There are days here that I sometimes think will never end. But, more often than not, there are days here where I sit in my office in the middle of a pile of papers to grade, that I am struck soundly by the sound of my blessings chiming in the distance. How is it that I am here?
As I sit here writing (or typing, as it were), I’m taking a mini break from grading my 6th graders’ autobiographies. Their stories are so unique and fascinating, even recognizable from the limited narrative language of a sixth grader’s pen, and I am so privileged to be able to serve them this year. About halfway through, I started making a list of the diversity of this classroom, and thought it would be worth sharing a small portion of that list (there are 26 students in this class, so I will share only a few).
Lidia is a beautiful, tall brunette from Spain. She is more on top of her academics than I am as her teacher, and her parents serve as missionaries to those with drug and alcohol addictions in the country. She loves Jesus and writes that, “One of my dreams is to be either a teacher or a children’s doctor but I’ll let God guide be through my life.”
Grace is from India originally, and her parents are committed Indian Christians who go to the church I’ve been attending. When her mother came to see me at conferences, she told me that she prays for me all the time because she knows that the Lord is the one source of strength. Because of the look in her eye and the force in the words spoken by this quiet, gentle lady, I believe her, and I am very thankful to have this prayer warrior on my side.
Dain is a graceful, quiet young lady from South Korea. Her parents have come here as missionaries to build churches and schools. Although I have never met them, I admire them.
Samantha is a vivacious, smart American with dark, curly hair. She loves to read and she often has a teasing twinkle in her eye which lets me know she’s up to something. Her mom, Jane, serves as our personnel coordinator, and is the “face” of HOPAC to teachers interested in coming. She’s a big reason why many of us were able to come here sight unseen.
Joy is a precious sunny blonde with a constant smile on her face. Her parents are German missionaries who work at a hospital in Malawi. Her German accent only adds to her charm.
These are just a few of the families I am serving. . . Scratch that. . . These are the families WE are serving. Meet them. Love them like I do. Pray for them.
As I write this more or less fumbling piece of prose, I’m listening to Andrew Peterson sing in my ear. His words seem fitting, so I will share them:
“In different towns we had our roots, from Chesapeake to Baton Rouge
But when the piper played his tune, we all left the homes we knew and followed the same song
It was the same song
And one by one, we landed here, and found that we were not alone
Cause we listened to each other sing……..the same song
We could sit around for hours just talking about how we all wore that record out
How the change that it made was so profound; and we’re still trying to find that sound.
Even now, it’s the same song.
We’ve got valleys yet to cross, yet we can make it holding on
To the common thread that binds us all; cause the line that’s written on our hearts
Is the same song.”
This great and beautiful thing called world missions. What do I know about it? Absolutely nothing. I am the spectator of a grand concert, completely ignorant of the notes and technicalities of the rhythm. But I can sit here on my blanket on the grass and marvel at the complex beauty like a child marvels at the Milky Way. What exactly is it that our Savior is doing all over the world? The blunt answer is that I have no idea, but I know that it’s beyond what I could imagine, and I know that it will result in the most poignant song ever composed, that will resound throughout all eternity; a song that flows from a choir of thankful, adoring hearts from every tribe, tongue, and nation to the praise of His glory. I can’t wait to hear it.