Thursday, August 13, 2015

Christ Taught Me Better




About four weeks ago, I witnessed the most joyous moment of my mission to Vietnam this summer. Three biological sisters, who through the kindness of one young lady and the teaching of several other Christians, are now sisters in the Lord. I watched as they were baptized into a river of the Mekong Delta. You might recall their battle with poverty and desertion, riding their worn out bikes forty-five minutes one way to get to worship, and making key chain bracelets for 10 cents per hour. I am so excited for Thuy, Thao, and Hien (ages 14-16-18) and what the future holds for them, both educationally and spiritually. But this isn't really about them tonight.

You see, when I am in Vietnam, I send out a daily and some times twice daily e-mail summary of the previous twenty-four hours and since I'm somewhat isolated from other English speakers, I solicit responses from those on my blog contact list. Shortly after I sent out an e-mail with July 16 Update From Can Tho part 2 as the subject line, I received the following reply in my inbox;


What a blessing Coach! Nothing better in this world than to give your life to Christ!! I'm getting so much hatred from certain members of my family because of some posts I put on fb about God. And because they realize I don't believe in their God anymore, and I refuse to marry a non believer, I would rather stay single forever. But I respond to them with love always and continue to love them. I will not hate or talk behind their backs like they do me. Christ taught me better :) 
PS: I know I said I'm going to cook for  you  and never did. When are u coming back? 

Let me tell you about the young lady who penned the above note. Some of you know her and some of you  know of whom I'm speaking. She was born on the African continent but her family was forced to flee to another country because of civil war. Civil war ravaged her new homeland as well and her family sought refuge in the US. That's how she ended up in Houston and in my Bible class as both an 8th grader and as a sophomore. She wasn't a follower of Jesus but she told me that when she was in my class, she wished she was a Christian. Graduation came and she went off to college. Much time passed until two years ago when I got a Facebook message asking me if we could meet for coffee. We did and in our conversation, she revealed her belief that Jesus was the Son of God, the Savior who died for her sins. Honoring me greatly, she asked if I would baptize her so her sins would be washed away. With great joy, I did so!

The baptism of the sisters struck a chord with her as they live in a culture where Christianity is not popular and the church they are now part of is not recognized. What struck a chord with me was this line in her message: Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when I am angry without cause.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when my mind wanders where it should not go.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when my prayer life goes AWOL.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when I am lazy and unmotivated to study the Word.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when I feel sorry for myself.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when irritated with a student/player or their folks.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when my faith wavers.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that when I make excuses.
Christ taught me better :) 
I need to remember that every time I sin.

Christ taught me better :) 
You know, I really need to remember her words twenty-four hours a day! In Luke 6:40, Jesus taught a crowd that,
"
 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher."
Maybe some day, I will be more like my student! I know I have miles to go. But I am confident of this: If my entire teaching career came down to simply that one young lady, I will know I made a difference. That's why we teach....and that's why we are taught.


Applicable quote of the day:
Everybody's a teacher if you listen.

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1 
www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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