Friday, March 21, 2014

A glimpse and some unexpected encouragement

Sometimes I do a lot of work and don’t really know if I am accomplishing much.  During the February Bible Training Institute class on the second half of Mark, I got a little glimpse from the Lord to show me that some of what I am doing is working.

Let me start at the beginning.  The picture below is a model of the Temple as it might have been during the days of Jesus.

It looks really nice, but it took me many hours to put it together.  I found it while I was in Israel and thought it would be really good to have to show students what the temple might have looked like during Jesus' lifetime.  I thought it would also help them visualize better the parts of the temple and who was allowed to go where.  So, I bought it and thought it would be fun to put together.  I have revised that thought!

 Did I mention that I am not very good with spatial directions?  This is what the directions looked like for putting this 3-D puzzle together.

There were three sheets of semi-cutout puzzle pieces that did not have any numbers on them.  I had to look at the “map” of the sheets that had the numbers on them and then look at the directions and try to figure out where and how to place each piece and do it in the correct order.  UGH!  It took me over five hours spread over two days to put it together. 

I then wanted to figure out the size of the platform that the temple sat on.  The temple was on the top of a mountain.  So, a platform was built up so there would be a flat area for the temple and all its porches and porticos to sit on.  I wanted to make the platform the right size in comparison to the temple that I had.  I’m pretty sure I got the dimensions incorrect.  I needed a mathematician to help, but there wasn’t one handy.  I did the best I could, but I still think it is off.  If anyone wants to help me with the challenge I’ll send you the information and maybe you can help me figure it out.  Then I can re-do the board and have it all ready for the next time the class is taught.  As you can see, I took my numbers and had a friend cut out a large piece of plywood to set my temple puzzle on to show the students.

That went fine, but I do think the platform was too large.  When the teacher got to the point in his teaching when he wanted to explain the temple he asked me to come to his class and show them.  I went and gave them my description of the temple.  I explained it all in Turkana so the students would understand.  I also had some coins I wanted to show the students when the story of the widow’s mite came up (Mark 11:41-44).
I promise, I haven’t forgotten how this story started.  This is where the glimpse comes in.  Remember I was teaching in my English class (in English) and being called out to teach a short bit to the TBTI class (which is taught in Turkana).  The teacher of the TBTI class that week happened to be one of my intermediate English students.  So, I finished my place in my English class and had my students do some in class practice while I went to the TBTI class to show them these really cool coins that are the same type of coins that the Widow would have put in the offering.

two widow's mites
I entered the classroom and took out my coins and started talking.  The teacher kind of laughed at me.  Have you ever been laughed at while teaching and you didn’t say anything funny?  It is a bit disconcerting!  I couldn’t quite figure out why he laughed until he started translating my English into Turkana so the students could understand what I was saying. 

Yay!!!!!!  My English student heard my English and was able to translate it to Turkana!!!  I kept speaking in English just to see how he did.  He only needed a little help from me on one or two words.  Granted, it was a subject he has studied and was teaching and he had seen these same coins in his English class when I showed them in January, but he did it!  That was really exciting and had me smiling for days.  I’m even smiling as I write this now, almost a month later.

Simon, the student in the multicolored shirt was the teacher
Mercy shown in a glimpse of what God is doing.  Many thanks go up from me to the Lord for letting me see in just a couple of minutes that my students really are learning even when I don’t think I see progress.  WAHOO!


  1. GOD is working through you and it is great to see, that they are learning from what you are teaching, through GOD....