games that went along with the lesson.
I have to be honest though. I have really struggled with the lessons we have been teaching this school year. Even though I know them to be truth. Truth I have been taught and believed without question since I was a toddler in Sunday School. It is just that for these kids, the lessons hit close to home. Close to their hearts. It is not that I am questioning my beliefs either. Not at all..If anything, they are even stronger than before. Though I guess there are many times while we have been preparing these lessons that, I might have asked God, Why? Why must there be poverty and hunger? Why must there be so many broken, hurting people?
Two weeks ago we talked about how we all have needs and how God will supply their needs. Just like he did with the widow in the Bible, who had just a small amount of oil in her house. God met her need when she was desperate for Him. The reality is that these kids do have needs. Huge needs that most of us take for granted. Food. Adequate shelter. Fresh water. Yet like another missionary friend Jennifer noted, what do you say to the child who is crying in the back of the classroom because they are hungry and they have no food at home?
We are on the second Beatitude now. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Mourning is yet another harsh reality daily life here.
If you were to ask a Canadian school ager what kinds of things make our hearts hurt,? What would be a typical thing a child would say?
That question was asked today and these kids answered without missing a beat…Answers that you know are their reality, what they live with and deal with. Nothing can really ever prepare you for hearing the words from children. Even though you know it is truth. Even though you know what the statistics say. You have heard about them, read about them. Each time you hear it from one who has lived it, your heart breaks a little more. It’s tough to hear. I want to weep for all these kids have seen and gone through. I want to weep for what is their reality. For their brokeness. In the grade 6 class, they replied to this question with these answers…”Your parents being killed” “Being hungry” “My dad was murdered”
Sadly it is a reality that there are a lot of fatherless children in the schools. There are a lot of single moms, either because they are widowed or abandoned.
Psalm 68:5 says that He is the father to the fatherless, the defender of the widow.
We have also been teaching them a new Bible verse to memorize. Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God will always be with them.. And he isn’t going to leave them or abandon them, even though many of their earthly fathers have. He loves them deeply and he cares about what happens to them. I long for the truth of this to resonate in their hearts. I want them to know it and believe it! I want them to understand and believe that they matter to God, their heavenly Father. I want them to know His love.
The bible tells us in Matthew 5:4 that Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. And I have to believe that. I know if they put their trust in Him, that He will see them through anything. He will get them through the tough times in life. If they cry out to Him and pour out their heart to Him. He will sustain them and give them His peace in their hearts and His strength despite whatever difficulties they face.
And you know what? God has amazing plans for these precious kids!
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”