Challenged By a Student

You know those moments that you wish would happen for the sake of our Father’s name to be known? Well, that happened today, and I didn’t know it was going to.

In one of my classes today, I was explaining how the end of the year and finals were going to roll. It was following this clarification that the students started to ask about the iPads that they had borrowed from the school for this particular school year and how they would be turned in. I answered this the best way I knew how with the information that had been passed down to us teachers, and the students accepted the possibilities graciously. But then a student spoke up and suggested that I speak about what I was going to do next.

Bewildered by the question, I asked her, “What do you mean?”

She replied, “Tell the class what you told me.” Still confused, I asked her about the meaning once more. It was then that another student in the class asked, “What are you going to do next year?” Another student piped in, “Yeah, I heard you were either going to go to [Asia] this fall or going there this summer and coming back next year. Which is it?”

To these curious students, I spoke about how, yes, my wife and I would be returning to [Asia] this fall and that we would be teaching English there again.

“Why?” I knew the question would come, but I didn’t expect it today. “Why?” I repeated back to the student, and ultimately, the class, with a sigh and not knowing what to say next. Do I talk about God? Do I water down what our Father wants me to say? Do I change the wording of my heart in order to please the students? Of course, it was during these thoughts that the student who initiated this conversation said again, “Tell the class what you told me.”

It dawned on me. This student who was insisting that I talk about what I told her was also the same student that I had recited Book verses to in hard times. I had prayed with this student when people in her family became terribly ill, and she was the one I had challenged to pray and live out the faith needed to change our school, one class at a time. It was now thought that this student was challenging me. Yes, me. You see, I have been desperate this whole semester to talk in our class about our Father, the blood of His Son, and the work of the HS and share with them about our Father’s love and His grace. The chance had finally come; the door was open, and this student was informing me that now was time to speak up, to speak into the lives of the others in our class and tell them the Good News just like I had done with her.

What I did was almost that. I told the students of how my wife and I were believers, and because of that, we had started praying around December 2012 of whether or not we should move back to where we were before. I went on and told them of how when our Father tells us to do something, we do it, and we do it with faith, not knowing what will happen. We just do what He says and trust that He is with us.

Now that was about all that I was able to share with the class, but this really took the class and me and our relationship to a new level. It took my faith (and now my walk) to a level-up sort of mode. My accountability partner and I had been praying for months now to be unashamed in being a follower, and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I am very, very thankful for this occasion, and I will keep on praying for more times to come like this no matter where I am. And I will keep on praying that children, teens, others will challenge me in my faith and in my shamefulness because there is nothing to be ashamed of when knowing that the gospel is the power of our Father for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

Believe, and be unashamed. That’s the challenge my student gave me. Will you take a stand with us?

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