Sometimes you do all you can, make the best plans and then wait to
see what happens. That is what happened this past week with my ESL
class. I had the lesson plan ready. I had the games and the practice
sessions all lined up. I had the copies made for the students and was
all ready for them to arrive and begin class. They came. They were
excited. They didn't want to pay. So, instead of having class the
first day, I and my teammates ended up listening to them tell why they
didn't want to pay the very small school fees.
To say it was a disappointment is an understatement. To say it
was boring was also an understatement! I got to sit and listen to
each person make the same statement over and over about how hard it is
for them to come up with the money. When it came down to it, they
were willing to pay a small fee for food but not the fee for the
transport into town. That fee is about $3 a month. For most of them,
this is not a problem. A very small few will have problems coming up
with the money. If they had asked on behalf of those few, we could
probably work something out. Since none of them wanted to pay, it was
a much bigger problem. So, what did we do?
We told them we knew it would be hard, but if they get everything
for free then they will not value the lesson of seeing how God
provides for them. It was hard. I do know that life is very hard for
them, especially in the past year as many of their animals have died
due to a lung disease. Even so, they really do need to learn that God
can and will provide for them. So, I sat and listened to them say
what they wanted. They slowly came around to the idea that if they
didn't want to pay, then they couldn't attend the class. Eventually,
they came to the consensus that they wanted the class to go forward
and so they would pay the fee. It took eight hours of listening and
responding to them, but eventually, they decided to stay for the class
and not go home.
So, the class was one day shorter than planned, but it still went
well after that rocky first day. They learned how to greet people and
say goodbye. They went into town the last day of class and greeted
several shop keepers. They came back excited that they were
encouraged and that they had been understood. So, the first week was
Please pray for them as they are home for the next three weeks and
will need to find people to practice with. Pray that they will stay
encouraged and be excited about this opportunity. Pray that when they
come next month, that we don't have problems with the money again.
Pray that they come remembering what they had learned and that maybe
they have learned some new things. Pray for me as I prepare next
month's class. Pray that they not give up when it gets hard. It will
get hard, but pray they keep working at it and learn the language.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. It really did help
knowing you were praying for the class to go well. I knew that in
spite of the rocky start, you were praying and God was working. Pray
that these 15 students will truly see how God provides for their needs
for this class and for their daily lives.