Dark gray clouds hung low over Antananarivo. The pounding rain had finally dwindled to a drizzle by late afternoon.The weather was so terrible, that a lot of the schools canceled classes; yet, a tall thin man stood in his slacks and suit jacket in the muddy school yard, shielded by a small umbrella. Waiting.
It all started five days earlier when Hasina and I went out looking for a new school to fill our Thursday morning time slot. We went to a small school nearby, and were greeted by the two teachers. We asked to speak to the principal and they told us that he had two schools and lived far away, but they could give him a message and set up a time for him to stop by and meet with us. So we explained who we were and that we would love to have Good News Clubs at their school once a week. To our complete surprise, both teachers absolutely loved the idea that their students might be able to hear the Word of God. They went on and on about how much their students needed the Lord and how wonderful it would be to have us teach them. So they told us to come back in five days and they would send a message to the principal that we wanted to meet with him. As we left, we were hopeful that the teachers would pass on, not just the information, but their enthusiasm for the Good News Clubs as well and that the principal would be just as excited as they were.
Five days later, I woke up to rain pounding on the roof. It rained and poured all morning. In the afternoon Hasina stopped by and we headed out to the school in the drizzling, muddy mess. We wondered if the principal would show up. The weather was terrible and he lived far away. He would have to make a special trip just for us. But we went anyway. As we climbed out of the bus near the school, we were so proud of how perfectly on time we were. The bus had taken forever to fill up with people and be on it’s way, so we thought we would be late. As we climbed the muddy hill to the school, a tall thin man stood in his slacks and suit jacket in the muddy school yard, shielded by a small umbrella. Waiting. We stared at each other in shock, first that he had shown up and second that he was early and waiting for us. After introductions were made, he chatted away as though he had known us for a long time. We went through our spill about Good News Club, what we teach, and showed him the visuals we use. But it didn’t matter at that point. We knew he was already totally excited about having Good News Clubs at his school. Then we got to the tricky part. We couldn’t work around whatever schedule they might have. We only had time on Thursday mornings. So we hesitantly asked about the time, and he replied, whenever you can come works just great for us. When you come knocking, we will be ready. And with that, the time was set. Thursday morning.
By this time, his little nephew had come down the hill and was standing by his uncle. When there was a break in the conversation, he shyly said, “Hi Zoky Hasina.” We both did a double take, wondering how he knew Hasina since we had never taught in this part of town. Turns out he goes to the school by my house and is in one of Hasina’s Good News Clubs there. His uncle, who had teasingly told us that once we started he wanted us to come every week, but not just when we felt like it, seemed to take note and was amazed that his nephew had Good News Clubs in his school too. We were serious about wanting to teach his kids. And he was serious about wanting his kids taught the Word of God.
We walked away in complete shock. He had come all this way to meet us. We had arrived on time, even though we should have been late with how long the bus took. Good News Clubs had been set up standing in the rain in a muddy school yard. He was excited, the teachers were excited, and even his nephew went to Good News Club. And, Thursday mornings worked for them. We looked at each other and asked, “What just happened?? What a God thing!!” So, bright and early Thursday morning, two new Good News Clubs will be starting up at a brand new school. We praise God for all He did and can’t wait to teach these precious kids!