Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Ambassador

I wrote a blog about Cristina last year. As a freshman, she was new to WCS but it didn't take long for her to win us over with her bubbly personality and contagious enthusiasm about her new school. The entry I penned about Cristina centered around her showing up for a test review in my room during tutoring/meeting time.....and taking notes as we discussed the material EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS NOT ONE OF MY STUDENTS! That has never happened before to me! Now as an even more amazing tenth grader, I see her many days as she goes into her eighth period class, Spanish 4, which is right across the hall from my room. Often, she comes by and gives me a quick update, always calling me sir. Recently, she was jubilant as she gave me the news of the day. She had just been informed that she had just been nominated to be a WCS Student Ambassador and she, of course, had accepted! What's more, Lizeth, who played basketball for me for three years, had also been appointed to this prestigious post! Later that day, I asked Lizeth about her honor and like, Cristina, she was exulting. I get excited about our kids being excited.

We started our ambassador program several years ago and it has been a huge success. A young person must be considered a model for our student body and they must be recommended by a teacher. On Wednesdays, all our students wear pale blue oxford shirts instead of the typical polo style along with khaki pants, skirts, or knee length skirts. Student Ambassadors kick it up a notch with white oxford shirts accessorized with either a blazer or vest and often set off by a blue and gold tie. Sharp dressed does not come close to being a worthy description of their appearance! The job description of the Student Ambassadors basically is this: to represent Westbury Christian School whenever and wherever they are needed. They might give a tour for the student and parent open houses we call Wildcat Wednesdays, held in the mornings on the first Wednesday of each month September through May. They might be in charge of a shadow, a youngster from another school who is interested in WCS and goes through a class schedule one day. The Ambassadors might be ushers at a school play or even represent the school at an off campus affair. In return, our admissions' office makes sure these teens are taken care of with little celebrations on campus. And, of course, being a Student Ambassador is a feather in the transcript cap when you apply for college! It's always a two way street. 

The apostle Paul twice makes use of the term ambassador in his epistles, in both Ephesians 6:20 and in 2 Corinthians 5:20 where he says this:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
What an honor... and what a responsibility! When I am in Vietnam on my summer missions, I am very aware that all some people will know first-hand about the US will be what they see in me. Even more crucial, all some people might know about Jesus is what they see in me. Last summer in Can Tho, I studied English with a young lady, a college graduate, who told me she had never heard of the Bible. How is that possible? I felt a keen sense of the need to be a man of God in her presence. Who knows, maybe next summer she might see even more of the Lord in me while we practice on her English skills. That's why I am so thrilled for Cristina to be one of our ambassadors- she loves our school and it flows from her. And how about this? Both Cristina and Lizeth are bi-lingual, a huge advantage in a city like Houston! I hope I'm bi-lingual, too. I already know I can speak English passably. I pray I can communicate in the language of the love of God in a way that overrides any translation issues. Well, I always know a resource close at hand. Maybe I can get some pointers from Cristina!

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