In less than two weeks, I'll land in Vietnam. The church I work with in Can Tho reaches out to the community by offering free English classes to children. One of my emphases will be to help the English teachers, all of whom are church members, with their conversational English skills. As I am not an ESL instructor, I have reached out on Facebook to a number of my former students who are Asian and asked for advice based on their experiences learning English. The response has been terrific! Two that have given me excellent input are the two ladies I speak of below. This is from May 28, 2010.
I'm sitting in my classroom late on a Friday afternoon, a week past graduation. The air conditioner is not on in the high school part of our WCS building...and it is hot. As I sit here, Eva is still working on the mural. I chronicled Eva and Patti last week, how they are finishing the work on my wall we began five years ago, a chronology of the life of Christ. Last Friday, the two of them spent five hours outlining the words of John 3:16 on the mural, the last big piece of the puzzle. On Sunday, Patti flew back to Hong Kong for the summer. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and today, Eva, who is in summer school, has returned, spending an additional fifteen hours painting in the letters so carefully etched in pencil on the wall. As I mentioned, Eva, also from Hong Kong, is not an artist but an accounting major. As someone who will have to be precise in her career, she is METICULOUS with getting this verse just perfect. I brought out last week last week that the two of them graduated from Westbury Christian in 2008; they feel the obligation to finish what was started. After Eva took the picture above, she completed the next line through the words whoever believes in him. She thinks she can knock out shall not perish but have eternal life in one more hot afternoon session in Room 258. Then, Lord willing, we can look at the improvements for a classroom to make it worthy of a piece of art like this. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul gives his young brother this advice:
''Do your best to present yourself as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.''
I believe Eva and Patti have conscientiously handled the words of Jesus in a manner few of us would. It will work out that one hour will have been spent on each of the twenty-six words. What if we took that much care with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ? In Luke 6, verse 40, Jesus said,
''A student is not above his teacher but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.''
After watching these barely past teenagers work so hard these last two weeks, I can only say one thing; I hope I'm worthy for Patti and Eva to be like me. In a tribute to Eva and Patti, here is John 3:16 in their native language.
神 爱 世 人 ， 甚 至 将 他 的 独 生 子 赐 给 他 们 ， 叫 一 切 信 他 的 ， 不 至 灭 亡 ， 反 得 永 生 。约 翰 3:16 - (Simplified Chinese)
And paying homage to my great grandparents who were immigrants from Denmark, here it is in Danish:
For således elskede Gud verden, at han gav sin enbårne søn, for at enhver, som tror på ham, ikke skal fortabes, men have evigt liv. Johannes 3:16
Applicable quote of the day:
''God enters by a private door into each individual.''
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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