20 December 2012
Teaching Bible in the village school
One of the special blessings of the October 2012 trip, was a visit to a little school in the village. It is a new project attached to one of our partner churches. It had not been there when I last visited about a year ago. The school is a very simple cinder block building divided into four sections or classrooms. There were no supplies or equipment or teaching materials of any kind. Parents should provide notebooks to write in for their child, but many do not buy them. Children wandered in throughout the morning with no particular attention to a schedule. They filled the seating available in each room. The special blessing was that these children were being taught by a boy who was a graduate grown up in our Maranatha Children's Home-- a boy who many have had little education himself without our program. He did not have any particular teacher training, just the basic education approximately the same as high school in the US. Now, he was sharing what he knew with these young children, moving from room to room-- giving some instruction and assignments, then moving on to the next room. Since the school is so small, he was able to keep ear shot of each group as he worked with another, but all the same-- it looked to be a challenge that would stretch a professional, experienced teacher in the US. The school is in a village more than an hour from a road. They rarely see anyone from outside their own community. Whether from cultural habit or fascination with a foreigner, every child sat attentively as I spoke with them. I learned that while the school is a project under the church, most of the children are Hindu. Our boy from Maranatha--now a man with a big responsibility-- is a strong believer, but would not be allowed to openly teach faith based topics in the school. If he taught a Bible story directly, there could be some complaints from parents, but not much could be done about the foreigner. With a translator who had come along with me, I dove right into New Testament theology, telling the story of a small man who climbed a tree to see Jesus and his surprise to find out that Jesus knew his name, and cared about him and wanted to visit in his home. I told the Hindu children that Jesus knew their names too and love them and wanted them to know Him. Then, I moved to the next room to tell the story again--four times to four different age groups. Every child's eyes were intent upon me and a few had lower jaws dropped. What a privilege to tell the story. As you read this account, please stop and pray for these children and for God's Word to grow richly in their hearts and for the witness of their Christian teacher to the children and the whole village.