The first pre-training happened here on Saturday. I have known I need to post some pictures and details, but I haven’t been able to put it into words.
53 sets of shining brown eyes packed out the cement building with it’s glassless windows open as the shutters flapped gently in the wind. The teens lined the scruffed up backless wooden benches that lined the room and carefully placed their Bibles and notebooks on the narrow wooden board in front of them that acted as their table. A piece of plywood, roughly covered in black paint sat up front and served as a blackboard. I carefully arranged the laminated visuals I had made on the wire stand up front with a glob of sticky tack and began to teach. They listened, laughed, participated, jotted notes in their notebooks, and practiced sharing the Wordless Book with each other. An occasional chicken pecked around in the aisle and my mind drifted back to what this training looked like in the States. The nice chairs, plastic tables, powerpoint, glass paned windows and a lack of stray chickens. The two couldn’t be farther apart. As I think back on their smiling faces, I want to tell each one how much I love them. They will never know that everything I have been through these last four years was for them. So that they could share the hope they have in Jesus with the children around them. They will never know the challenges, pain and dark days, weeks and months that brought me to this point. As I thought about how they will never know just how much I love them and even more so because of sacrifices I have had to make and everything I have been through, I could almost here Jesus say, “Tara…..everything I did, I did for you.” And I thought about everything Jesus went through and suffered just for me to see me love Him and share the hope I have in Him with others. I knew that these last four years are nothing compared to how much He suffered for me and the extent of His love for me. And I know I will never be able to fully understand that kind of love. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of those precious teens as I said, “everything I do, I do it for you.” I could only see my Savior. I knew instantly the last four years didn’t even begin to say thank you for His great love and the unimaginable sacrifice He made for me. And I knew that because of what He did for me, my life is simply an opportunity to say thank you. Saturday is coming once again in a few short days, and as I stand in front of those kids again and they learn the last half of the Wordless Book, all my new vocab words and sentence structures that I need to remember as I teach will be drowned out by a song of thanks to my Savior. “Everything I do, I do it for you.” And it will never be enough to repay you for your love and the ultimate sacrifice you made for me.
They loved sword drills and things got pretty competitive as they tried to be the
first one to find and read the given Bible reference.
Julian, the boy in the white shirt, sat in the back, or shall I say stood. He was so small he had to stand up to see the front and his hand was always eagerly up in the air to answer questions and share.
The practiced what they had learned on each other.
One of the Good News Club teachers who just finished CMI helped with the teaching.
They often split up into small groups to read verses and answer
questions together then share them with the class.
Thank you so much for praying for me, for the teens, the other teachers, and the trainings that will be continuing around Madagascar this month. It is truly exciting to see God working and using each of you to change the lives of many children here.