I was inspired by a friend’s blog who was inspired by her friend’s blog to write about things they’re thankful for. How timely! – obviously because Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I need to celebrate it in some way since I’m not sure a traditional dinner will happen. But it’s also timely because honestly I’ve noticed little here lately to feel positive about. This will be a good opportunity over the next twelve days (until the end of the month) to notice the good and great around me. So here we go with the first thing I’m thankful for…
My Sunday school students. About once a month I teach the 6- to 9-year-old Sunday school class at Beira’s English language fellowship on Sunday nights. The fellowship is not the most exciting or always worshipful place to be on a Sunday night, but I committed to teach Sunday school occasionally since I have teaching experience, it’s a way to actually connect with kids here, and it’s something quite different from my daily job at the office. I’ll be honest that I didn’t love teaching it for awhile. Missionary kids are not always the best-behaved and can sometimes be biblical know-it-alls. (Yes, I am getting to the positives.) Also because I didn’t teach it regularly, I didn’t feel that I was really building relationships with them. However, for some reason the last few times have been really enjoyable. They haven’t been any easier than previous times, but I’ve enjoyed the lessons and spending that time with the students.
God has also used the kids to encourage me in a way that no adults have (not that adults haven’t, but they do in a different way) during a particularly discouraging time at work. A few weeks ago, as I was heading up the stairs to to the Sunday school classroom, with children rushing all around me, when one boy paused long enough to ask, “Are you our teacher tonight?” I told him I was, and he said, “Yessss! You’re the best one!” before rushing into the classroom.
Last week a little girl stopped me on the stairs to give me a picture she had drawn of God’s pretty world. She explained how she had worked on it all afternoon but to ignore the words on the back which were spelling practice. My first graders used to give me pictures all the time, but it’s been about two years since I’ve received a child’s drawing. I’ve posted it on my fridge. Not only does it make me feel loved, but it’s a good reminder that the world, God’s world, is not all full of disease, death, violence, disrespect, stealing, and corruption, but that it is pretty too.
So today I am thankful for my Sunday school students who offer glimmers of love, truth, and encouragement.