My friend Melissa has a history with this little town. Before returning to teach 5th grade, she has had quite the journey. Melissa had spent two summers working with YouthWorks and the in between months doing an internship called GreaterWorks in this “hidden community”. The Lord spoke to her powerfully while she was in Cairo working with the children…He told her that she would become a teacher and return to Cairo. Now, there posed a bit of a problem, since Melissa did not have her teaching degree or certificate. She had gone to school for Social Cultural Studies. Hmmmm….what is a girl to do? Go back to school of course! So, that she did. For two years this gal perservered through classes, exams, PSAT tests, lectures, curriculum writing and wallah, she is now a teacher at Bennet Elementary School! I am amazed at the Lord’s provision and faithfulness in her life.
This story was written by Melissa and Sara while reflecting on one AMAZING day!
December 5, 2007.
Bennett prayer. Stacy prayed for specific things, for specific breakthrough to happen, that God would release things in the school and classroom. Melissa and Stacy prayed that God’s power would be evident in the classroom. The morning at school was surprisingly decent, mood-wise and attitude-wise. In the afternoon, when Sara came in, the atmosphere change. Students began to get a little more rowdy, began to argue with each other, had a hard time working with each other in teams. Basically, things weren’t going too well. Melissa takes kids to Gym. Meanwhile in the classroom, Sara prays for the atmosphere to change, for God to move and switch things around, where there was loudness for there to be quiet, where there was chaos there to be order. For peace. For the Spirit to come.
[Enter Holy Spirit…ha ha ha…Spirit was already there ;o)] .
D and K were beginning to get at each other downstairs on their way back from Gym, they were told they couldn’t come back the next day. Melissa determined from their attitude that silent reading wasn’t going to happen, so on the way back to the classroom she changed the lesson plan. Melissa grabbed the Chanukah reading that Ms. Case had given her a copy of earlier that morning. The class read through the reading. K asked if the Jewish believed in God. Melissa explained that they do believe in God but unlike Christians don’t believe in Jesus. Then D raised his hand and asked, “How can they believe in God if they don’t believe in Jesus?”
Then Melissa explained that the Jews were waiting for someone to save them, but did not believe Jesus was that person.
Then D raised his hand again and stated, “I don’t get it.”
Melissa asked them, “Okay, who was Jesus, what did He do?”
D: He died on a cross.
M: Why did He die?
D +(several other kids in the class): For our sins.
C: for our sins….I go to church
M: The Jews believe that he was just another person dying, not dying for our sins for purpose of everlasting life. Do you understand?
D: Not really.
M: Think about it.
K: Why did they whip Jesus, like in that movie Passion of the Christ, cause it was all gross and stuff?
Melissa explained that back at that time they used to hang people and whip them because they had committed a crime. They used to do it publicly, mockingly, to set an example to others to not do the same thing.
D: (raising hand again) I still don’t understand how they believed in God and not in Jesus.
Sara explains how the Jews were waiting for a King. And how the Old Testament gave them clues to what a King would be like. But they expected a King with riches and power, Jesus came humble and poor, so they didn’t recognize Him as a King.
S begins to explain a movie she saw about Jesus.
S explains about another movie she saw about Jesus. She said it was really sad when Jesus died.
V shares how Jesus died with nails in hand. The class discussed how they were real nails in His hands. Discussion bounced between kids and different things they remembered about movies about Jesus or church experience.
A shares about Tribe of Judah (ministry Two Rivers had for the children) and a time when they did a lesson about blood on the doorpost and how it was icky and she didn’t want to touch it.
Melissa tells the students that the bell is about to ring, and they needed to do their jobs, but that she would love to continue this conversation as they did their jobs.
D says to Melissa that this could be their community circle time.
M: Yes! This is an awesome community circle time! Children clean. And conversation about God continued.
Sara tells D he asks good questions. He asks again why the Jews didn’t believe. Sara tries to explain again about prophecy in the Old Testament and the pride of the priests, helping him see that Jesus was a threat to the power of the Jewish priests.
K’s job was to clean off the board, then he wrote “I love Jesus” on the board.
Then S went up to the board, erase “I”, Keenan got mad. And she replaced it with “We all”
And K was satisfied. During this entire time there was order and peace, the class was not out of control or loud at all.
Other students went to the board and began to writes praised to God, including “Jesus is da man”.
Sara and Melissa do a happy dance, praise God, and pray.