The Ugly Truth

In January I began hearing rumors that I might get to teach at the French Children’s Ministries Institute® that will be held here this fall, despite not speaking French. I began to anticipate teaching again. But in the back of my mind I, I remembered the fact that this CMI is in French, so I would need a translator. I hate teaching with a translator and had decided a while back that I wouldn’t use a translator again when I was teaching. I would put whatever was needed into teaching in the language of the students. I have always felt that a translator is a huge handicap especially when it comes to using teaching methods outside of lecturing and making class time fun.

Despite this reservation, the excitement grew when Pastor Di gave me an envelope with the topics I would be teaching. I peeked inside, and immediately my heart sank. I had been assigned three topics that I know I am not good at or have no experience teaching. In fact, one of them, puppets, I have no experience in whatsoever. I have never taught children using puppets before. How am I supposed to teach the students three things that I am not very good at or have never taught before?
As I thought about my reservations in teaching these three topics and teaching with a translator again, two things came to mind. First, when it really comes down to it, it is a pride issue. I don’t want to teach something I am not good at because I want to be the best and because I am afraid of what others will think of me if I am not the best. My pride shows that I am all about my self-image instead of being all about God’s glory.
Second, these reservations reveal a self dependence instead of being dependent on God to accomplish that which He has asked me to do. I remembered how a book I have been reading lately was explaining that God equips us for whatever he has asked us to do. Because God chooses to equip us as we say yes to him, instead of just giving us a set of spiritual gifts for life that we can always rely on, we are forced to rely on him. Also, there is no way we can steal glory from Him for anything that we do, because we are aware that it is all Him. Pride and self dependence are pushed out the door as He gets the glory for everything and we know that if he hadn’t equipped us, we would have failed.
And so lesson planning begins. Puppets. Visual Aids. Newsletters. Ideas pop into my mind as I begin thinking about these topics and how to best teach them the students. I know it is God not me.
Will you pray that I will be a tool God can use at CMI as I begin working on lesson plans? Pray that I will be striped of my pride and depend on him and give glory to him. Pray for the students as they begin preparing to come. Pray for each instructor and the logistics to come to together in the next few months.

The girls came over and we started making soup. Then we realized I don't have any bowls. Our solution? Use all the pots and pans in my kitchen instead. If you have never tried this, you really should. We had a ton of fun!

19: An email from a friend.
20: A knock on the door that interrupts study time.
21: Laughing, talking, cooking and listening to music with the two girls who came over.
22: Two days without running water in my house. What at first was frustrating, turned into a great opportunity to test out if I REALLY don't want/need running water in my next house.
23: Terrible traffic that made our taxi driver turn off the main road, bringing laughter to everyone on the taxi, as we bumped and jolted on dirt roads through a village and over a soccer field. Signs on the front window where changed occasionally so we wouldn’t get caught by the police.
24: Traffic behind us decided it was a good idea and followed behind us.
25: Reading my Malagasy Bible.
26: People I don’t know passing me on the street and using my name when they greet me.
27: Christmas packages in June.
28: Cold weather, socks, and hot chocolate. It is indeed starting to feel like Christmas. J

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