Reflecting on God's Work in Asia
Last year I had a dreaded class. 10th grade History. Here's why it sucked:
1. I had never taught it before and the teacher before me left very little to go on.
2. The class had a bunch of salty boys.
3. The class had a bunch of apathetic girls.
4. The boys had bullying issues.
5. It was at 2:00 every day on the fourth floor.
6. We lost power almost every day.
7. At 2:00 the temperature on the fourth floor was at least 100 degrees.
8. We had two very small fans, neither of which was pointed at me.
9. Some of those kids had been in the same class since 10am.
10. The teacher before me let them sleep in class, so for me they were waking up from their afternoon nap.
Teaching them was like pulling teeth from angry people. It was absolutely miserable. But through all of their sarcasm and disrespect and apathy I felt God was calling me to just take it- not to be easily offended or take it personal- and just to wait for them to come around. I remember clearly looking at one kid as he stood talking to me rudely and thinking to myself "He is a new creation in Christ, he is a new creation in Christ, he is a new creation in Christ...." I had to believe that these kids who said they loved God and yet acted so rudely were in fact who God said they were..perfect, complete, holy. It's hard to see into God's reality. But the only way I could keep teaching those kids was to believe that what God said about them was true. Or at least to ask Him to help me believe it.
I am reading a book called TrueFaced and there is a great passage on this whole concept:
"It's a whole new way of seeing, not unlike those pictures popular a few years ago. At first glance you just saw patterns. But if you squinted and looked more intensely, you eventually saw shapes in three dimensions, revealing a beautiful and astounding picture. The first time you broke through to see such images was truly a remarkable moment. It is the same with seeing all the way through the patterns of our sin issues into the beautiful and astounding reality of who God says we are. Suddenly life is in three dimensions- alive, rich, and full of hope." (pg.64)
Cambodia is a place full of injustice and fear- it is in your face. It grabs your bags from you and knocks you off your bike. Then it silences you as no one stops to help you up from the dirt.
It takes faith to see the world, people, and ourselves by God's truth. I am so grateful there is a reality beyond what I can see myself. I hope you all are experiencing those moments where by faith you are able to believe His Word in others and in yourselves.
Due to the sensitive nature of talking about people and countries I have been to please don't share these openly and also be conservative in how much you share specific details with others. I might change names just to keep things safe, but for those of you who have been following for awhile the pieces won't be too hard to put together.
In faith I want to share some stories from the field that got lost. My hope is that in telling these I would be able to proclaim how faithful God has been, and maybe a few of you will be willing to climb up and peer into the amazing work God is doing in Asia. It's big- incomprehensible even, and I know these stories are not mine to keep.